Together once again
Finally, it was time to see each other in person for the first time since 2019. Before Covid hit, we used to have a meetup twice a year, and during the pandemic, our team changed a lot, so roughly half the team had never seen each other in person. We were therefore very excited to finally spend some time together and fortunately, almost everyone was able to make it. We chose Seaton Carew in the UK and we were not disappointed! A beautiful sea view was welcoming us in the morning and a long beach promenade prompted plenty of walks, where we would discuss a big variety of topics (from global warming to favourite pizza).
We wanted to make the most of our time, so we held 2 meetings a day, discussing various topics, then at night we would cook and eat together, and do some activities. We went bowling, played charades, participated in a local beach clean up and also few members of our team were brave enough to go for a swim in the rather cold sea.
Before the meetup, we also talked about how to reduce the carbon footprint. Unfortunately, it was not possible for some team members to choose a different method of transportation than plane, however, I think we did a decent job ( Corstian chose to come on a bike from the Netherlands, UK folks chose the train, and Ondrej chose to take a car all the way from the Czech Republic). This also prompted a discussion, where we decided that our future meetups will have not only a monetary budget, but a carbon footprint budget as well.
There were a few challenges as well, the biggest one perhaps was to try to make the meetings work for people who weren't able to physically come. They would join us on zoom, however, it wasn't optimal, as they couldn't participate in some activities. So that is definitely something we have to think about and try to make better in future meetups.
Overall it was an amazing experience, which brought us closer together. I was also pleasantly surprised, that although I haven't met most of the team yet, it felt like I knew them well and I felt like I was surrounded by friends and I am looking forward to the next meetup already.