07.09.2022, 06:15. Sunrise over Berlin. While my cab is still speeding along the Autobahn towards the airport, the plane containing the first StackFuel travel group disappears into the clouds above me. Five eventful days lie ahead of us, even if we are still too tired to guess what the future holds. It all started with a birthday and a surprise invitation to a team vacation.
StackFuel turned five years old in May 2022. Some of us have been helping the company grow from the beginning, while others have only been involved for a short time or are even starting their jobs in the near future. Nevertheless, all of us without exception were invited by our founders Leo Marose (CEO) and Stefan Berntheisel (CTO) on this very special company trip.
Five days in Mallorca for five successful years of dedicated work, which for StackFuel were accompanied by strong growth and unbroken team spirit. Not only were we to celebrate that in the five days in the picturesque north of Mallorca at Playa de Muro, we were also to strengthen it even further.
Not just a run-of-the-mill corporate trip
“This is not an offsite or a teambuilding activity. This is a vacation.” With these words Leo Marose greeted the team on the first evening in the hotel bar, convincing even the final doubters among us to close their cellphone inbox. From this point on, an almost forgotten feeling set in, which we were still familiar with from school trips: genuine togetherness.
We all spent our days together individually, but never alone. While we had arranged some activities in advance, there were plenty of opportunities for spontaneity. Whether water polo, tennis matches, bicycle tours, early morning rounds of jogging or midnight swimming excursions. Even between the planned excursions, our Data Nerds were unstoppable.
The events organized by our own planning team, which the team could opt into, offered very special memories. On the second day, we sailed the high seas together. From Port d’Alcúdia we started our boat trip, swam in the open sea and circumnavigated Cap de Formentor, the northernmost point of Majorca.
Others explored Alcúdia’s old town by bike during this time and cooled off in the shade of the famous city wall. The evening brought further excitement as we were allowed to solve murder cases at the humid whodunnit dinner, under the motto “Nerdy Summer”.
The third day was more adventurous. We were taken by jeep to a nearby rocky bay, where we paddled in kayaks to a nearby cave for us to explore. After a cliff jump, we snorkeled for a hidden treasure chest past schools of fish and sea urchins. Those who didn’t join the adventure tour enjoyed cooling off in the pool or went hiking in the nearby mountains.
In the afternoon, there were two wine tasting sessions with regional specialties and the opportunity for a short horseback ride. In the evening, we put our heads together for StackFuel Quiz Night. Some people’s heads were spinning, others flexed their muscles and proved their stamina in sporting tasks. Those who still had energy left explored Alcúdia’s party scene and turned night into day.
Sleep or no sleep, some headed out on a big tour early the next day. We ventured by bus into the mountains to picturesque Valdemossa, where we enjoyed café con leche, horchata, a sweet and cinnamony drink made from almonds, and the typical potato cake coca de patata. The trip then took us up the dizzying switchbacks of the Mallorcan coast to Soller, where we took the historic streetcar to the town’s picturesque harbor.
Meanwhile, the majority of the Data Nerds spent an enjoyable day on a catamaran. There was plenty of opportunity during a stop in a secluded bay for trying out water sports, simply sunbathing on deck, or feasting on freshly-grilled delicacies at the buffet.
Under the motto “Blue Night” we gathered for our final evening together. We shared our best moments and highlights of the team vacation and got carried away clapping to the duck dance of the mini-disco.
Beyond the beautiful vacation pictures
It’s true what they say. A photo is often worth a thousand words. And yet there are things that photos can’t capture. It’s the many conversations, laughs and moments with colleagues that I and the entire team will remember.
After several lockdowns and the comforts of the home office, this was the first time we were together in such large numbers as a team. And not just for one evening, but for several days at once. At first, we were unsure whether so much closeness and time together might overwhelm us after a such a long time spent apart. But the opposite was the case.
What we are left with after our streetcar vacation is a sense of community. In other situations, I would apologize for the slightly kitsch tone of my words. Here, however, it is appropriate precisely because it is sincere. For this reason, I decided against presenting you with a factual account of our time in Mallorca. I could not have formally described what in reality was primarily one thing: personal.
I am therefore especially grateful to have gotten to know my colleagues in such a personal way. From the trainees to still unknown and new team members to the StackFuel founders. I have taken you all to my heart in the last days and I am so happy to be a part of our unique StackFuel family.
A special thanks
Not complaining is praise enough? No, we don’t live by that motto. Therefore, I would like to conclude by thanking a few people on behalf of the team.
First and foremost, thank you to our organizing team, who not only took care of the flight and hotel, but also the activities on site, and patiently responded to all questions and requests.
Thanks to all who captured the trip for us with photos and videos. Especially Dimitri Henning, who could not be separated from his camera.
Leo and Stefan, you deserve thanks not only for inviting us to five unforgettable days in Mallorca, but also for bringing us together as a StackFuel family and keeping the team spirit high.
Thank you to everyone who was there. The biggest highlight was getting to know you all better and spending time with you. I am looking forward, as you probably are, to continuing this in Berlin!
Last but not least, thanks to the friendly and service-oriented hotel team of the Grupotel Amapola. Your show interludes, your bar service, catering packages and the cheese fountain will remain positively in our memories for a long time.
The next vacation
…who knows when we will take off together again? One thing is clear, though: if you want to be part of it and you’re not a member of our team yet, be sure to check out our open positions. Our StackFuel family is always growing and we’d love for you to get involved.