Yamas! This year’s restorative week was well spent in the beautiful country of Greece. One of our very own, Emily Stevens (check out the new last name!), celebrated her wedding week in Santorini, and the whole Seventh Scout team was lucky enough to be invited!
First of all, you may be asking…what is restorative week? This is the 3rd year we have completely shut the agency down for a week to restore, relax, and reflect. Inspired by our friends at HubSpot, taking a week to unplug helped with employee burnout and mental health. According to a survey by McKinsey, “Employee burnout is ubiquitous, alarming—and still underreported.” More telling, however, is the lack of participation in this survey. Burnout is so bad in the workforce that employees are too overwhelmed to participate in a survey or have left the workforce entirely, rendering them unable to participate in a burnout survey.
To learn more about restorative week and the story behind what this means to us, check out this past blog.
In Santorini, we celebrated the marriage of Emily and Jake. Santorini was chosen as their story began there 7 years ago when they both studied abroad in Greece through an international program at Washington State University. Heading back to Greece for their wedding was a full circle moment! Our team had the opportunity to support Emily by creating and designing the wedding website, the welcome bags, and informational brochures that were gifted to guests. Seventh Scout is so grateful to have been involved in a piece of the wedding, and for the time traveling abroad together to celebrate her and Jake.
Below, each Scout has shared their top takeaway from restorative week, a recommendation in Greece, and some photos from their trip! Enjoy a little behind the scenes view into our unforgettable trip to Santorini, Greece.
Restorative Week Takeaway: Can you really leave work behind when you are the only one who is taking time off? I can’t. But what if your entire company takes the same week off AND all of your clients are told weeks in advance that you all would be offline at the same time. In fact, this is an annual tradition and is communicated to each new client at onboarding. Welcome to Restorative Week. Now in it’s third year, I return from restorative week excited to return to work and with a more holistic view of our work for our clients. The time seems to always reset my focus from working “in the business” to working “on the business.” It has been transformative for me and our team.
Greece Recommendation: See the Santrorini sunset from the water and skip the crowds in Oia. Hat tip to our wedding couple, Emily and Jake. They arranged for a private catamaran charter for the entire wedding party. We anchored at multiple scenic places to jump in an swim, snorkel, and even cannonball the day away. The cruise ended with a greek dinner and front row sunset view. Oia is gorgeous…and everyone knows it. Skip the crowds, get out on the water, and lose yourself in the setting sun.
Restorative Week Takeaway: While I didn’t get much rest during my restorative week considering I was busy with bride duties, it wasn’t lost on me how special it was to have my entire team there to support my husband and I. Being part of a team that supports every aspect of your life, not just the work side, is so incredibly special.
Greece Recommendation: Stay in or near the town or Fira/Thira or Kamari to avoid the waves of groups from cruise ship in Oia. Visit Armeni Fish Tavern in the bay of Oia for the freshest seafood you’ll ever have! You can trek the hike down to the location, or get a private boat transfer to the restaurant where you eat with waves from the sea splashing right on you. Book in advance via OpenTable! Rent an ATV. ATVs are the best (and most affordable!) way to see the island. We suggest Moto Kosas!
Restorative Week Takeaway: In years past my restorative week experiences had been much more staycation-y, so it was quite a big difference to travel to another continent and spend the week with the Seventh Scout team. It was incredible to spend the week in such a beautiful location celebrating Emily and Jake’s wedding, and while there were lots of activities and events, there was also time to relax, unwind, and reflect. I spent the final few days of the trip by myself in Athens, which was a great way to intentionally reset and recharge before returning to “real life.”
Greece Recommendation: The island of Santorini is so beautiful! The cliffside capital of Fira was fun to explore with its shops, restaurants, and hilly, winding streets and pathways. Watching the sunset over the underwater caldera (volcanic crater) from the top of Fira’s cliffs was magical. The chill vibe of the beachside town of Kamari, with its black sand beaches, was great too. Seeing archaeological sites and ruins, and visiting the National Archaeological Museum and the Acropolis Museum in Athens were also wonderful experiences.
Restorative Week Takeaway: Spending Restorative week in Greece this year was an unreal experience that I will never forget! Last restorative week, I spent in Austin by myself and explored the city. Although I loved being home and resting, spending time with the team in Greece was the best restorative and special experience yet. As a team, I am so thankful that we are there for one another in these exciting shifts of life!
Greece Recommendation: Greece was magical and I can’t recommend Santorini enough. Our hotel “The Majestic Hotel,” was honestly one of my favorite parts of the trip. Being all together in one spot with fantastic meals and easy access to downtown Thira was awesome. Another favorite memory is the sunset cruise, being able to travel around the island and see the cliffs/views from the ocean was beautiful.
Restorative Week Takeaway: Initially, I was in a mad dash to get everything done in preparation for being out of the office, but once I removed myself from the daily grind, I got a moment to breathe. The positivity that comes from Restorative Week is truly indescribable. Trust me, your mind, body, and soul will thank you for taking that time to disconnect.
Kamari is a must! While the entire island is filled with exciting things to do, see and experience, it was nice to spend a day at a slower pace. With less travelers, Kamari is much more relaxing. Located along the Black Sand Beach, there tons of shops, restaurants, and bars. It was fun to get a bit and a drink and relax along the beach for the afternoon. Plus, Kamari has the most beautiful sunrises each morning. Me and my sister had the best time here!
More Moments in Greece
Appreciation for the beautiful photos!
Emily Popchock Photography really knows how to capture the moment! Emily and Andrew Popchock are not only incredibly talented behind the camera, but also a complete joy to have around.
Thank you, Emily, for all of your hard work and for bringing your wonderful personality during the week. You’ve truly made it all the more memorable!