The X-Outposts are an integral part of our community. Organized a few times a year, they are opportunities for X-Teamers to meet in a beautiful location so they can get to know each other, work together, and create memorable adventures. In April 2024, X-Teamers traveled to Queenstown on the South Island of New Zealand. This is how Jorge Tirado, Creative Director at X-Team, experienced it.

A man and a woman standing in front of a big Hobbiton Movie sign

Let me begin by saying that I am a Lord of the Rings fan. When Queenstown in New Zealand was announced as one of the 2024 X-Outposts, I jumped on the opportunity to visit the country where the LoTR trilogy had been filmed. It kicked off the second X-Outpost I'd attended since joining X-Team almost four years ago.

I traveled together with my wife Amanda. Our first stop was Auckland in the north of New Zealand. We had a few nights there before we'd travel south, and during that time we visited the Shire, which didn't disappoint. During our Hobbiton Tour, we even ran into Kat and Lucas, two other X-Teamers who'd had the same idea to visit the iconic LoTR film set.

Then we flew down to Queenstown. What an awesome city, and a huge contrast to Auckland. Queenstown is a cute lakeside ski town surrounded by huge mountains. We arrived during their off season, so there wasn't any snow but there was plenty of drizzle. That was cool, though, because it added a majestic quality to all the lush nature around Queenstown.

The X-Outpost Master Organizer Henrique typically plans the X-Outposts quite loosely during the week. We have to work, after all. So during the day the X-Teamers mostly co-worked. Towards the end of the day, we typically had a scheduled dinner where everyone would meet up. The X-Outposts are flexible to accommodate everyone's way of working and exploring a new place.

For our first dinner, Henrique had organized what's called The X-Change. It's like a family dinner where we meet all the X-Teamers attending the X-Outpost. I saw some familiar faces from the X-Outpost I'd gone to last year, and I met some new people too. At the end of the dinner, we X-Changed gifts with one another.

  • I gifted custom-made stickers I'd designed to kickstart Cesar's sticker collection
  • Glauber gifted me some Brazilian spirits with sugar cane inside

The next day was pretty chill. A few of us took a bus ride to a small gold mining town called Arrowtown, where we explored a few small shops. Other X-Teamers went on a long trip to Milford Sound, a fiord in the south-west of New Zealand.

On day three and four, I worked. I love hunting down a cool little coffee shop where I can post up for a while and design whatever needs designing. To be able to do this in rad places during an X-Outpost is one of my favorite things about X-Team.

And Queenstown was perfect for this, because within walking distance from the hotel there was this little harbor full of shops, restaurants, and coffee spots. There are also some gardens nearby that are great for taking a break.

The next day, we did some ice skating. It was much colder inside than outside 🥶. Then at night we all got together for some Game Night Action. Think pool, billiards, and arcade games.

On day six, Amanda and I took a boat ride to visit this working farm in the high country. This was my wife's favorite excursion. We got to see some farm animals and sheep herding demonstrations. We also got to see Amanda's favorite animal in the world, the alpaca.

Towards the end of the X-Outpost, Henrique always plans what we call the EPIC. The Queenstown EPIC was The Mountain. We took a long gondola to the top of a mountain that overlooked Queenstown, where there was an observation restaurant with a spectacular view.

Then we took a ski lift even higher.

And then we luged down the mountain. Mario Kart style.

Not just once. Six times.

It was an epic way to end our last day. I already knew this from having gone to the X-Outpost: Crete last year, but X-Outposts are just so impactful. Being able to connect with fellow developers and core members of X-Team leaves a long-lasting impression. It's a truly unique thing that X-Team provides to the developer lifestyle.

We get to meet new and unique people from all over the world, we get to co-work in places we'd only ever dreamed of visiting previously, and we get to share the unique X-Team lifestyle together. Much like Crete, Queenstown did not disappoint. Henrique is a legend at coordinating these events and meticulously planning every detail so they become memorable highlights of everyone's year.


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