As a remote friendly company, we often like to take advantage of the opportunity to travel and work out-of-office. It enables us to stay away longer and really get a feel for a place, without compromising work quality or relationships with our clients. Sometimes we travel alone, with our partners, or set up remote offices for several months at a time for the whole team.
Last year, our team members collectively visited over 96 cities in more than 25 countries, and we’d like to share some of our moments and learning experiences with you.
New York, United States
My fianceé and I decided to visit New York over my birthday this year. We stayed in East Midtown, Manhattan and ventured all over the island, Brooklyn and Queens too. Managing a fairly astonishing 75 Swarm check-ins in seven days, it’s fair to say we ate a lot, drank a lot, maxed out our cards and slept very little.
New York is an incredible city like no other, it was both everything I had imagined and nothing like it all. It was so alive, very friendly and certainly the most diverse place I have ever visited. I just can’t wait to go back.
South America was one continent on my travel list I’d yet to tick off. This year, my wife and I decided the visit the iconic Patagonia as we hugely enjoy wildlife and nature.
What’s great about Patagonia is the endless amount of things you can do in a single trip: watching wildlife in Peninsula Valdés, trekking in amazing mountains and even visit enormous glaciers.
Diego Freniche Brito
Aberystwyth, Wales, UK
As a parent of two, each year I try to escape the city of Seville and enjoy the beautiful Spanish beaches with my family. We aim to stay for a couple weeks to swim in the ocean, jump in the pool and eat too much (I’ll save you from seeing any images of me wearing a swimsuit).
As the Spanish summer draws to an end, I head to Wales to attend iOSDevUK, the biggest conference for iOS/Mac developers in UK. I love Aberystwyth, it’s minimal University accommodation, the cider and the conference, but the best thing is the people you end up meeting at the event and the awesome hackathons you get into!
As part of the trip around the world my wife and I are on, we visited Southeast Asia starting in Thailand and visiting Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia. During our stay of over three months, we were able to immerse ourselves in so many different cultures and enjoy exciting adventures every day, whilst working throughout the entire trip.
Martinique, French Republic
After travelling around South Asia and visiting Cuba earlier in the year. I decided (together with some Mobile Jazz colleagues) to spend a month living and working from the Caribbean island of Martinique. By spending a month working there, we had an incredible office by the sea and the opportunity to do awesome activities after work such as snorkelling, diving, sightseeing and much more!
Iceland offers beautiful landscapes, volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs and glaciers. Being one of the least populated places in the world, it is a great destination to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Armed with a ton of thermal clothes, my wife and I decided to go on a road trip over the south and west of Iceland for a week.
Iceland’s landscapes were just amazing; high mountains which originated from volcanoes in contrast with vast flat scenery. Water seems to be present everywhere in every possible form.
It’s no wonder that Iceland produces 100% of its electricity from renewable sources: steam from hot springs and kinetic energy from waterfalls are used to generate power for the country. Hot water from springs are pumped to Iceland’s cities for heating.
Although most people prefer to visit Iceland in summer, an attractive reason to visit in October is the chance to catch the northern lights. We literally had to chase them, we caught the first snow of the year and it was cloudy, but well worth the effort.
During my summer holiday, I wanted to spend some time totally disconnected from my hectic daily life. I visited Formentera for week and camped at a friend’s house with no internet or electricity. Formentera has lots of great nature activities, I went hiking, snorkelling, kayaking and even visited the odd nudist beach :o!
This summer, my husband and I decided to visit Cuba for two weeks. We toured the island and visited lots of places including La Habana, Viñales, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Matanzas and Varadero a stunning beach town, which was perfect for recharging at the end of the trip.
We love to plan our own adventures and organized everything ourselves, with the help of Lonely Planet, we couldn’t have been happier. We discovered amazing places, drove around in really old cars and had some of the best daiquiris ever!
My girlfriend and I visited Apulia, a region in south Italy. We rented a car and explored the areas cities, beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters. It was a stunning and relaxing area that I’d highly recommend.
Pol Batlló Casadesús
New York City, United States
My girlfriend and I got some friends together and rented an apartment in Brooklyn, New York for a month. I rented a co-working space and continued to work remotely four days a week, giving myself some long weekends to enjoy the city.
There was an absolute ton of things to do, not just in NYC, but all of it’s surrounding areas, even down to Washington DC. NYC is such a diverse place, it can be a new city every day. We ended up living in a way we never expected, like a local.
Road Trip Across the Austrian Alps
I’ve been living in many places around the world for the past 10 years and have very much enjoyed each and every one of them. However, there’s one place I really feel at home: the Alps.
My dad first took me climbing when I was a toddler and since then I have developed a deep love for nature, tranquillity and peace that can only be found high up in the mountains. Sometimes it feels like playing a part in the story of The Lord of the Rings.
So this year, and for the first time, my wife and I went to the Alps together, so we could share everything I love about it. We went on a two-week road trip in my van and explored caves and gorges, climbed up high mountain peaks or just relaxed by a mountain lake with its ice cold water from the glaciers.
Taking a break from the busy city of Barcelona, my girlfriend and I decided to visit Menorca in the Balearic Islands. It’s stunning beaches we’re a great place to relax and unwind.
Where Will 2017 Take Us?
Now 2017 has settled in, we’re looking forward to all of the adventures and opportunities that await. Our web team lead Fran will be returning to Barcelona after 15 months of working remotely and our CEO Stefan is currently accompanying his wife on a sabbatical from her job as a human rights lawyer in Africa.
Further down the pipeline, we’re organising working retreats for the whole company, including locations such as Australia, Japan and places a little close to home like Menorca.
As you can probably tell, we’re a team that likes to travel. We believe great work/life balance includes time off without limitations and the opportunity to work from wherever in the world. We’re not just an agency though. We develop awesome products like Bugfender which help other developers to create the best possible applications they can.