Topsail Island Co-Working Retreat

March 15-19, 2023

Beach-side house. Sunrises over the ocean. Four days living side-by-side with a group awesome remote workers  getting work done together when you need to, then learning from each other and enjoying a slate of activities on the beautiful island the rest of the time. And you probably don’t even need to use any PTO! Join us for our March co-working retreat on gorgeous Topsail Island! 

We’ll be in the town of Surf City, part of the 26-mile long Topsail Island on the coast of North Carolina – a quick 2.5-hour drive from the Triangle. For this retreat, up to 14 of us will share a home, where we’ll work, play, eat, drink and learn together.  

The view from our house
The view from our house

What is this whole 'co-working retreat' thing?

On a hike at our last retreat in Yadkin Valley

In a nutshell, it’s an opportunity to fully take advantage of your remote status to maximize travel AND join a terrific community. You can take an awesome trip without using any vacation days. But it’s more than just a chance to travel and party (though we will do plenty of that!). For the duration of the trip, you’ll live and work alongside other remote professionals in a big vacation home, getting work done when you need to, then enjoying the destination and the company of your ‘co-remote workers’ the rest of the time. You’re free to work as much or as little as you need to, but most will usually work in a common area during weekday working hours, taking calls and Zoom meetings in bedrooms as needed (we also might go to a local café for part of the day). Then in the evenings and weekend, we let loose and really enjoy one another’s company and our surroundings.

At the house, we’ll do activities like games, karaoke and group-shares (AKA, things we each share with the group, like tea tasting, yoga, meditation, balloon-animal making, etc). Other times we’ll venture out around Topsail. Specific activities will be set closer to the trip date, but some things to do around the area include: 

Activities are all optional, so if you want to take some time to enjoy Topsail on your own, that’s totally fine too!

But will we really get any work done?

Yes! You’re not going to a hostel surrounded by 18-year-old gap-year backpackers partying and traipsing around town all day, giving you FOMO. While those accompanying you on the trip will come from a very wide range of personal and professional backgrounds, the one thing you’ll all have in common is that you’re location-independent professionals – AKA, people who also have work to get done. Being surrounded by others in the same working mindset can not only facilitate a good environment for being productive, it can also give you motivation while offsetting the loneliness and isolation that long-term remote workers all-too-often fall into.

Furthermore, part of the idea of a co-working retreat is to get you doing your normal work in an abnormal environment. Studies have shown that the novelty associated with travel can boost creativity, motivation, learning and exploratory behavior. By integrating your normal work habits into this environment, it promotes new ways of thinking as it relates to your work. Hopefully, by spending a few days surrounded by new, interesting people in a beautiful and novel new environment, you can begin to look at your work with fresh eyes. And honestly, why wouldn’t you rather work beachside for a few days if you have the chance?

Recommended reading: ‘Workcations’ Aren’t an Escape. They’re Practice. -The Atlantic

Costs

  • Private room – $395
  • One bed in a 2-person, same-gender room – $345
  • One bed in a 4-person, same gender bunk room – $275

These costs include your entire four-night stay in the house, as well as food at the house for simple breakfasts, lunches and snacks (including vegan options). It does not include other activities we might do outside of the home. We’ll do potluck dinners two nights, so you’re asked asked to bring/prepare a dish (enough to roughly feed 2-3 people) for one of those two potluck dinners, which is not included in the costs. 

The various rooms are all comfortable and what you’d expect for a high-end vacation home. Rooms will be doled out first-come-first-serve, so book early to get the type you want. Of course, most people would prefer a private room, but if one isn’t available, don’t let that dissuade you. These trips are primarily about community, and there’s no faster way to get to know people than being roommates. You’re of course welcome to book with a friend and be paired together in a two-person room. But if you’re coming alone and staying in a multi-person room, you’ll get a chance to chat with the other person or people in your room beforehand either in Slack, or better yet, at one of our in-person meetups around the Triangle if you’re both able to come to one. 

If you’re a couple or friends wanting to share a private single-bed room, or a group of 3-4 wanting to share a double room, we can probably accommodate that. Just contact us to see what’s possible.

About the house

We’ll be staying in a large 7 bedroom, 5 bathroom vacation house with room for 14 people that’s just steps from the beach. It has a full kitchen, laundry, WiFi, game room, parking, and all the amenities of a modern home. It’s located just near the Surf City Bridge and the Topsail Escape Room, if you want to Google what’s in the neighborhood. There’s plenty to eat and drink in the immediate area, and of course, a long beautiful beach to stroll down. 

Who should come?

