This summer, we’re taking some virtual road trips and exploring the country, courtesy of DCG staffers. Depending on where you live, you’ll travel north, south, east, or west through cyberspace to get inside information on both small towns and larger cities. We hope you learn something new and find inspiration for when you feel comfortable traveling again.
The latest blog in our series focuses on the Florida Keys. Managing Supervisor Ashley Mason recently had an extended stay there.
Where I live: Stevensville, Md.
Where I work “extra remote:” Key Colony Beach (KCB), Fla.
What the Florida Keys are known for: The sport fishing capital of the world, beautiful aquatics, and a laid-back, easy, breezy way of life. They are also home to the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States.
What I love best about the Florida Keys: The weather, the wildlife, and the walkability.
DCG has an “extra remote” work policy. We are a full-time WFH company but when one of us wants to travel and maybe spend more than a night or two in a location, we go “extra remote” — meaning you are still working remotely but not at your home address. This spring, I took full advantage of this work perk, and my husband and I rented a home in KCB for two weeks. With all the places across the U.S., the Florida Keys was top on both of our lists and here is why.
#1 — The Weather
While the area does get hotter during the summer, there rarely is a bad weather day in the Keys outside of the occasional quick-passing storm. The Keys are unique as there are around 100 islands with mostly rocky shorelines. The benefits of being a small island in the ocean is the natural breeze off the water you almost always have. These winds help keep weather moving, so it could be raining in your front yard at 8:01 a.m. but sunny in your backyard by 8:11 a.m. — the weather is always on the move. The sky and water, 99% of the time, are turquoise blue, and if the hot sun is not your thing, there is always a cool drink or pool close by.
The nice weather is perfect because when extra remote, you may find times between meetings or after work to take a quick jump into the pool or ocean before dinner. I find that this moment of relaxation helps melt the stress of the day away.
Enjoy the weather while having dinner: Burdines Waterfront Marina and Grill (try the homemade hushpuppies with their pickled green chilies and cheese — so good!)
#2 — The Wildlife
I’ve lived in Maryland most of my life and we do not have much tropical wildlife, however, when you get to the Key, you will find lots of neat species of flora and fauna. The shade of a palm tree over your head as you sit in a two-hour-long conference call is 1,000,000,000x nicer than the shade of a cubical. When I work extra remote, I try to find ways to support my team but also recharge, and I do this by taking in the scenery and nature.
While out and about in the Keys, you can come across a manatee in the canal, a dolphin near your boogie board, or even an iguana catching rays on a lamp post.
Swim with the dolphins: Dolphin Research Center (Fun fact: Two dolphins who appeared in “Flipper” — Little Bit and Mr. Gipper — lived here for many years. Their family lineage continues with their daughter, Tursi, and her offspring who live at DRC today.)
#3 — The Walkability
Working in big cities most of my career, I got used to having to walk from car to public transit to meetings and back all week long and let me tell you — the hustle and bustle was REAL. In the Keys, you will find no one is really in a hurry to get anywhere. In fact, one of my favorite Keys is Marathon, which is home to KCB. Once you make the turn off Route 1 into KCB, you’ll see a sign: “Honestly Now, What’s Your Hurry? You’re Here!” It’s true. Within the town limits of KCB, almost everywhere you look is a walking or bike lane, and I have covered many a mile while on a conference call.
If you are adventurous enough to travel to Key West, you can walk around its seven or so square miles of streets in about a day. Key West prides itself on being different from the rest of America, as it is located about 100 miles from the mainland and reachable by links of 40+ bridges across the water.
The Keys are a jewel, a beautiful outdoor nature park, primed for great weather, wildlife watching, and walking. If you have been consumed by the constant race of life and are ready to kick back and find time to slow down, now is the time to experience the Keys. Happy trails!