After the long lockdown, we had our first company summit in Cancun. We wanted to get out of our houses and celebrate a year of learning and growth. Hang out, talk about the plan for 2022, and have fun together. Little did we know the team activity would become a survival test.

Our team

Everyone arrived at noon on Friday, checked into the hotel, and grabbed lunch while enjoying the sea views. After two hours of downtime, we headed to our company meeting.

One of the main reasons to get the team together was to recap a successful year and share plans for the next year. We gave an industry update and talked about doubling down on TLOS and Substrate, expanding our Node operations, and keeping an eye on the Bitcoin Lightning network. We also talked about the importance of quality, polish, and what it means to live up to our Elite Builder ethos.

The next day we had our team activity: a paddleboard loop from Cancun’s Nichupte Lagoon to the Caribbean Sea. The lagoon waters were calm. We stopped by a quiet beach and took a refreshing swim. Someone was bitten by something and screamed hysterically (that someone might have been me).

Our team

To get to the sea, we had to go under a bridge large enough for boats to go through. This is when the weather started to change and, in an instant, we were paddling under heavy rain with the wind against us. This meant we had to frantically paddle on only one side to avoid being pushed over by the wind. The situation felt dangerous and our WFH bodies were in pain. The thought “If I die, no one knows about my tokens” crossed our minds. With renewed determination, we made it. We were sore, wet, and cold, but happy.

The next day we had surfing lessons and by noon everyone was on the way home.

Our team

Like most, I love not having to go to the office, but there is something very special about in-person time. We are a young team (using “we” generously with me). Most of our Engineers were hired during the pandemic. A generation for whom WFH is normal. But the experience of discussing exciting news in person, going for a swim, and enjoying the sun together can’t be replaced. Good things are better with friends to share them.