Following last year’s successful but cosy trip to Grado for our work team event, us girls this year planned a weekend away to Rovinj, Croatia, in early May. Each year the company allocates a budget to each team for a social event, but since us three girls actually like each other, we again decided to throw some extra money in the kitty and make a weekend of it.
Like last year we weren’t alone. We took three of our marketing mascots in our growing family of team members – TMF Bear, Gartner Giraffe and a new addition – Bonnie Jovi – the beautiful white horse.
I have a fair amount of love for my job at the moment, but like any job, it has its moments. And the one thing that saves you at those times when everything gets too much, is the people you work with. If you have a good team, they support you through the tantrums and the frustrations, they make it worthwhile during the challenging times, and they’re right there with you when it’s time to bring out the Champagne and celebrate. I am so lucky to have such great work colleagues here in Austria. We’re a funny bunch: an Australian, a South African and an Austrian – we work together and we play together. And while there is a lot of hard work going on in our office, we laugh just as hard. Our weekend away to Rovinj came exactly at a time we all needed it. It was on the cusp of one of our biggest events of the year, and enabled us to catch up on sleep and let some of the stress fall off our shoulders before we went back into the mouth of madness. I can’t remember the last time I had such a good laugh-till-I-cried, and I am so thankful for these small pockets of people that make me remember just how lucky I am to be in a new country, with international friends.
Shortly before lunch time on the Friday we arrived in Rovinj, a super cute town nestled on the coast of Croatia. There was a bit of messing about to locate parking and our accommodation, which naturally necessitated the immediate opening of prosecco so we could recover in our court yard with an aperol or three.
This year, instead of going el-cheapo with a mobile home in a caravan park, we’d gone all upper class with a four story apartment – each of us had our own bedroom on our own floor. Bliss!
The weather was fantastic, and a touch of exploring led us to drinks in the sun by the water, and although a dip was tempting, I decided to leave it till the following day. We ate fresh seafood by the water for dinner, ate ice cream, and retired to our apartment, with a selection of local cheeses, wine and games.
The second day dawned sunny and promising, and we all headed off separately for walks or runs. The old town of Rovinj is a maze of tiny cobblestone streets that wind their way steeply up to the church for gorgeous views. Although the slippery cobblestones are not ideal for running, on the other side of the bay there’s a pocket of greenery to explore, ideal for all kinds of physical activities.
Although we’d vowed to find somewhere for lunch, the day quickly got away from us and after a few aperols and the necessary chips we headed out early for dinner. Alas the weather had started to deteriorate throughout the course of the afternoon – it certainly wasn’t cold, but it definitely wasn’t swimming weather. We found a cute restaurant in the back streets and enjoyed our fresh seafood, sitting outdoors under cover while a thunderstorm rolled in.
My room was on the top floor and the sound of the rain pounding on the roof all night pulled me down into a deep slumber. When we awoke the next morning it was still pelting down with no sign of a break, so we bid farewell to our pretty little town, and vowed to return.
The only question now is, where do we go next year?