Once per quarter, everyone at The Remote Company can take a paid day off to explore their passions. Discover how team TRC takes these "creative days" to the next level.December 23, 2021
Another year is coming to an end… and I think everyone agrees that there are a lot of items left unchecked on our 2021 to-do lists.
I had big plans for a European road trip. Starting in Portugal I’d drive in a huge loop, pass through places like France, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech Republic and go wherever else the road took me.
Suffice it to say, that trip hasn’t happened… yet!
Though certain unnamed global events (rhymes with “shmandemic”) may have kept us from crossing certain items off our bucket lists, with a new year comes fresh opportunities! Let’s not retreat into our comfort zone, but make a promise to step out of it in 2022.
Once per quarter, everyone at The Remote Company can take a paid creative day to explore their passions—and many people did something they’ve always wanted to do! If you’re after inspiration, look no further. Here are 12 ways to inspire your own bucket list. →
I’m not saying you should jump off a cliff, but that’s exactly what Support Manager, Harmony, did on one of her creative days.
“I had my creative day last week, and I decided to try something totally new and out of my comfort zone... paragliding! 🪂
A few weeks ago, I found out that the woman who owns the house I'm living in just happens to be a paragliding instructor for a local company. So when she offered to take me paragliding for a really good price, I knew my creative day would be the perfect day to do it. 🙌
"It was a little scary running off the edge of a cliff, knowing that the wind is the only thing keeping you from falling to your death. But once I was in the air, it was amazing!"Harmony, Support Manager
It was so freeing, and the views were incredible. 🏔”
Where: GForce Paragliding, Queenstown NZ
Price: From $199 NZD ($135.55 USD)
Fellow Content Writer, Meg B, used her creative day to celebrate her birthday in Paris.
“I took a creative day for my birthday. 🎉
I kickstarted the day with a very Paris-appropriate birthday cake (aka pain au chocolats with candles), and got an amazing stash of books—hopefully, they'll last me until my next birthday. 📚
After breakfast, we went to the Picasso Museum. 👩🎨 Right now, they're doing an exhibition about Picasso and the sculptor Rodin (who's famous for his "The Thinker" sculpture). It was fascinating to see how Rodin inspired some of Picasso's work.
One of the concepts that really stood out to me was "non-finito"—the idea of leaving the art unfinished, on purpose. There were several sculptures where it looked as if the artist had simply stopped halfway.
I've been writing my own novel for years now, and this Picasso quote reminded me to find the beauty in the process—rather than constantly wishing for the end result. 😌
"To finish a work? [...] What nonsense! To finish it means to be through with it, to kill it, to rid it of its soul."Pablo Picasso
That evening, we went to a restaurant called Le Ciel de Paris. It was so magical to see the whole city spread out like a map beneath us—a perfect end to a perfect day.”
Where: Musée National Picasso, Paris
Price: Museum entry €14.00 ($15.87 USD)
Partnership Manager, Jess, pushed herself to the limit one creative day by climbing the largest volcanic mountain in the Canary Islands.
“This has been my toughest hike to date, but a challenge that I greeted with excitement. Even at such an early hour, 2:15 am, I awoke with ease at the mere mention of our big adventure. Hiking the largest volcanic mountain in the Canary Islands, the third-largest in the world and also the highest mountain of Spain, the Teide with its 3718m of altitude. 🌋
We hit the trailhead at 4:00 am ready for a great day. We hiked under the spectacular starry sky with a bright moon lighting our way, talked about important things like what to have for lunch, tried to take pictures in the dark, and wondered what animals we’d meet on the way up.
We’ve been hiking an easy 1-hour loop trail until we reached the more demanding summit hike, which was harder than expected. A very long tour at altitude with an ascent of over 1300m. It goes up very steeply over rocks and boulders, for 3.5 hours. 🤯
After an hour my legs were killing me. I realized my condition sucks, especially when other (older) hikers overtook me. We carried on in the same fashion for the next two hours. Hard breathing, less and less fun getting higher.
"I cried a little on the way up, but I was committed to going all the way. I wanted to sit on the top of Spain and watch the sunrise."Jess, Partnership Manager
Of course, my legs wouldn’t obey and we did not reach the summit on time, but we still had an amazing view and enjoyed the sunrise at an altitude of ~ 3300m. We continued the hike, fought the steep and rocky trail, which was even steeper over small paths and lava rocks for the last 800m, but eventually, we found our place at the top.
