This time last week I was all packed and setting off for a work trip to Florida. Sounds amazing right? But all I could think about in the back of my head were the blog posts that weren’t scheduled, the emails that were left unanswered in my inbox and how I would keep up with my Instagram posts whilst I was away with a 5 hour time difference. We were only away from Wednesday to Monday but something niggled in me that so much would be missed in the blogging world I couldn’t wait to get home.
The head office for my day job is based in Clearwater and I’ve been many times to our annual All-Hands get-together which unites all our global offices for a conference, team-building and fun. Last year the event didn’t go ahead and two years ago one of my workmates got married in Sri Lanka at the same time as the event so we both missed it. My last trip was back in 2014 when we were a much smaller office. This time 17 of us landed en-masse in Florida and within an hour ‘life back home’ was forgotten about as I decided to switch off and live in the moment.
It was without a doubt the best decision. Struggling to adjust to the time difference I found myself either walking on the beach or swimming before 7am some mornings with one or two colleagues. After the main work day on Thursday, we had karaoke on the beach with a BBQ in the evening followed by beach games on Friday morning and the event came to a close on Friday lunchtime.
We spent the next couple of days lazing around on the beach, swimming endlessly and getting sunburned. Drinking by the pool long into the middle of the night, getting to know each other not just as colleagues but as friends. Walking to local restaurants for dinner, watching a heron stalk its prey at 11pm from a waterside bar. We sat on the beach at 3 in the morning and across 4 nights I only got 13 hours sleep.
Of course we didn’t all do everything together all the time with some people preferring to visit the local malls for shopping and others heading off sightseeing. But a few of us were inseparable and just had such an amazing time together. I left everything behind. All my thoughts, plans, dreams. I lived in the moment. I switched off. And it was absolutely idyllic.