Often the magic of a trip is in the moments in-between. Its the personal neuroses you share as the barriers break down over the 6th beer. It’s singing wheels on the bus and painting nails with a bunch of 3 year olds. Its screwing up your best card trick while everyone is watching and playing it off with panache. Its the warning before a lightning talk that this slide deck must never leave this room and will self destruct in … 10, 9, 8 … and knowing who’s presenting, you know he’s not kidding. You can get to know people pretty well with IM & skype video. You have regular conversation. You share stories. Thought, despite all the amazing innovations of this digital era, you still need to meet people face-to-face.
Peter nailed it.
If you lean off the balcony, you can see Land’s End, where two oceans meet. Julie & I walk down to the sand following our daughter as she practices her skipping. It is early morning and the sun is cresting over the ocean. Sassy (that’s my little lady) throws her sandals off, grabs her sand toys and settles down for a proper castle building session. We ease into seats next to Reid and Darcie, after sharing hugs with everyone. Chillaquilles Rojos please – my favorite breaky ever. The horse trading starts with the partners trying to decide what to do during the 1/2 day work-session and when they could break us free to go play. Another fabulous breakfast completed, sunscreen applied, plans to go snorkeling and paddle boarding arranged for later, and we grab the crew to kick off the days session. Hot tub, check. Laptops, check. Apple Care, check. Bring on the wisdom.
Let Me Break This Down For You
Each year (except last year as we were so overwhelmed with the influx of new babies) we take our core team somewhere warm and tropical to hang out and talk shop. We are a distributed team and often this is our first chance to meet face to face with new and even long time team members. It is a family event and most people bring the whole clan. We’ve been on easy trips to places like Hanalei, Hawaii & here in to Cabo San Lucas. Two years ago brought us to Sayulita, Mexico – a bit of an adventure as we had to ford rivers and drive up some pretty intense dirt and gravel roads to hit the chick little hotel we took over. The dancing horses, mariachis, fresh made churros and fun small surf made it all worthwhile. El Salvador, where our surf rack included 4 boards and 2 shotguns was a whole other story, and the island we rented in Panama was quite bad ass. I love these trips. We so deeply believe that the entire purpose of being in business for yourself is to shape the life you imagine. We’ve shaped Modern Tribe to deliver that. I love the adventure! And if no one gets pregnant in the next few month, I think we are due for a proper adventure on the next team trip.
L’Chaim, Good Food and Fun To You
Daniel wins the contest for most brutal trip, weighing in at 43 hours due to a missed flight with an 8 month old little lass. It is a good thing that he gets to put the somewhat mighty dollar to work while living in Argentina. We sit down for an hour, with our feet in the hot tub and look at architectural plans for the 3,000 sq ft home they are about to start construction on.
The fish tacos are good. Especially the smoked marlin taco, which is a whole culinary experience unto itself. A group peels off for an afternoon to take a traditional Mexican chili cookoff course. Chorizo making. Stuffed peppers omelet thing was yummy. We hit the supermarket on the way back. They have a band in the market and a guy on a loud speaker pitching products.
The team talks are timeless. You see, you’ve got 10 minutes to teach us something… Go!
Peter gives us a tour of creating digital music using an ipad. We groom a horse with Leah, taste a flight of wine with Ryan & explore human memory hacking with Tim. Sassy decides to join me for my talk and we dive into the basic of real estate investing. Kyle clowns it up, followed by baroque music theory as a parallel to code design patterns by Jonathan, beer brewing with Lucas, and love and communication with Brad. We are lead through the journey of Rob’s food truck experiment, and why not to start your own. We really dig deep and examine motivation as we go from couch to marathon with Reid. We promised not tell you about Daniel’s, suffice to say that it was ridiculously funny. You should be here. Come the next zombie apocalypse, I have the edge up.
After a bunch of debate between a drinking bacchanalia on a pirate ship and a full seafood catered dinner and bonfire on the beach, the booze cruise looses out. The food is a remarkable surprise. All you can eat jumbo shrimp, steak, lobster, marlin, chicken, and vegetables. The kids run around, well most crawled, and I fire up the beach bonfire. Someone offers pink strawberry marshmallows. Not half bad. The families with young kids slowly peel off to leave the die hards and me, as my wife is being super awesome. We pull up two pineapples and grill them. I coat one in marshmallows and create a crisp candy shell. In the background the bar tender pours fire from his bottles while drunks shout in glee.
To Good Friends
Something must be in the water. For some reason, perhaps due to the youth of our industry, or the distributed nature of our endeavor, we keep hitting similar life milestones throughout the team. Despite a 12 year age window, we had 7 babies on the team in 2012. Those babies sure do change the dynamic of these trips. And yet, the more things change, the more they stay the same. I’m surrounded by artful people who really care about building great things. They are happy, helpful, curious and accountable. I am grateful.
To great families, to kind people, to awesome teams living the life. And to a new adventure next year…
Curious about why we do this crazy and expensive jaunt abroad? Peter laid it out nicely in our second annual retreat summary.