From my first day at Hop Online I have had the feeling that I am in the right place. Not only because my job allows me to develop as a professional but also because of the unique environment created by the combination of exceptional individuals in the company.
But today I won’t talk about workflows, content marketing, and cool new web tools, and I won’t be praising the company itself (although it deserves it) and I definitely won’t take you on a tour of the day-to-day workings of an inbound marketing agency. I’d rather like to share with you the offline activities of the great individuals who make us a whole. Wanting to learn more about their interests, and how they spend their time, I had a quick chat with each one of them. Inspired by their answers, I divided the Hop Onliners’ leisure activities into 5 groups. Be aware that everyone belongs to more than one group of interest. So let’s begin:
1.The sports type.
I strongly believe that physical activity improves our physical and emotional health. I also think that exercise relieves stress, stimulates brain activity and helps in general well-being.
I was happy to find out I’m not the only one of my colleagues keen on sport. One of them is practicing capoeira. He considers the Brazilian martial art to be not only a way to exercise but also a life philosophy. Personally, my favorite sports are football and boxing. I kind of like competing. Likewise, another colleague who’s into basketball. Of course, I have to mention that some of us simply follow our favorite sports on TV.
The ladies of Hop Online prefer other exercise. Among them, I discovered swimmers, yoga practitioners, a diver, a rock climber and a Tae Bo fan who said and I quote: “Tae Bo is the best anti-stress practice.” But the one that impressed me the most is “the lady with the horse” who is an active member of an ancient Bulgarian tribal rites organization.
The one physical activity that unites us all at Hop Online is hiking – passion for the outdoors and connecting with nature. Almost all my colleagues love mountains, the sea, wild nature, and beautiful, picturesque landscapes. It seems like they all enjoy spending time far away from the noise of the big city. Thank God we live in Bulgaria! Maybe that’s why we chose Govedartsi for our first team building. After all, we climbed Malyovitsa!
2. Between the hardcover.
Apparently our love of the written word is eternal. Reading books is always cool. No need to mention that reading stimulates brain activity and inspires the imagination. In a few words: books make us smarter and fun to talk to. We even have a writer whose favorite topic is politics in his motherland England. And we have an ex-editor of Rolling Stone magazine!
Hop Onliners do not agree on our favorite genre, nor even on our favorite authors. From the poetry of T. S. Eliot and Walt Whitman to the novels of Fitzgerald, Capote and Steinbeck, through to Beckett’s homeland Ireland, and all the way to the other side of the world, through to the motherland of literary geniuses Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Leo Tolstoy, we have covered the essential reads. Although we have different opinions on what the best book is, I think we all agree that the right answer is 42.
I can’t omit to mention that we recently set up our own library. Our geeky inner voice made us create a spreadsheet where we track all books. You can even borrow one but you should return it in due time. You can’t hide from the spreadsheet!
3. The travelers.
Let me make the transition from the previous paragraph to this one with a famous quote from Saint Augustine: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” The love of travelling among my colleagues might even be greater than love for the written word.
The answers that I collected clearly show that we have been all over the place (or the world). Some of us left home at an early age; others spent their college time abroad and some crossed the border for the sake of travelling itself. Born in Bulgaria, or Ukraine, or England, or the US, we have all ended up living and working in Sofia. But, boy, have we all been around! A whole new blog post is needed to cover all the places we visited and the stories behind them. I’ll just tell you that our combined travelers’ force covers almost the whole of Europe, most of the US and some parts of South America, Africa, Asia and Australia.
4. The Geeks among us.
Of course, we’re all geeks! No doubt about it. We get paid to stay on the Internet and find out about new and useful web tools, the implementation of which will make your business even greater. I believe the first thing we do in the morning is open our laptops and check out all social networks just to make sure that the world we left a few hours earlier is still the same. Can’t say that’s invalid for you who are reading this post right now!
Frankly, I was slightly disappointed to find out I’m the only one who still dedicates some of his free time to video games. A colleague said he gave it up to devote more time to his developer skills. As though building open-source software and giving free access to knowledge and ideas is cooler than becoming a Monk level 90, or Batman, or Ezio Auditore da Firenze, or playing the new FIFA. Duh!
But being a geek is not only about the Internet or video games. At Hop Online, we have all sorts of geeks. Animal rights geeks, an origami geek, a baker geek or baking geek (not sure which one is right), a gardening geek (the baker is the same guy!), art geeks, movie and TV show geeks, and so on. And that brings us to the last part.
5. The art type or geek 2.0.
We can’t live without art. Can we? In all of its forms? Can’t speak on behalf of all mankind but the answers I received pretty much confirm it.
Remember the writer? Between changing diapers and writing about it, he also finds time to watch old movies from the 60s and the 70s. And he admires Woody Allen. I guess lots of people do… But love of the sixth art is common among Hop Onliners. I’ll simply mention several illustrious movie directors beloved by our company: Bertolucci, Fincher, Hitchcock, Scorsese, Kubrick, Sergio Leone, Hayao Miyazaki, the younger Christopher Nolan, Wes Anderson, Tarantino, The Coen Brothers etc.
Of course, we can’t forget our photographers. In our lines I count three. Two of them are expressing-civic-duty-protesting-animal-lovers who take pictures and blog about it (Quote: “If you hate cats, you’ll be reborn as a mouse”).
One of our team-members is a performance artist with exhibitions and awards in US and Australia, who is into double exposure analog photography. I hope I got it right. There is another professional artist with exhibitions in USA, who also teaches art to children with autism.
It’s no surprise that we all share a passion for music as a form of expression or simply as a source of inspiration. Two colleagues even play musical instruments. One tries the drums, the other the guitar. My colleagues’ answers show me that we check out live music concerts on a regular basis – jazz, funk, classic, rap, rock, reggae, Balkan music – just name it.
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