Sailing, Segways and a Shock – Our 8th Team Retreat in Valencia

5. May 2019

My heart almost stopped. In slow motion I saw Christian take off in front of me, making a roll in the air and falling hard to the ground. After half an eternity the Segway landed on him.

But one after the other. For our eighth team retreat we had decided for the Spanish coastal city Valencia. As a remote team, these joint on-site meetings are particularly important for our culture. As always, the choice of destination was made by vote. Marrakesh and Edinburgh finished second and third respectively.

Valencia was particularly favoured by the fact that our Toni had a seaworthy sailing boat at anchor there – and kindly invited us on a cruise.

The retreat began with a dinner in the rustic tapas bar Casa Montaña, founded in 1836 and highly recommendable.

Day 1: Water

The following day, we went on the boat. In two groups we sailed with captain Toni and sailor David off the coast of Valencia.

The afternoon was rounded off with tapas, wine and gin & tonic in the harbour:

For the evening, our tour guides Jenny and Toni had once again agreed on a culinary highlight: the HABITUAL. It is located in the basement of the Mercado de Colón, a historic and very elegantly renovated market hall.

Day 2: Land

The second day started with a photo shoot with our house photographer Boris Baldinger in the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències. The result adds to the intro and the team presentation on our homepage.

Afterwards we went on a Segway tour.

We explored what might be the longest park in the world. After the river Turia flooded the city again and again, the Valencians redirected it in the 1960s. In the river bed, a kilometers long park was created, the Jardín del Turia. The following picture is a 3D photo taken by Boris in this park:

After that we would actually have gone to other sights in the city. Our lively excursion in the park, however, was abruptly interrupted by the accident mentioned at the beginning.

As if by a miracle, Christian survived the fall without any major injuries. There were some painful abrasions, which were first taken care of by the Segway guides, then by Jenny in the best scouts manner.

As the person responsible for this retreat, I am grateful that nothing worse happened. In the future we will better consider what risks we want to take in joint activities.

At the closing dinner in the paella restaurant La Pepica directly at the Mediterranean Sea Christian was again part of the scene.

I learned that the paella was even invented in Valencia. But nobody was excited about the local variant with chicken and rabbit. Instead, we decided to go for the more popular varieties with seafood and vegetables.

Voices From the Team

What role do retreats play for us as a remote team? This is the question I asked our people – these are some of the answers:

Aurel Gergey

I particularly liked the boat trip, even though I got seasick within a very short time as predicted 🙂 The professional discussions outside the daily business continue to have an effect – and enable new insights and viewpoints.

Aurel Gergey

 

David Brunnschweiler

What I really like is the team spirit and familiarity. And yes, I fly a lot right now. The bad conscience gnaws a bit more at 😉 Maybe we could choose another meeting within train distance?

David Brunnschweiler

 

Erik Blatter

A highlight for me was the 9 km long Turia Park. As a freeletics fan I was astonished when I discovered a group of about one hundred people who trained together on freeletics. It’s a pity there is no such thing in Thun. I would appreciate it if we could also integrate a conscious knowledge exchange/building session. Or devote ourselves to important strategic questions together. When and where else do we have so much time together?

Erik Blatter

 

Jennifer Walter

I really appreciate meeting and interacting with my work colleagues twice a year in real life. Although we don’t see each other very often, there doesn’t seem to be any time between meetings. As with good friends, you seamlessly pick up the conversation threads and tie them up. Our cohesion is special, especially when you consider our remote work structures. Whether it’s an idea-saving partner or a helping hand, Stefan has proven that his character-over-skill hiring practice has stood the test.

Jennifer Walter

 

Maren Ockels

I loved the aperitif at Toni’s boat. We chatted in a super relaxed atmosphere. The common activities, such as Segway riding, are a lot of fun. But maybe we can deliberately do more activities designed for team building.

Maren Ockels

 

Mario Thomsen

The Wortspiel team is unique in its constellation and its personalities. Accordingly, our retreats are always a true highlight for me. We were spoiled with culinary delights, were allowed to play captain and could explore many beautiful corners of the enchanting city of Valencia. Many thanks to Jenny and to Toni – our new Director for Maritime Affairs – for the organisation!

Mario Thomsen

 

Toni Ricciardelli

Again, I especially liked the personal exchange with the Wortspiel team. It’ always a highlight to meet all of them. I especially remember the Segway trip (despite Christian’s crash), when I had seen completely new aspects of Valencia, although I had been there several times before.

Toni Ricciardelli

 

Christian Ebernickel

With the Segway stunt on our Valencia Tour, I made an involuntarily spectacular debut for the Wortspiel team. 😉 Apart from that, I’m very happy to have got to know many team members personally. I particularly appreciate the team’s friendliness and high level of technical competence. Special thanks to Jenny for her great first aid!

Christian Ebernickel

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Stefan Vetter is the founder and CEO of Wortspiel. He created his first website in 1999 and has been active in digital marketing ever since. Stefan likes to pass on his knowledge: as author of the first Swiss Google Ads book “AdWords for Startups”, one of nine “Google Certified Trainer” in Switzerland, conference speaker and as lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland FHNW, the Swiss Distance University of Applied Sciences FFHS, the Swiss Institute of Business Economics SIB, the Marketing & Business School Zürich MBSZ and Google Zürich.