Sailing, Segways and a Shock – Our 8th Team Retreat in Valencia
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
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:
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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