NC Triangle Remote Workers is a group of productive professionals who also like to get out, be social and have fun. If that sounds like you, then odds are you’d have a blast on this retreat, while also building meaningful friendships. We span the professional spectrum with backgrounds in tech, design, media, education, healthcare…you name it. Most of us range in age from mid-20s to mid-40s, but we include everyone from college students in their early-20s to well-established professionals in their 60s, with origins that span the globe. 

One of the cool things about our events in general is how well people with totally different backgrounds tend to mesh, united by their location-independence and desire to mix life and work in a healthy, optimized way. Bringing together people with diverse backstories and at different stages of their lives and careers can benefit everyone – both at a professional and personal level  and that’s part of our mission. Our retreats turbocharge that mission. Living, working and playing alongside others for several days allows you to rapidly get to know one another and establish relationships that might otherwise take months to build. 

So if that appeals to you, you have a good attitude, and are open-minded, easygoing and respectful, then this retreat is for you.

What else do I need to know?

  • All those joining must be at least 21 years old.
  • We are not able to accommodate pets.
  • A few weeks before the trip, you’ll be invited to a private channel in our Slack community with everyone who’s going on the trip. This is a chance to meet everyone who’s going, talk about activities, make plans and whatever else you want to chat about.
  • Check-in is 3:30pm on Wednesday, March 15 and check-out is 9:30am on Sunday, March 19 (but we’ll stick around for some more activities on the island after check-out). You can arrive and leave whenever you need to though within that timeframe.
  • The only way to get to Topsail from the Triangle is to drive. There should be enough parking at the house if everyone wants to drive separately, but you’re encouraged to car-pool with others in the group, which you can organize in the Slack channel.
  • You’re expected to at all times abide by our code of conduct, which can be seen in full on our main retreats page. But in short, use common sense, don’t be a jerk and don’t do anything that creates a problem for anyone else or makes them feel uncomfortable.
  • If you have to cancel for whatever reason, we’ll do our best to give as much of a refund as possible, but also bear in mind that once you’ve booked, a certain amount of planning and costs go into your planned attendance…and you may have taken a spot that’s become too late to allot to someone else. So we can guarantee a 50% refund if you cancel more than 30 days before the trip. But if it’s within 30 days of the trip, we cannot guarantee a refund.
  • To see pictures from our last retreat in Yadkin Valley, head to the main retreats page and scroll to the bottom, or see our Instagram play-by-play

Sounds dope, how do I join?

Terrific! Please fill out the form below. If that doesn’t work for you, just shoot an email to durhamremote1@gmail.com, or hit up Eric in the Slack community. But if you’ve never been to one of our events before, we need to talk before you can be accepted to the trip. We’ll live in close quarters for several days, and these trips are about forming a good group above anything. So we want to get to know you a little bit first and give you a chance to ask any questions you might have, which lets both sides make sure we’re all on the same page and a good fit. You can attend one of our regular events around the Triangle (which include daytime co-working at cafés or evening happy hours), which you can find on our Meetup page. Or if you’re not able to do that in time, we can also set up a quick 20-minute video chat. 

Once you’re accepted, you’ll need to pay in full to reserve your spot and sign a trip agreement, which includes a liability waiver and agreement to abide by the code of conduct, among a few other standard provisions. Then you’re all set! A few weeks before the trip, you’ll be invited to the private channel in the Slack community to meet everyone. You’re also encouraged to come to as many of our meetups around the Triangle as you can, where you’ll likely meet at least a few of those going on the trip in person.

Apply to join

Trip facilitator

Hi there, I’m Eric Fish. I’m in the media industry, have been a full-time remote worker since 2020 and founded NC Triangle Remote Workers in 2021. I’ll be organizing this trip and hanging out with ya’ll start to finish. One of the main reasons I started this group was because I got lonely working from home alone and wanted to create a community for the thousands of us in the Triangle in a similar situation. I also wanted to create a network to maximize and optimize remote life. Once we hit a critical mass with our co-working and socializing events within the Triangle, these out-of-town retreats were the next logical progression in that goal. I’m a big fan of “digital semi-nomading” — hitting the road, not necessarily indefinitely like full digital nomads, but using location independence to get out and travel longer and more often…and ideally with other fun remote workers. So thanks so much for considering jumping in on that lifestyle on this retreat. Look forward to meeting you and becoming ‘co-remote workers’!  

Other questions?

If you have any other questions not covered here, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can write to durhamremote1@gmail.com, or better yet, join our Slack community and message Eric directly there.

Not able to join this time?

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