While keeping regular business hours and not missing a beat with client deliverables, REED team members explore a different part of the world through our Work Away program. This creative team benefit provides not only the flexibility to work anywhere in the world for up to one month but also a stipend to cover expenses. While on their trip, REED team members connect with Public Relations Global Network colleagues – shout out to PRGN partner Media Profile for the idea! – and collect beneficial experiences to bring home to our clients. Read along for the latest adventure!
Tayhlor Blackwell’s Work Away to Italy:
Where did you spend your Work Away, and why did you choose that location?
I chose to spend my 2023 Work Away in my bucket list destination: Italy! REED allowed me to complete two full work weeks abroad, then I tacked a week’s worth of vacation time on the end of my trip to do some more exploring. I spent my first week abroad in Venice, and my second week belonged to Rome. Then, for my vacation time, I chose to get lost in the Tuscan streets—accompanied by some of the tastiest wine I’ve ever had. Italy is somewhere I’ve always longed to visit for many reasons: the scenery, culture, food—I could go on. And to no one’s surprise, I was instantly blown away by the ancient architecture and pure beauty that surrounded me in Venice.
Here’s me on day one in Venice in front of the Rialto Bridge!
And if you’re wondering, YES, I went for a gondola ride. There’s no better way to explore this island and its many waterways!
What was the biggest adjustment you made as you settled into your temporary Work Away home?
Regardless of where we spend our Work Away, we remain available to our team and clients, so although I was in Italy, I worked Central Time. That’s why I’m wearing slippers in this picture!
Grocery shopping in Italy also looked a little different than at home. The local market was a five-minute walk from my Venice apartment. I loaded up on lots of fresh produce.
How did you connect with other PR professionals in your Work Away location?
Since our PRGN in Italy wasn’t located close enough for me to visit during my trip, it was fascinating to see how some of their PR and marketing tactics align with our strategy at REED. For example, because of my experience working with influencers, I knew to rely on the top attraction and restaurant suggestions from travel influencers via Instagram and TikTok. Living in a digital world makes it that much smaller!
What is the best thing you ate or drank on your trip?
I simply cannot choose! Everything—and I mean everything—was delicious! I ate fresh seafood in Venice and carbonara in Rome. Those were highlights for sure.
I found a phenomenal gelato place tucked away on a cobblestone street one block from my apartment in Rome. If you’re traveling there, you must visit Frigidarium. My go-to flavors were crema and cioccoarancia (hazelnut chocolate & orange).
Oh, and I had authentic Italian tiramisu at a little shop named Two Sizes. Wow! See, I could go on and on!
What sights did you see while you explored?
I’ve noticed that by traveling, we learn so much about the places we visit, the local culture and ourselves. There was so much to see in Italy; one of my favorite places I visited in Rome was the Vatican Museum. There I discovered my new-found love for art.
And the Venice waterways left me speechless.
Name one professional and one personal benefit to REED’s Work Away program.
Work Away gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. When else would I spend nearly a month in Italy, still getting to work and doing the job that I love? This was offered to our team as a new benefit, but this is so much more than that.
Personally, my Work Away allowed me to take a three-week trip to my bucket list destination, accompanied by one of my favorite people in this universe: my mom. We made millions of memories that I’ll cherish for all my years.
Any final thoughts?
During my downtime, I loved to explore…wine country! Tuscany was so picturesque, and it was there where I deepened my love for Italian wine. I enjoyed wine tastings, vineyards and centuries-old wine cellars. I already look forward to my next visit to this beautiful country!