At the end of the last year, after 2 years of Sudolabs existence, we decided it was time to celebrate what we have achieved so far, to recharge ourselves for the next year, in which many challenging and exciting things are waiting for us and of course, it was time to get to know each other better.
Some of us work remotely, some have joined us recently, but even those who are in our headquarters in Košice sometimes miss each other, because each of us has a different working regime and thanks to the flexible working environment, everyone can plan their days according to their needs. Moreover, we expanded our team very recently and we felt the need to get to know our new members better.
Whether you work remotely or go into the same office every day, we can all agree that a change of scenery and daily bustle is never a bad idea.
Cold and drizzly weather? No thanks… (Where did we go?)
Given that it was cold and drizzly mid-December, the goal was clear - visit a place where we would warm up our bones and enjoy some sunshine. Frankly speaking, it was not an easy task to combine dates, flight tickets and to find suitable accommodation to meet both working and leisure requirements, but thanks to Wolfhouse.co we were able to bring our team together to work and relax at one of the most inspiring destinations we have ever visited - Tenerife!
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary islands, also known as the islands of eternal spring thanks to the mild climate with temperatures fluctuating around pleasant 25°C all year round. Tenerife offers a surprising mix of beaches, mountains, and forested lands - we had a chance to visit most of them during our stay.
Right upon arrival, we were pleasantly surprised by the beautiful, cozy, and large villa specially adapted for company retreats. The villa had everything that we needed and much more. Besides standardized, but really comfortable house equipment, we had a nice working space available outdoors, terraced garden full of cactuses and flowers, a large heated pool, which we enjoyed especially in the colder evenings, and a poolside bar with a covered open-air kitchen.
On top of that, we had a private patio overlooking the ocean, which offered us breathtaking sunsets every day. We could not be happier!
It's all about having fun… and working. Just a little bit. (What did we do?)
Well-planned schedule is appreciated even in a small group of people as we are. That's why we prepared a detailed plan for every day - the places we want to visit, proper timetable of departures, breakfasts, working time etc., so everybody knows what's coming next, and surprisingly, everything went smoothly.
We landed on Tenerife on Friday, and we had a weekend of exploring the island ahead of us. During the first two days of our stay we devoted ourselves fully to traveling around the island. With rented cars, we visited Santa Cruz, the biggest city on the island. Local market surprised us with juicy and fresh fruit. We could see a lot of large banana plantations and vineyards full of grapes, and we have to admit that we tasted a few great local wines.
DID YOU KNOW?
Many of Tenerife’s beaches are man-made. The volcanic beaches with black sand certainly are natural, but white sand of many Tenerife's beaches, such as the popular Playa del Duque, was imported from Africa.
We have decided to combine work and leisure on our retreat, so for the rest of our stay (from Monday till Friday) we divided the days in half - half a day we were working on our current projects and half a day we had planned some more activities and trips. This way, we were able to get to know each other in a working and relaxed environment equally.
We are usually divided into individual teams and each team works on a different project. We are currently working on Beneko, Panoramic and Parrot. Check our website, if you are interested in more information. The great advantage of this retreat was that we spent a lot of time together so we could discuss the individual projects across the teams and exchange some knowledge and thoughts.
For the working part of the day, we had some common areas, couches, tables on the patio and even some bigger meeting rooms outdoors. More or less, everybody was working wherever he/she wanted. But the general consensus, afterward, was that the place where we were staying was not really suitable for work. We were missing some proper tables and sitting,more plugs and better internet connection. The lesson for us and a recommendation for you is to focus more on this part of the retreat, so that everybody can work at their full potential.
Since it was our first retreat, it was mostly focused on leisure and team building activities, relaxation and exploring the beauty of the island. Some of us enjoyed surfing lessons, we played hot potato or water polo (you name it) in a pool, had a few ping-pong matches, we were jumping in the waves despite the refreshing atlantic sea water, playing beach football, barbecuing...
Thanks to a huge kitchen in the villa, we had a chance to exchange our culinary heritage during breakfasts and late dinners. And you would be surprised how much our tastes and culinary ideas differ.
Speaking of eating, on the first day we had a traditional lunch together at a local restaurant in Santa Cruz, where we had the opportunity to taste typical food for this island - we have tried Queso asado, a generous slab of local, smoked goats' cheese lightly baked and drizzled with mojo rojo and mojo verde (typical Canarian sauces), local fresh fish that was also enjoyed by people who are not fish fans and some well done steaks for all kinds of gourmets. But believe it or not, the biggest success were the famous potatoes papas arrugadas (yes you read that correctly, potatoes!), which are typically served with local green and red ,,mojo” sauce. These papas have enjoyed great success throughout the rest of our stay in Tenerife.
Mount Teide, Spain's highest volcano and mountain, is located on Tenerife. We wanted to climb to the very top, but, unlucky for us, we were only able to go nearby it. You need a special permit to climb to the very top. The daily capacity for the tourists is limited and since we are a large group, we were unfortunately not able to get up there. If you want to visit this volcano, we highly recommend you to plan it in advance and book your excursion several weeks in advance. Nevertheless, the view of the volcano was stunning and we enjoyed a short hike around it.
What are our next plans ? (To sum it up)
I am pretty sure that all of us enjoyed the retreat at Tenerife and we would go back there without any hesitation. Big thanks goes to Jozef and Pavol, our CEOs who came up with this idea and made it all happen, but at the same time, great thanks belongs to every member of our team, because without them, Sudolabs would have lost its soul - and this retreat would not be full of fun!
So what is the next destination? Well, we don't know yet, but we know we will go again!
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