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In Honor of World Mental Health Day

A few months ago, our fearless leader, Ania Smith, announced that she was mandating a company-wide, week-long vacation for employees from October 11-15. It also happened to coincide with World Mental Health Day on October 10. Coincidence? We think not.

As a “people first” company, the message was clear: we care deeply about our employees’ well-being and will take action to give them the support they need.

Because most everyone was off during the same time, we didn’t worry about returning to a backlog of work and truly enjoyed our vacations! Check out what we did!

Ariel  – Bend, Oregon

Glacial Lake in Oregon

It’s officially fall in Bend, OR. The sun is out, the air is crisp and the leaves are changing colors – so I spent as much time as possible enjoying the great outdoors during my week off. My favorite activity was hiking the Broken Top Crater Trail. From snowy mountain peaks to a deep blue glacial lake, this hike served up all the views! It was amazing to have time off to reset and recharge in nature.

Natasha – London, UK

A bridge in Venice, Italy

I managed to spend the week off, traveling around Venice, Italy and the surrounding areas. I had the opportunity to relax, eat amazing pasta, enjoy some lovely Italian wine and take in the sights! I traveled with a friend and started off in Venice – immediately felt like we were in another world, as the only methods of transport available are walking or via boat! After a gondola ride, St Marks Square and walking the Rialto Bridge, we traveled to another island Burano (where this photo was taken), which was super relaxing and so colorful! What made the trip more relaxing is the knowledge that most of my colleagues were also able to enjoy this time, so nobody was waiting on me to deliver or project or respond to an email straight away.

Sruthi – Santa Clara, CA

Seal watching in Oakland

The break was a great chance for me to spend some intentional time with my daughter. She is 7 months old and giving her my undivided attention was an absolute luxury. We spent our time Halloween shopping, pumpkin patch hopping, taking our dog Leo to a local lake, meeting some friends for brunch, and mostly making my husband jealous of our weekday adventures.

Jo – London, UK

Biking in the UK

I thoroughly enjoyed a wellness week with some time to focus on me! I went to a beautiful English country house hotel in Somerset where a friend and I enjoyed massages, facials, delicious food, swimming in an outdoor heated pool, and cycling around the countryside (including getting a little lost due to my inability to read a map ). It was fantastic to take time to step away from normal life and also know that the rest of my team was all doing the same and enjoying a well-deserved break.

Stephania – Staten Island, NY

Alpaca farm in New York

My week-long time off from work was super relaxing. I took advantage of the crisp fall weather in New York City to spend more time outdoors and significantly less time on-screen. The highlight of the week was driving an hour outside of the city to visit an Alpaca Farm that has been on my radar for years. I was guided through the alpaca pens with the opportunity to feed and pet all the members of the herd. Following the tour, I explored the farm further by taking an alpaca on a walk. It was so therapeutic to spend the day with these lovely furry animals!

Paola – London, UK

Granddaughter and grandmother

I went back to Italy and saw my grandmother after the lockdown (haven’t seen her for 2 years), traveled around northern Italy, spent amazing quality time celebrating my niece’s 2nd birthday and my pre-birthday celebrations with family and friends.

Meredith – Philadelphia, PA

Art museum

My week off was great! It started with my birthday over the weekend. It’s always nice when your company gives you a week off for your birthday, right? My husband took me to this cool restaurant in South Philly, Cafe Victor, that serves amazing Italian food with a flair. All of their servers are classically trained Opera singers who serenade you while you eat. Pasta, wine and an aria? Sign me up!

Then my parents came for a visit and we got to be tourists in our own city. We explored center city Philadelphia visiting the historic sites in Old City like Elfreth’s Alley, Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. We also headed to NYC one day for an action-packed day full of visits to the Tenement Museum, the MoMA and more, before ending the evening with a Broadway show. This musical lover is so happy Broadway is back open again, and we loved every minute of TINA – The Tina Turner Musical. It was Simply the Best!

Jackie – Los Angeles, CA

Bart's Books Ojai, CA

I got to indulge by spending some time with a college friend in Ojai, CA – one of my favorite places in the world. Ojai is a small retreat town that has managed to avoid big chains, making it feel like another world unto itself. My dear friend and I spent quality time chatting, eating and walking around downtown Ojai. After, I went to visit my sister in St. Louis with my family (whom I missed dearly after about 12 hours away!).   

 

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