London PE Readers Meet-Up (Aug 21, 2011) – Pictures and Afterthought!

London Meet-Up, Group Shot # 1

Hi everyone! :D The Personal Excellence London Meet-up went ahead as planned on 21 Aug – and it was a complete blast! :D

Many readers in UK turned up, and we ended up filling up over half of the cafe’s seats! Believe it or not – We even had readers outside of UK who happened to be traveling in UK in the moment (Shabnah from Australia, and Girija from India), and took time out to attend the meet-up. We also had readers living outside London who traveled all the way into the city for the meet-up (Bob, Catherine, Tom and Emilie from Cambridge, and Imelda from up Gloucestershire, which is in the south-west of UK!).

All in all, we had a fantastic turnout of 15 people, and it was a great Sunday afternoon spent together in a lovely vegan cafe.

For those of you who missed the meet-up, check out the pictures below:

Vita Organic Cafe
VitaOrganic Cafe, at 74 Wardour street in the heart of vibrant and funky Soho

Vita Organic Cafe, Interior
The interior of the cafe. It’s a nice, small and cosy cafe – we took up over half the cafe that day! We most definitely helped to boost their sales for that day.

Personal Excellence UK Meet-Up, Group Shot # 1
Group shot #1 (Clockwise, from left to right): Shabnah, Bob, Tom, Lyndy, Emilie, Catherine, Deepa and Girija

Personal Excellence UK Meet-Up, Group Shot # 2
Group shot #2 (again, clockwise from left to right): Hanna, Robert, Adrienne, Imelda, Justina

Me and Shabnah
Me and Shabnah – she practices medicine, and lives in Australia. Can you believe it – She happened to be in London for a holiday, which happened to fall right in the middle of our UK meet-up date! How serendipitous is that?

Justina, Imelda, Hanna
Justina (very spunky and savvy lady from Lithuania), Imelda (sweet angel from Indonesia – currently working in UK), Hanna (born and bred in London, with a passion for yoga –  she’s participating in 30BBM now too ;) )

We hung out from 3pm (the scheduled meeting time), till 7pm. I reached at 3:35pm unfortunately (my deepest apologies to everyone who came on time) because I was coming over from a separate gathering (in Hammersmith), and had underestimated the time taken to get to the cafe in Piccadilly Circus. Of course, getting on the wrong train on my way over didn’t help as well. -_-’ (Still getting the hang of the railway and tube systems here)

Luckily, all the readers were such lovely angels and mingled among themselves until I arrived.

Aubrey (PE reader and my very lovely hostess for the first 3 weeks of my London stay! She came later and hence wasn’t in the group shot in the beginning)

Me, Bob, Catherine, Tom and Emilie
Such a sweet family shot! Bob (Dad), Catherine (Mom), Tom and Emilie are a family, literally. All of them read Personal Excellence – a truly conscious and growth-oriented family! ♥ They live in Cambridge (up north) and drove all the way down for the meet-up!

To be honest, I had an amazing time talking to everyone. Everyone started off introducing him/herself as part of ice breaking, after which I spent about 10-15 minutes addressing the group. After that, I attended to each person individually as I wanted to get to know everyone up close and personal.

We covered all sorts of topics – both Personal Excellence and non-Personal Excellence related. Personal Excellence related topics included how they first came across PE, how long they’ve been reading the blog, their favorite articles, what they liked best about it… and non-Personal Excellence related topics include sharing about themselves, their background, what got them started on their growth journey, their biggest passions today, their aspirations for the future, etc.

Me and Deepa
Me and the very lovely Deepa, who has been practicing law for a decade. She’s very cosmopolitan – lived in Paris for over 20 years, followed by Chicago for a few years, then now London. Traveling makes the world seem so small!

Deepa and Girija
Deepa and her lovely mom, Girija. Girija first started reading PE, and then shared it with Deepa just about a month ago. What amazed me about Girija is that she’s passionately pursuing personal growth at her age, where most will just sit back and stagnate. She’s a golden example for all of us to follow!

Me and Girija
Me and Girija again

Me and Hanna
Me and the sweet, softspoken Hanna. Hanna has a deep passion for yoga and spirituality and wants to set up a blog in this area in the future. I told her that she should definitely go for it!

Adrienne and Robert
Bubbly Adrienne (from US, Boston, and now staying in London) and her boyfriend, Robert

Me and Justina
Me and Justina again. Justina is a very sweet-wise and well-read individual – she came with ready questions, all of which were very well thought-out.

