As the newest member of the AIS team, I was nervous and full of anxiety to go to Team Week. I had only met everyone at an online training and the next thing I know I am traveling with the company’s CEO, Angela, her husband Tony, and a fellow team member Berna, on an 8 hour road trip to the Outer Banks (OBX) in Corolla, North Carolina. Although I started this journey with excitement and anxiety and had no idea what to expect, I was looking forward to meeting everyone that I had only met online and worked with remotely for a short time. Our eight-hour drive put me at ease. The initial nervousness I had, slowly faded away and I was put at ease throughout the drive full of conversation, laughter, and storytelling.
Upon arriving to Corolla, we were advised to stop by the rental agency parking lot and deflate all tires to 20 to enable us to reach the house which was only accessible by driving on the beach! I had never heard of such a thing. The next thing I knew, there we were four-wheel driving across the beautiful OBX sand. I love to experience new adventures and this was certainly one to add to the list. We all had our phones out taking video and photos and the excitement was building. My nervousness started to return as we turned to drive over a dune to the beach house. Wow, as we pulled over the dune to such a beautiful beach house beeping the horn, team members were on the top balcony welcoming us. I felt as though I was in a private resort. I walked through this amazing house on a tour and then got settled into a beautiful bedroom suite with a breathtaking view of the back patio, pool, hot tubs, and pavilion.
As I slowly got to meet all the team members in person I learned to be at ease and enjoy all that was around me. I loved our morning walks on the beach taking in the beautiful views and enjoying the fresh beach air before our start to daily team training activities. The calmness of the waters helped to keep my nerves under control. Each morning as I went to breakfast in the dining room and everyone was sitting around the tables enjoying their meal and morning coffee, it started to feel like family. The morning gatherings in the “fish room” was always nice to find out the upcoming day team activities.
I have a habit of wanting to fit into my environment. That is how I grew up and was always adapting yet never feeling completely comfortable to be myself. I quickly learned that my walls would start coming down in a way I did not anticipate. The team activities slowly took down everyone’s walls and exposed our fears, desires, and goals in life personally and professionally. I quickly learned this team was about enrichment, comfort, transparency, care, and growth. The team activities brought us all together in an understanding of each other and the compliments given and received were heartwarming. The compliments given and received were so nice to know that is the impression I give others. I am always hard on myself as we all are and it was heartwarming, to say the least.
The week went by so fast and I so enjoyed every last bit of our adventure. One of my favorites is the Corolla Wild Horses just casually walking out the front of the beach house. This was another one to add to my list. I discovered how the AIS team is truly an extension of the family. I have never been on a retreat and this for sure was very eye-opening in our current world. I for one came home feeling a deeper reflection on life, work, and the world. I am so appreciative to have been a part of AIS Team Week 2021, thank you so very much for the life experience. I cannot wait until AIS Team Week 2022.