We were rewarded with an amazing view of a beautiful sunny day above the cloud line. Due to the early hour there was no traffic on the mountain. It gave us an opportunity to sit and talk, and soak up the beauty that surrounded us.”
Where: Mount Tiede, Tenerife
Is there anything more fulfilling than overcoming one of your biggest fears? That’s exactly what Senior Support Manager, Sabina, did when she took a free-diving course for her creative day.
“On my creative day, I faced my fears by taking a free-diving course on Nusa Lembongan Island (just off the coast of Bali).
I’ve been living by the ocean for a while, always mesmerized by it—yet always keeping myself by the surface. Even though depth intimidates me, shallow living is not my thing. Expanding my comfort zone is… and a creative day is a perfect opportunity to do just that!
"No yoga class, sound healing nor meditation has ever achieved the magic that I experienced while free-diving."Sabina, Senior Support Manager
What started as panic attacks after a 30-second static breath-hold in the pool turned into a life-changing experience. Even though my tired ears did not allow me to get fully certified this time, I am beyond grateful that my body and mind have taken me this far. During the course I learned more about mindfulness than I have from any self-help book or TED talk.”
Where: Blue Corner Freedive, Nusa Lembongan
Price: From $105 USD
Content Writer, Amy, spent her first creative day exploring the quiet, idyllic Troodos mountains of Cyprus.
“Friday was my first creative day, and I combined it with Thursday, which was a public holiday in Cyprus, to go and stay in a village in the Troodos mountains.
The village we stayed in is called Pedoulas; it lies at 1,100 meters above sea level and is part of the Marathasa valley—one of the most popular regions for people to visit in the mountains, known for its fertile land and wonderful cherries. We stayed in a traditional stone house with gorgeous views overlooking the mountain.
The weather was beautiful, so we were able to do some exploring!
"About 30 meters away from the house was an old church, built in 1474 and a UNESCO world heritage site."Amy, Content Writer
Although it looks more like a house than a church with its wooden roof, the style is actually typical of the area. We went for a walk around the village, which was so quiet that the only thing you could hear was the sound of your own footsteps and the birds chirping.
We finished the day off at a small restaurant in the neighbouring village of Kalopanayiotis. The restaurant is run by a husband and wife, has just a few tables and overlooks the village. The menu is handwritten in a notebook and changes every weekend—the food was great!
The mountains in Cyprus show a completely different side of the country, so if you ever visit I definitely recommend going there!”
Where: Pedoulas, Cyprus
Support Shift Lead, Silvestras, took a creative day to embark on a trip into the history of Mexico City.
“I spent a creative day in Mexico City exploring Chapultepec Castle and the best museum in the city: Museo Nacional de Antropologia.
"The castle is situated on a hill overlooking Mexico City and was a sacred place for Aztecs. The views up there are amazing!"Silvestras, Support Shift Lead
The castle served many purposes during its history, such as Emperor Maximilian’s residence as well as being home to many Mexican presidents.
The museum is HUGE, 9th in the world by size, bigger than The British Museum. It exhibits significant archeological and anthropological artifacts from Mexico’s pre-Columbian heritage, like The Stone of the Sun (aka Aztec calendar stone).”
Where: Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico City
Price: Museum entry $80.00 MXN ($3.82 USD)
Creative days don’t have to be solo expeditions. Harmony teamed up with Sabina in Peru to take on the Inca Trail together.
“Sabina and I took creative days together! We decided to use it as one of four days we needed to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. 🙌
When we first met at the work-together event in Colombia a few months ago, we had no idea that we would end up doing this together!
Typically, the Inca trail needs to be booked months in advance, but because of Covid times, we were lucky enough to get a spot just a few weeks ahead.
It was incredibly challenging. 45km (28 miles) of intense hiking at high altitudes. A typical day saw us waking up at 4 am—and one day we hiked for 11 hours!
There were also no showers or even running water most nights (yes that means we didn't shower for 4 days... sexy right?) But it was amazing.
We both had our phones on airplane mode, so we were completely disconnected from the outside world while we immersed ourselves in fresh mountain air and the beautiful nature around us.
"We learned so much about ourselves, each other, and how much we could push ourselves outside of our comfort zones and come out stronger."Harmony and Sabina, Customer Support
We also learned so much about Peru, its beautiful culture, spirituality, and people.
