1xCAMP Iceland - June 2022

5 min.
Group photo - 1xCAMP
1xINTERNET Team in Hveragerði

From the 16 - 19th of June 2022, the employees of 1xINTERNET met up in Hveragerði, Iceland for the first company-wide event since the pandemic began. We spent the weekend enjoying the 24 hours of daylight, sightseeing, hiking, bathing in thermal water, eating good food, drinking our specially produced 1x craft beer and spending quality time together. We were treated to Icelandic hospitality from our Icelandic colleagues and we got to experience this beautiful wild elemental country and we got to experience it TOGETHER.

Our company is growing rapidly and many of us had never met in person before, so this meet up was a much-needed experience. In the years since the pandemic began we have almost doubled in size. Yearly meetups are part of our remote culture but this hadn´t been allowed so 1xCAMP Iceland was a long awaited event. Out of 1xINTERNET’s 65 employees invited to Iceland, 53 were able to make to the camp. It was no easy task getting everyone there. We had people travelling from Spain, Germany and Romania and many had to take two flights to get to Iceland. There was a last minute flight cancellation and some delays to keep us all on our toes but in the end everyone made it.

On Thursday night, June 16th, we met for the first time at Ölverk Pizzeria and craft brewery. The owners gave us a presentation about the beers they brew, we sampled the beers and ate delicious pizza. This first meeting was quite incredible, faces on the screen became real people for the first time. Norman is much taller than you think. For one of our colleagues this was her first day at work. Can you imagine your first day at work sampling craft beers and eating pizza in Iceland?!

The next day we took a tour through the vast volcanic landscape arriving first to the Secret Lagoon, the oldest swimming pool in Iceland. We bathed in the geothermally heated sulphur rich water and marvelled at the boiling geysers nearby. Next stop was the Friðheimar tomato farm for lunch.This is a really unique place, Icelandic ingenuity at its finest, tomatoes grown year round using the sustainable energy of geothermal heat. Friðheimar are also clients of 1xINTERNET and we were treated to a fascinating presentation about the farm by the owner. It was a wonderful place to have lunch, in the greenhouse amongst the tomatoes with delicious tomato soup and crusty fresh bread. 

We also celebrated our dear colleague Albertos´ birthday, and in the now well established 1xINTERNET tradition we sang happy birthday in multiple languages, everyone's favourite being Majid who is now always requested to sing in Urdu. In the warmth of the greenhouse, surrounded by Icelandic tomatoes, there was a real sense of connection in this celebration; we have made 1xINTERNET traditions, we are sharing a special time together, we are a team.

After lunch we travelled on to the Gullfoss waterfall, which translates as “Golden Falls'' an incredible cascade of glacial water from the Hvítá river which descends into the Gullfossgjúfur canyon. Next we stopped at The Great Geysir, a spectacular eruption of boiling water and vapour in a beautiful landscape of rainbow colours. Iceland is aesome, off the scale otherworldly, and our incredible sightseeing day almost, almost led one to whisper “I can't take any more wildly impressive geological features today.”

I am still recounting the first day of our trip, and the party hadn't even started. We had a wonderful dinner. There was singing, piano, and dancing. Lots of dancing. 1xINTERNET team is a diverse and multi talented bunch, we were treated to moving performances by our dear RAVEN and there were talents revealed we hadn't known about. We all knew Artem will always apply a learned solution to a client feature request but we didn't know he can also choreograph a dance routine. The night never arrives so the party goes on. 24 hour hour light and 24 hour party people - do the Icelandic hibernate in winter to make up for the never ending summer party? One of those many Icelandic mysteries.

The icelandic cure for any ill effects felt from partying all night is to hike up a mountain and bathe in a hot river. Really, truly. And it works. On Saturday we hiked in Reykjadalur, it was a steep climb up facing bracing full frontal winds. Iceland is wildly elemental, and this hike, being exposed to the wild wind, was vitalising. At the end of the hike to submerge in a hot river was magical. And strange. I think floating in a hot river in the mountains with my 1xINTERNET friends was my favourite experience in Iceland. The day ended with an amazing meal at the VARMÁ boutique hotel overlooking the river and surrounding hills with steam rising from the ground. Good food shared in good company, our 1xINTERNET company.

During our stay in Iceland, it became clear that even though we work in different places, our team is strong. It was incredible to be surrounded by so many individuals of all backgrounds, personalities, and cultures and feel a sense of unity. We will remember these Icelandic summer nights for a long time and are already looking forward to our next meeting. 1xINTERNET is successful because we work well together as a team, be it building digital experiences or hiking in the mountains. We connect. We´re part of something, an amazing tech company, of super talented awesome colleagues and a very human heart.

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