Sometimes, the best way to find inspiration and recharge creatively is to embark on a working vacation that combines the joys of travel with the satisfaction of accomplishing professional tasks. That's precisely what we at East 27 Creative experienced on our recent trip to Nantucket, a charming island off the coast of Massachusetts. We achieved our work-related goals and had an incredible time meeting new people, running a half marathon, and discovering the wild beauty of Nantucket's landscape.
Meeting Great People
Nantucket is known for its warm and welcoming community, and our experience was no exception. As soon as we arrived, we were greeted with smiles and genuine hospitality. We quickly learned that Nantucket locals are friendly and eager to share their knowledge about the island's history, culture, and hidden gems.
One of the trip's highlights was meeting the Nantucket Run Centre and that community of runners.
What truly struck us was owner Bridgette's commitment to fostering a sense of belonging within the running community. She organized regular group runs, from leisurely jogs for beginners to challenging routes for experienced runners. These events promoted physical health and created a space for friendships to flourish, reminding us of the power of sports to bring people together.
We had a blast getting to know other runners during a short run through the historic streets of Nantucket.
Discovering Nantucket's Nostalgia Through John's Eyes
We added a layer of nostalgia and depth to our journey with a trip to Quidnet. This gem was the beach house that John's parents would rent every August, where he and his brother Luke spent every summer until they were young pre-teens.
Nestled amidst the island's scenic beauty, the beach house held a special place in his heart, and seeing it again after all these years was a poignant moment for us both. With its weathered shingles and timeless charm, the house was a living testament to John's memories with his family during those idyllic summers.
As John regaled me with stories of his childhood adventures in Nantucket, I couldn't help but be captivated by the nostalgia that hung in the air. It was a trip down memory lane, where we learned more about his father, a well-known writer, who created the famed "Candy Tree" to help entertain a group of visiting beach families and their children. His mom, Barbara, an NYC Art Director, would help them create beach art. Their combined creative influence undoubtedly played a significant role in shaping John's passion for storytelling and design.
We were transported to a bygone era by listening to John's tales of exploring the island's hidden coves, collecting seashells on pristine beaches, and watching his father pen his novels in the quiet solitude of the Nantucket landscape. It was a reminder that Nantucket has always been where artists and creatives found inspiration in its natural beauty and tranquility.
Running the Nantucket Half Marathon
John and I huddled amidst fellow runners at Bartlett's Farm, Nantucket's historic heart. The pre-dawn light painted the harbor in cool blues and greys, casting long shadows that danced with the excited chatter. Coffee steamed, their aroma mingling with the salty tang of the ocean breeze. Children skipped around, wide-eyed with race-day anticipation, while seasoned runners stretched and strategized, their eyes fixed on the starting line.
Bartlett's Farm, established in 1661, added to the pre-race magic. Weathered barns and rustic charm stood in stark contrast to the modern pulse of the race, a silent testament to Nantucket's agricultural heritage. As the first rays of the sun peeked over the horizon, igniting the sky in a chorus of blues and gold, the starting horn pierced the air. A collective surge of adrenaline coursed through the crowd, and hundreds of feet pounded the pavement in unison.
The Nantucket Half Marathon course unfolded like a breathtaking postcard. We weaved through charming neighborhoods, past clapboard houses adorned with gingerbread trim and overflowing window boxes. We went through the Nantucket Land Bank's Smooth Hummocks Preserve, a hidden gem of rolling hills and wildflower meadows. The scent of pine mingled with the salty air, and the cries of gulls overhead added to the symphony of nature surrounding us.
Then, the course opened up to the Atlantic Ocean's vast embrace. The endless expanse of cerulean blue stretched before us, waves crashing rhythmically against the pristine shores. Salty air whipped our hair, the scent of the sea invigorating our spirits. Sandy stretches surrendered to our sinking feet, the rhythmic whoosh of the waves our soundtrack.
Finally, we crossed the finish line - John with his first half marathon, and I did my first 10k! Sweat mingled with my tears of joy as we cheered on fellow runners, our shared journey etched in laughter, exhaustion, and the breathtaking beauty of Nantucket's shores.
The Nantucket Half Marathon wasn't just a race but an adventure. It was conquering a course, etching our names in the race's rich history, and forging unforgettable memories in the heart of Nantucket Island. It allowed us to bond outside of our typical work environment. Training together, encouraging one another during the race, and celebrating our achievement afterward strengthened our team spirit and camaraderie. We highly recommend it, and we will run this race again!
We celebrated our collective finishes with an incredible three-course meal at Sister Ship that night in downtown Nantucket. We both highly recommend it!
Exploring the Wilds of Nantucket
Nantucket's natural beauty is a well-kept secret. While many visitors are drawn to its stunning beaches, the island has an equally captivating wild side.
One of the most awe-inspiring experiences was our visit to Great Point, the northernmost tip of Nantucket. The wind was crazy, making our yellow Jeep's canvas roof flap like a sail. It was chilly, but we were pumped. Great Point, the wild gem of the island, was waiting, and only bold folks in Jeeps like ours could get there.
As we cruised through the sand, it kicked up in a golden storm, every bump and dip feeling like a playful ride through the wild. Finally, we hit a dune, and bam, there was Great Point – sand, crashing waves, and a sky painted in such a deep blue.
Forget cozy postcard scenes; it was the Atlantic's raw symphony. And then, the stars of the show: seals. They enjoyed riding the waves, watching us watching them.
Balancing Work and Play
Of course, our working vacation wasn't all play. We set clear goals for our creative projects and ensured we dedicated focused time to work each day. Nantucket's serene atmosphere and inspiring surroundings proved to be the perfect backdrop for brainstorming sessions and creative collaboration. We found that our productivity increased as we took breaks to explore the island and refresh our minds.
In the End
Our working vacation in Nantucket was an incredible experience that blended the best of both worlds: fulfilling our professional responsibilities and indulging in the island's natural wonders. From the friendly locals to the exhilarating half marathon and the wild beauty of Nantucket, our trip left us with lasting memories and a deep appreciation for the island's unique charm.
At East 27 Creative, we believe combining work and leisure in a beautiful destination like Nantucket can lead to successful projects, personal growth, and lasting bonds. We returned home with a renewed sense of creativity and a greater appreciation for the power of exploration and adventure in our professional lives.
If you're looking to rejuvenate your team's creativity and strengthen your professional relationships, consider a working vacation to Nantucket. In this place, you can meet great people, embark on adventures, and find inspiration in the island's wilds.
Until next time.........