It had only been 2 months since our last outpost, but we were all itching for another episode of everyone’s favorite company activity. For those of you who are new to our way of doing things, Motion Software’s regular team outposts are our way to get our fully-remote team together for a week of work and fun at exciting locations. You can also imagine it as team building on steroids that also includes recreating the office environment in a remote location somewhere close to nature. This time around, we chose the breathtaking scenery of the Kardzhali Dam in Southern Bulgaria as our background.
To say that the Kardzhali Dam is beautiful would be an understatement. It meanders around the breathtaking Eastern Rhodope mountains which gives it its truly magical vibe. The Kardzhali Dam boasts one of the highest dam walls in Europe (109m) and is among the largest water reservoirs in Bulgaria. It is also a wonderful location for sports, fishing trips and leisure thanks to its great bays, peninsulas and meadows along the banks. It is situated in the Arda river valley, only 3 km west from the town of Kardzhali.
This location is perfect for a workation, not only because of its sheer beauty, but also because of the peace and quiet it brings. It is so calm that it boosts your productivity and ability to focus on work tasks more so than any office setting. Especially if you don’t go there during the high season.
Our work settings
For our week of work and fun we chose Villa Utopia as our base. The hotel provided us with all necessary facilities to set up the most comfortable office for the week. Everyone who attended could choose the setting they wanted to work in, depending on their preferences. For those who fancied an office with a view, we had these wonderful terraces at our disposal:
We also had an indoor work setting which was a bit more social as it could accommodate more people.
There were also other, more tropical options:
When not working
As always, we indulged in a number of activities outside of working hours. For example, during the work week, we managed to visit “The Stone Wedding” – a natural phenomenon of rock formations that are 10m high and spread over an area of 50 acres.
We also embarked on a hike to the dam’s wall. We actually got lost during this hike, but thanks to our team’s efforts we finally found our way and were rewarded with some wonderful views.
The next day we did a hike that was even more magical thanks to a brief stop at a bridge on the way called “The Fox Rope Bridge”. It was then when our colleague Lazar started playing the bagpipes which happens to be a traditional instrument of this region. This was not only a treat for us, but also for everyone else passing by, including tourists and fishermen. They couldn’t get enough of it and so they asked Lazar to play some more.
The next day we went to Perperikon – an ancient Thracian city, dating back to 5000 BCE. It was really interesting to learn about the area and how it evolved over the centuries with the help of a local guide. Throughout this journey we were accompanied by the cutest dog. We named him Bobby.
In the evenings we treated ourselves to local restaurants offering traditional food from the Rhodope mountains.
Right after our trip to Perperikon, we had a barbecue dinner. This was also the first night of the official team building part of our week-long extravaganza. Our team building events are held on the weekends following our outposts. It’s when an even bigger part of the team joins the fun. Our first night together was a blast – loud music, partying, dancing and great food! Shout out to our heroes Viktor and Lazar who spent all evening doing the grilling for everyone else.
The next day we had planned a wide range of activities at the Kardzhali Dam. Our friends from Akasha Surf School were there to help us make the most of our day. They had also assisted us with one of our previous outposts at the Black Sea coast. They had prepared a competition with kayaks and also a game on land for those who didn’t want to get wet.
Before diving into the actual competition, we had a few training rounds to get us acquainted with the environment. Then, we were divided into two teams (“The Mice” and “The Lions”) and started a relay race. It was a very close one and it was hard to determine a winner without a photo finish, so we decided to play an extra round. Eventually, “The Lions” won the game on land, and therefore the whole competition.
To celebrate the end of a very fun activity, we opened a few bottles of champagne that we sprayed over everyone. We then went to eat at Emona Ship Restaurant – a Bulgarian ship from 1942, which, following a shipwreck, was transformed into a restaurant and found its permanent home next to the Kardzhali dam. Its unique story has made it one of Bulgaria’s “100 National Sights”.
In the afternoon, some of us headed out for another hike to the wall of the dam, while others preferred a boat ride on the dam while admiring the beautiful sunset – a perfect way to end this amazing and inspiring week.
” From start to finish, this outpost/teambuilding event as the new guy was certainly a blast! I am very honored to be now a part of Motion Software which values both professional growth, as well as the importance of having fun together on these kind of events. Without that, well…we are just yet another IT company. The attention to detail by the community leaders and thoughtful planning, truly made it a week to remember in Kardzhali. I was able to make some new friendships in no time, as well as work with my colleagues in person which was definitely invaluable to me. I am truly excited about the journey ahead with Motion, and the remarkable accomplishments we will be achieving together! “
– Victor Grigorov (Senior Marketing Specialist and Motion Software’s newest team member)
Motion Software is not just a company. It’s a lifestyle. If you feel like this is the type of work-life balance you need, check out our open positions.