I​n February of this year, I set out on a 13 hour flight from London Heathrow to Changi Airport for a week long trip. As the Marketing Executive for Aspire APAC, I work remotely for the Singapore office from Birmingham in the UK; this would be my first time visiting, and my first time meeting my colleagues face to face!

One of the main reasons for me coming at this time was because the company’s offsite was happening. Admittedly, when I first thought ‘work trip’, images of awkwardly forced team building exercises came to mind; I expected Aspire’s offsite to be much of the same.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

For starters, how many companies take their staff to a private Indonesia island for the weekend?

Our destination was Pulau Joyo, a secluded tropical island with blue waters and white sandy beaches. The more I looked up pictures of it, the more the excitement began to build; as someone from Birmingham, England, it looked like paradise!

When the day eventually rolled around for us to go to Joyo, our first point of call was Tanah Merah Terminal in Singapore, where we would catch a two hour ferry to Bintan Island, Indonesia. This would be just the start of a long journey which would involve a bus, a jetty boat and a speedboat!

However, when we saw the island, it was all worth it. Imagine your typical image of a tropical desert island, and you would be pretty close! Of course, we had staff ready to look after our every need, so we could hardly call it deserted! After being greeted by said staff with welcome drinks, we were whisked off to our huts; mine was right at the beach!

We were given plenty of free time at the island; most of us spent the first day exploring the island, beaches, and of course, the pool! For someone who does plenty of wildlife photography, Joyo was a haven of lizards, snakes and birds, many of which stopped by the pool to cool off! After we had settled into the island, we were able to go paddle boarding, snorkelling and kayaking!

Aside from the free time we had for the rest of trip, we also had some group activities. Don’t worry, they weren’t the awkward interactions I mentioned before; instead, they were short and sweet, and a lot of fun for even the newest member of the team.

Our first task was to film a video for Aspire; splitting into two teams, we did yoga, trust falls and diving, all in the name of Aspire!

Our second task was a treasure hunt; this time in three teams, we had to build sandcastles, write Aspire in the sand, and of course find the hidden chest!

When it was eventually time for us to pack our things and leave, you can image how we felt. However, our farewells were made sweeter when we think that next year, we can do it all again!

If you want to join in on the fun next year, you should check out our careers website for our latest opportunities!