It was a once in a lifetime experience. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to travel freely and experience things like this, and for the new friendships and bonds made.”
Where: Alpaca Expeditions, Inca Trail
Price: From $695 USD (4 days, 3 nights)
Our resident #foodie, Sthefani from People and Culture, checked one of the tastiest items off her bucket list—inspired by her favorite movie, “Chef”.
“The minute I arrived in Los Angeles on my creative day, I immediately went on a taco truck chase.
"Chef is one of my favorite movies, and Chef Roy Choi was a co-producer. So of course, I needed to try his Mexican-Korean food truck. It was truly amazing."Sthefani, People and Culture
Jon Favreau and Roy Choi have a show on Netflix together. If you’re a foodie too, you should definitely check it out.
Later, I went to a speakeasy called Black Rabbit Rose where they do magic shows and jazz sessions. So fun!”
Support Manager, Cesar, used his creative day to spend an action packed day in Playa Del Carmen.
“For my creative day, I decided to spend it with my brother. I hadn’t seen him in over a year because of the pandemic. So we spent the entire day in a nature park called Xplor and it was quite fun!
We arrived early in the morning and our first activity was a zip line with a hammock that throws you into a river.
Then we went on an underground expedition where we walked/swam with obstacles for over 3 kilometers.
"Then we drove ATVs through the jungle—we almost crashed like six times!"Cesar, Support Manager
And finally, we rafted down a naturally occurring underwater river. If you visit Yucatan, you must visit Xplor. I’m certainly coming back to visit the park soon!”
Where: Xplor theme park, Playa Del Carmen
Price: From $2,573 MXN ($122.90 USD)
You could walk a mile in someone’s shoes… or you could make your own! That’s what Support Operations Manager, Maria, did when she used a creative day to attend a sandal making workshop in Mallorca.
“For my creative day this quarter, I attended a workshop to make sandals. I simply loved it. The day starts by choosing materials, color and design. Then after some drawing, cutting and measuring we took a break to have a nice lunch.
After lunch we did lots of glueing, sanding and some sewing. Of course there were a few mistakes, burns and some swearing at the evil sanding machine..."
"11 hours later, I could proudly walk in my new pair of shoes.”Maria, Support Operations Manager
Where: Martina Candela, Mallorca
Price: €70 ($79.26 USD)
Ycode developer, Tristan, took a break from screens to explore the mountains on the French/Swiss border.
“I had my first creative day! I chose to spend it in the mountains of the Jura (e.g. a region east of France, this is basically 1 hour away from Geneva, Switzerland).
In the morning I went to visit a shop that specializes in making wooden furniture and home decorations, this is very typical for the region as it is at high altitude and there are a lot of chalets there (it’s great to hike in summer and to ski in winter).
It was a nice sunny day so I then went to eat with my family in a restaurant known to be “lost in the mountains''. We had a very good time eating outside, the food was great and we even treated ourselves to some nice desserts!
In the afternoon we went to walk in the mountains on a path leading to a water source (the water is flowing under the mountain and coming out on one side of it).
It was a very nice day, we walked along a few cows and even saw a few goats climbing the steep mountain side."
"It was great to feel and breathe the fresh air of the mountains during this hot summer time!"Tristan, Developer
Where: Jura region, France
Customer Support Manager, Abby, spent a romantic creative day with her husband… dangling off the side of a cliff. 😱
“I took my first creative day for a very special occasion: my third wedding anniversary! So the hubby was included in my plans.
We went to Gracias, Lempira, which is an emblematic colonial city about 4 hours from where I live. We visited a historical museum, beautiful churches, the colonial streets of the city and its green parks.
Then we went to Arcilaca hot springs where you can relax in over 5 pools of temperatures varying between 92 and 104 °F (33-40°C).
Finally, we decided to go canyoning, which is navigating down a fast flowing mountain stream within a gorge."
This is by far the most terrifying thing I’ve done. I had to descend with the instructor because I was panicking... but I made it!”Abby, Customer Support Manager
We hope our creative day adventures sparked ideas for your own bucket list! Practice your patience like Maria, push yourself to the limit like Jess, or hunt down your favorite food like Sthefani.
Satisfy your curiosity and seek out the discomfort that will allow you to grow.
What adventures will you add to your bucket list for 2022?
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