ABAX's number one goal is happy employees. It is proven that successful employees are happy. To be successful, employees need good quality training, which is why ABAX get everyone together in one location every 6 months, to integrate existing and new staff together. The theme of this kick off was Magic Moments and Team work.
Thursday morning saw 16 of us from ABAX UK pack our suitcases and travel to Oslo for the night to prepare for our next mornings flight to Evenes. From here it was a 3 hour coach journey to our destination, Lofoten, in Norway, to where we met our 220 colleagues from the other countries ABAX operates in.
On route to Lofoten, we stopped off for a break - where we were put into our department groups and the ice-breaker sessions began. I met the marketing team who I will be working closely with for the next year. Following this, we checked in at the Thon Hotel and attended the ABAX conference, where awards were given to employees and plans for the next 6 months were presented.
After a quick outfit change into our hiking boots and waterproofs we jumped on a bus, and headed to the mountain we were to hike up. Safe to say, it was the hardest thing I have ever done. As soon as I thought we were at the top, another peak would appear. However, knowing there was a refreshing Lofoten Beer waiting at the top for me, I pushed myself, and it was definitely worth it. The views were breath-taking!
But once you go up, you have to come down, and guess what... the rain began, which meant slippery surfaces and a twisted ankle! However, once we finally made it to the bottom, a teepee was waiting on the beach with a bonfire and a BBQ. The delicacy was whale, and, to my surprise, it was pretty tasty!
The next morning we were up bright and early for a day out on the sea. We were split into groups and spent our day on rib boats and fishing boats. Although we might have looked like minions, it was so fun and I conquered my fear of the sea and boats! My life did almost flash before my eyes on the fishing boat however, when we hit a gigantic wave and I and my wine bottle nearly ended up overboard into the sea!
After a full day at sea, we headed back to the hotel to make ourselves look presentable for the evening events. Fine dining and a show were on the cards! We were served some of Lofoten’s specialities, such as: crab soup, dried cod and lamb.
After the meal, the party began and the drinks were certainly flowing. There were definitely some sore heads the next morning as we travelled 3 hours back to Evenes Airport to catch our flight to Oslo. We then had a flight from Oslo to Heathrow, and a 2 hour coach back to the office. We finally made it home at 9pm. Safe to say Monday morning was a struggle!
What I have learned from this weekend is that stepping out of your comfort zone is challenging, but so rewarding.