Thank YOU to all of you who took time off and came to the meet-up. All of you are absolute angels, and I had such a wonderful time talking to each of you – Shabnah, Bob, Tom, Lyndy, Emilie, Catherine, Deepa, Girija, Hanna, Robert, Adrienne, Imelda, Justina and Aubrey.

I wished I had more time to speak to everyone individually and get to know you better, but at the end of the day I’m immensely grateful that we got the chance to see each other, and the universe somehow brought us together in this world of 7 billion people. I really couldn’t have asked for more.

Separately, some readers in other EU countries (Amsterdam, Germany, France) have been requesting me to do a meet-up when I revisit the countries. I’ll really love to, actually. It all boils down to whether we can amass enough people to be honest (I’d say at least 5 to proceed with a meet-up) – My sense is that the Personal Excellence reader base in Germany or France is smaller vs. UK (as not everyone knows English there) and the readers are a lot more scattered (since Germany / France is quite large), so it’s tougher to do it there.

Either way, I promise all of you that I’ll do a holler out on Personal Excellence the next time I drop by the countries. In the meantime, my wish is to continue to grow Personal Excellence and extend its reach to all corners of the world, such that we can have meet-ups everywhere we go! :D

Check out all the pictures of the UK Meet-up (Aug 21, ’11) on my Facebook page. If you’re not on my Facebook page yet, be sure to join by clicking the “Like” button on the page.

  • Dannymath

    aww this is wonderful! :)

    • Celes

      Thanks Danny! It is! :D Felt like a big family coming together, to be honest. Now I’m seriously considering doing a meet-up in every major city I go to – it’s a very rewarding experience I feel.

      • Dannymath

        I’d love to participate in a meetup in CHICAGO, IL, USA

  • Glenn

    What a great looking crowd! How was the food?

    • Celes

      The food was great! There was a buffet for under 9 pounds, and very reasonably priced. Can’t say the ala carte items though – cupcakes at $3 pounds each, little chocolate balls at $1.10 pounds each – a little steep but that’s central london for us!

  • Aubrey Chen

    It was a great crowd and I’m so happy to get to meet everyone. The venue was lovely! Thanks so much for making this happen Celes :hug:

    • Celes

      Thanks a lot for coming Aubrey! :hug: It was indeed a great place with a great crowd! :D

  • K.S.B.

    Awww that’s so wonderful! I really wish I was still living in London so I could meet you guys! Oh well. I don’t suppose you’re planning a South America trip any time soon, Celes? ;)

    • Celes

      Hey K.S.B – you never know! :) I’ll get around to South America at some point, I’m not sure. Just not sure how many readers are there to amass for a meet-up since English is not the main language there if I’m not wrong? Wish you were there with us in the London meet-up as well!

  • Lydia Kurnia

    Aw, how awesome. Looks like you all had a great time! Lovely :)

    • Celes

      Yes we did! Thanks Lydia. :hug: Wish you and Glenn could be there with us!

  • Steph

    I love your outfit Celes ;)

    I wish I could have come to this! Sadly finding the time and money for the train down to London is not that easy for a poor student. I hope you’ll do more of these meet-ups in the future, especially as I’ll be living near London for the next three years!

    • Celes

      Thanks Steph! :) I hope to stay in London as long as I can – hopefully we will have another meet-up sometime in the future. It’ll be exciting to have a regular Personal Excellence gathering once every 6 months/1 year or so. :D

  • Charu

    Wow, it looks like you all had a great time. Great job Celes! I’m sure all the participants enjoyed themselves too. Hope I’ll be able to be present at one of your future meet-ups :)

    • Celes

      Hi Charu, yes I hope so too! :D Where do you stay at the moment?

      • Charu

        I live in New Delhi, India :)

  • Adrienne O.

    It was so great to meet everyone!! And the food was amazing!

    • Celes

      Indeed it was. :D Thanks a lot for coming, Adrienne! I wish we got to talk more though, but I’m glad we got to meet at least, and with Robert too!

  • Ngee Key

    Looking at your pictures makes me want to travel to London again. I am glad that the meet up was great fun. Yes, the world is small and it is exciting to meet positive and like minded people :)

    • Celes

      Thanks for your kind words Ngee Key! :D

  • Mel

    Hi Celes, thanks for the photos on facebook. I am glad that I went for the meet-up, it was lovely to meet everyone. I had a fab time!

    • Celes

      Hey Mel, thanks so much for coming! :hug: I really wish we got to speak more, to be honest. You mentioned you lived up north of UK – which part of UK is that again?

      • Mel

        Hi Celes, I live in the southwest part of the UK. which is in Gloucestershire, a small town called Stonehouse. It is near to one of the Cotswold village (Stroud). Let me know if you are visiting this part of the UK :)