A Magical Retreat: eFoli’s Annual Tour to SaintMartin (2023)

Group pic of eFoli

The idea of enjoying a trip once a year is not something new. For instance, if you can recall your childhood, you may remember your family vacation over the winter break.

As we grow, the idea of relaxation has changed. Nowadays, the concept of official retreat become popular. If you think corporate vacations are just parties, then you are wrong! 

A well-planned corporate retreat has the potential to boost profits significantly. Since relaxing and enjoying one’s company during the work week is more complex, a corporate vacation is an excellent opportunity for employees to bond with one another and the rest of the workplace.

On November 22nd, 2023, eFoli planned their three-day annual retreat, and the excursion was jam-packed with good times.

The Slogan of our trip was –

 eFoli is diving into the coral Mazes

“Vacation to the beach to renew our glow, Coral Delight awaits – it’s time to let our spirit flow!”

Here, I am framing all the events we covered on the trip- 

The Journey begins!

We left Mirpur DOHS in Dhaka at 7 p.m. on the 22nd to start our eFoli annual trip. We had reserved a bus to take us to Teknaf and back. The trip was a lot of fun. We played Uno and card games, sang songs, told jokes, and ate treats the whole time. We stopped for a nice dinner around midnight.

It was about 7 a.m. when we finally got to Teknaf. We had breakfast at a local restaurant before enjoying the beautiful sea views. 

After some time to look around, we began the second part of our trip, a three-hour ship ride. Over the Naf River, in Bangladesh, Cox’s Bazar has beautiful green hills that we could see from the deck. It was even more beautiful when rare Sigall birds flew over the ship.

At noon, we reached Saint Martin Jetti! And here, the real fun has started!

The First Day- Exploring the Island

When we got to Saint Martin Island, the waters were so clear and deep blue that they took our breath away. We were all dying to jump right into the warm ocean. We were excited but controlled the energy to reach the resort, where we refreshed ourselves and enjoyed lunch.

We finally gave in to our desire to jump into the beautiful blue water after lunch. It was amazing to swim among vibrant coral reefs filled with exotic species. The presence of nearby kids who were selling collected snail shells accentuated the island’s beauty.

In the meantime, we checked out thousands of coconut trees and the exciting smell of seafood drying on the coast. On top of that, the warmth and hospitality of the locals in Saint Martin were outstanding.

After that, we chose to enjoy the sunset. We took pictures, sipped coconut water, and started chit-chatting together about the day as the sun went down. 

In the evening, eFoli’s management team set up a great darts game, followed by a beach BBQ with tasty seafood cooked over an open fire. 

After that, we noticed since it was low tide and the beaches were dry, so we decided to take a calm boat ride in the shallows under the stars after dinner. Even though our boat could barely move because it was ebb tide, we loved standing in the shallow water and looking up at the stars. 

It was the perfect way to end the first day of a great island vacation with all the employees of eFoli.

And the first day ended!

The Second Day- Team Bonding

The second day started with a delicious breakfast, and we were all ready to make the second day memorable.

Another goal of our yearly tour was to bring the team closer together, and eFoli did a great job of that. 

We held a sandcastle-building competition on the second day to carry on the fun from the dart tournament the night before. Everyone had a great time at the Sand Castle event. Our CEO, Pran Paul, and his team won out of all six groups.

After that, we all explored Daruchini Dip, which showed our strength as a group. Then we went for a peaceful swim on the coral-free beach, which was almost as lovely as Cox’s Bazar.

Before the much-anticipated eFoli group photo shoot, we ate a delicious lunch. The workers happily took pictures and selfies, another fun way for the team to get to know each other better.

The second day ended, and the evening and the late night spent enjoying the moon were similar.

The Last Day- Nature’s Spectacle

The sunny day started with the fresh air of the seashore and breakfast. 

As planned, we left early on the last day, November 24, to discover Chera Dip, the southernmost point of Bangladesh. The trip was long, but it was exciting and had beautiful views.

When we got to Chera Dip Beach, we were amazed by its beauty and peace. The sandy plain met the clear blue water. Pretty Cyperus rotundus reeds were everywhere, and they moved in the wind from the sea. We enjoyed this isolated part of Bangladesh that wasn’t filled with tourists as we breathed in the cool, salty air.

We walked over the dunes and past the empty Chera Dip beach to a lookout point with a view of the Bay of Bengal. We could see Myanmar from there! Some of us were brave enough to walk into the rough coral and water, while others searched the shore for interesting shells and smooth rocks. A few local fishermen were pulling in their nets, and we saw colorful aquarium fish there.

The trip to Chera Dip was a great way to end our tour. Teknaf was our last stop after the ship’s trip. We got to Dhaka safely at 6 a.m. on November 25. We were sad when the tour ended, but we will always remember the good times we had at SaintMartin.

Final Thought

Although it was an official eFoli yearly tour, it felt like a casual get-together with friends, family, and coworkers. It was very significant that the families of all the eFoli workers were also invited, and everyone was in supportive of the event.

Nobody got bored or had an unpleasant experience because we all had so much fun. The tour was full of excitement and happiness. We all reached home safe and sound. We all are thankful to our CEO, COO and management team for arranging such an incredible trip.