I went on a retreat. By myself. To Disney World. Weirdest “retreat” ever? Indeed!
Retreats are amazing…well, at least my definition of a retreat. The Geremy™ definition of a retreat is when someone travels to an unfamiliar place with the purpose of recharging, getting new ideas, and coming up with new strategies for the future. Early May was the perfect time to get away, so I spontaneously booked my trip to the happiest place on earth…Orlando.
Ok, it’s not the happiest place on earth, but it was the perfect place for my retreat for three reasons: 1) Disney, 2) Hotels and 3) SpaceX
Let me explain…
Walt Disney fascinates me because he was a guy with a huge vision that he pursued all his life. Each time he created something, he would immediately make his vision larger and work to make the newer, bigger vision a reality. For example, when he opened Disneyland in 1955, he immediately started planning the bigger, more significant Disney World project the same year. This reminds me of when my parents gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in 1983 and immediately after her birth, they started planning a bigger, newer, more improved baby named Geremy who would entered the world in 1985.
When I read about Disney’s vision that started with animation and has now grown into an empire that includes hotels, TV networks, Venture Capital firms, real estate and cruise lines, I knew that I needed to see these things up-close. Like like Disney, I too have a vision of creating a conglomerate that includes a lot of different areas, including transportation, media, and hotels…except mine will be larger. Watch out, Disney Company!
By the way, I rode on Splash Mountain twice. Easily the best ride I’ve ever been on in my life.
Speaking of hotels, I have visions of opening an amazing, world-class hotel one day. But before planning my own hotel, I wanted to visit a world-class hotel that I’ve admired for a while— The Alfond Inn. This hotel has won local and national awards for being a top 10 boutique hotel in the United States, so I wanted to include them on my visit to Florida.
Rather than wandering around the hotel like a nomad, I emailed the General Manager and asked to meet for a tour and to ask questions. To my surprise, he responded quickly and was happy to arrange it. So within hours of landing in Florida, I arrived in Winter Park and was able to tour a hotel that was similar to my vision. In addition, I booked a room at a hotel that opened a week before my visit because I wanted to see what the beginning stages of a brand new hotel looked like. These experiences were very eye-opening and I had a long list of “what not to do’s” from the hotel that I stayed at.
For example, someone almost, kinda burned down the hotel where I stayed. It happened at their make-your-own-waffle station in the breakfast area. Apparently someone made their own waffle and never removed it from the waffle maker, so it continued to cook until it burned to a crisp. All of a sudden, smoke started to pour out of the waffle machine and the restaurant smelled like that one time that I microwaved an egg for a minute just to see what would happen. If the maintenance person didn’t come to the rescue, the hotel might’ve been celebrating a “grand closing” a week after their grand opening. Note to self: Eliminate all make-your-own-waffle stations from your hotel!
I’m a huge “SpaceX” nerd. The only pictures that I’ve got on my wall of my home are pictures of rockets, and I’ve watched livestreams of every single SpaceX rocket launch since their Grasshoper rocket. So since Orlando is near the Kennedy Space Center where SpaceX launches their rockets to outer space, I needed to visit. Seeing the SpaceX rocket on the pad was the Geremy equivalent of your great-grandmother seeing Elvis perform live for the first time. I was starstruck…over a rocket…like a nerd. It was amazing and SpaceX was a big source of inspiration during my retreat since their growth in under 10 years was out of this world…pun clearly intended.
My solo retreat was very much a success and I loved it so much that I am making it an annual (or semi-annual) event! It was also helpful to disconnect from the outside world by limiting my use of technology in order to focus as much as I could. Now I’m making sure to make all of my ideas become reality because that retreat wasn’t cheap and I need something to show for it.
Feel free to hold me accountable! Also feel free to go on retreats of your own and share your experiences with me!
And remember to not overcook your waffles!