One of the reasons I launched Clementine Daily was to become more intentional in my collaborative efforts. Blogging / writing / “Internet-working” as a whole can be a terribly isolating career, even for an introvert like myself, and I found myself craving daily interaction with other women. Women who, like me, are interested in creating a simpler, more sweeter life for themselves, hoping to nurture their day so it spills out into the lives of others.
But the solution, of course, was the problem: we all live in multiple cities. The Internet makes the world smaller in the best of ways, but what it doesn’t do is facilitate late-night conversations over wine and cheese, or early morning breakfast diner runs where the grapefruit juice is ripe and the conversation inspired. So a year ago I created a goal for this team – to gather annually for a retreat to celebrate the hard work of launching a start-up website, sure, but also to celebrate the worthy work of connecting with women beyond our immediate communities.
And when Buick approached me with a dream scenario – the ability to cross off an item on my “bucket list” this summer – I knew exactly what item I’d choose. It was time for an annual staff retreat. It was time for Palm Springs.
In a matter of weeks, plans were made and emails were sent and a flurry of flights were booked (and loads of exclamation points exchanged, for sure). And on a sunny morning in June, we all touched down in LAX to embark on a celebratory caravan to Palm Springs for architectural sight-seeing, vintage shopping and poolside lounging.
If you’re curious, we drove both the Buick Encore and Buick Enclave, both of which were perfect fits for our group. When I’d get carried away chatting about home births and Rosebud salve, the custom turn signal mirror would alert me to blind spots in the side view mirror. And when we were too enchanted with the enchanting colors, mountain views and midcentury neighborhoods to stay on the road, the lane departure warning would sound and we’d be back on track in no time.
And of course, a must for bloggers: USB ports aplenty for phone and tech charging galore.
We drove and drove and drove to the soundtrack of Sirius XM, new friendships budding between each stanza. There were roadside stops for gas station snacks and detour drives to snap photos of those captivating sunsets. And perhaps most importantly, there were conversations that unfolded between each mile marker, unmatched and all-encompassing. It was as if our friendships bent with the highway – onward, upward, weaving themselves together, pressing forward to some sort of worthy destination.
We’re not perfect and we’re not even all that similar, but we’re similar in what matters: we’re trying. We process our lives through words and pictures. We swap stories and share wisdom and strive to not strive too much.
And if I learned anything from this retreat, it was this: that between the architectural sight-seeing and vintage shopping and poolside lounging, all we really needed to discover was the power of connection – the truest destination of all.