Three plus years have come and gone here at AppCentrica, and with it we have come to an interesting point in our company’s history: Mini-Retirements.
After every three years of service at AppCentriica, our full-time employees are granted a stipend of money and an extended vacation (minimum four consecutive weeks) to go do something they wouldn’t normally be able to.
Over the years, we have all dreamed and talked about what we would do with our time off. Big international travel, visiting family you haven’t seen in decades, spending time with kids/newborns, volunteering locally or abroad, or even just shutting off the smartphone for a month at the cottage; ideas that have run the gamut of our collective personalities. The goal has always been simple: give our staff the opportunity, the means, and the support to expand their horizons, get away from work, decompress, and recharge.
“You can’t do a good job if your job is all you do” – Artifact Uprising
Last year, Ken was the first to take his mini-retirement and spent five weeks – the longest stretch he’s had since he was a teenager – with his family in Japan. This past spring two of our Senior Consultants – Herrick and Patrick – were also able to take their mini-retirements and check a few things off of their respective travel bucket lists.
Herrick chose to spend his time exploring South America, specifically Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. The allure of vibrant and colourful cities, diverse range of foods and culture, and stunning natural landscapes made time fly by quickly. Trekking over 100km through the beautiful landscape of Patagonia, spanning across Chile and Argentina brought upon weak and extremely fatigued legs but absolutely stunning photo shoots and a handful of new friends from across the world to share the experience with, along with plenty of ‘beverages’.
Traveling in a 4×4 vehicle through unmarked desserts, mountains and salt flats in Bolivia was stunning. The highlight would have to be Salar De Uyuni; the world’s largest salt flat, the way that the sky and clouds reflected perfectly on the wet salt flats were absolutely gorgeous! Unfortunately time flew by and it was time to return home, but Herrick definitely expects to visit South America again to see various other cities and to experience all that there is to offer.
Fellow globe-trotter Patrick decided that his mini-retirement would be spent on safari through South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Often reality can’t live up to the preconceived vision we have about certain places or experiences, but a safari in Africa was not one of those times. It was grander, more beautiful, and more memorable than Patrick had thought it would be, even after some 28,000 kms on planes, trucks, and boats. Elephants, lions, giraffes, zebra, rhinos, leopards, kudu, wildebeest, hippos, monkeys, hyenas… The list goes on and on, and each one was as interesting as the one before it (ok, maybe not after 1,000 zebras).
Truly wild animals and stunning scenery aside, even more incredible and perhaps less expected were the extremely friendly, gracious people that were met every step of the way. From fellow travelers, to local guides, to villagers and people who would greet you on the street, everyone had a smile on their face and was happy to talk to a complete stranger. We hear lots of stories about Africa through the media, largely painting it in a negative light. It’s a shame that more light isn’t cast on the people that make it a truly wonderful place. Patrick already has plans to return to see other areas of Africa he couldn’t get to in his time there.
As AppCentrica continues to grow, we look forward to having many more of our staff get to live out some of their dreams, and bring back stories and experiences which we can all relish in and be inspired by.