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trivago on tour


trivago on tour


Rewind. The date is June 4th, 2014 - I find myself on an airplane to Düsseldorf, Germany, a city I that I have barley even heard of, a city I know no one in, yet a city that I am about to call my home. Feeling: Excited.

Fast forward a couple weeks - I am now stranded at the foreign office of Düsseldorf scattered to get a work visa. I check my email and notice I have received an invitation to attend the phenomenon that is 'trivago on tour'. Thoughts: I haven't even started work yet I just got invited to go on a company retreat to an unknown location with 400+ people (not a bad situation to be in) - I open the google doc to fill in my information, they want to know my shoe size, nationality and head circumference. Feeling: Interested. 

As I started working at trivago, rumors spread like wildfire around the office to where we were going. Some pondered upon the idea of Switzerland, some thought we would be lounging in the south of France, while others (including myself) guessed the alps of Austria.

No one would know until the day the 'party train' left Düsseldorf HBF. 

The Train 

Let me put it this way - this wasn't the typical Euro Rail trip from Berlin to Munich on a Wednesday afternoon. There were 2 full 'party cars' similar to that of a party bus (like the one you got for prom when you were 17) with blaring music, and 2 rows of triple stacked bunks in one cabin. 400 people, 12 hours - destination unknown, ready, set, go. 

After a long night & a somber 2 hour bus journey we had finally arrived at the picturesque location of Tirol, Austria (enter excitement here). 


After indulging in a shower, brunch, and a welcome from the CEO's, the trivago olympics commenced for the rest of the afternoon. I milked a mechanical cow & yodeled while exploring my sensory perception by smelling wild herbs... I helped identify 6/10 presented. Glad I could contribute to the team, team #34. 

The rest of the weekend included white water rafting, mountain biking, hiking, traditional austrian cuisine, mojitos, dancing with men in lederhosen, and sharing laughs with those who make trivago the successful company it is today. What more could we ask for? 


The Resort

The Gradonna Mountain Resort was stunning in every way imaginable. Placed in the middle of the alps the resort had jacuzzi pools, natural wood details, modern amenities, a spa and activities to fit everyone's taste. My personal favorite was the spacious brick 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom chalet equipped with a contemporary kitchen, personal sauna, all overlooking the valley with 5 of my wonderful co-workers. 


Mountain Biking

(hence the head circumference question)

The Hike

(hence the shoe size question)

Oh wait, how could I forget dinner on top of a mountain, and who would have thought that we could all look so nice when we dressed up. (Dress up friday's anyone?)

Concluding thoughts? 

Cheers to my new friends & coworkers, Harry, the bartender at the hotel who served me hot water & freshly squeezed lemon / honeycomb when I lost my voice, trivago for sponsoring such an amazing event, and the beauty of the alps - it made photography that much easier. 

OH & Get a job that you get excited for when you wake up in the morning, I know I do. 



photo by  Jan van Thoor 

photo by Jan van Thoor 


Next Stop...


Next Stop...

With 10 quarters of school down and only 1 more to go, it’s a bizarre feeling to realize that one chapter of my life is coming to a close, while another (unwritten) chapter is about to begin. As Winter break is on the verge of commencement I have been thinking a lot about the past 3 years in Savannah and where my hard work will take me. The people I have met will be life long friends, travel partners, or just a person to call up and say hello. The work I have cried, laughed and stressed over was a way to challenge my mind that I will forever appreciate no matter where and/or what I end up doing. I have only grown to appreciate the work and relationships I have built through the time away from this historic town. The exceedingly long winter breaks given to SCAD students are a time for me to reflect upon the projects I have done previously, and obviously a time to blow off some steam. While I should be actively seeking jobs (which I am) I want to hold on to the small ounce of youth that society deems acceptable. Since six weeks is a potentially long time to do nothing, I think it is important to make it a potentially long time to do something. It is not about the places you go, who you see or what you do whilst there, but rather about the people you spend your time with. Freshman year , I spent my winter break skiing in the beautiful town of Zermatt with my mother (and of course, fresh pow + blue bird skies & the Matterhorn in the distance), came home, flew out to Colorado to ski with my longtime best friend and fiancée in Beaver Creek, then cruised the Caribbean for Christmas with my family all before bringing in 2011 in New York City with strangers who are now some of my dearest friends. While I have vivid memories of Zermatt’s crisp morning air filled with freshly baked croissants I remember the laughs shared with the people who I was meeting and traveling with the most. While exhausting, every decision I make when I have the time off revolves around the statement “I never want to spend life saying I wish I did that.”

So take a trip to North Carolina to get some fresh air, or a weekend road trip to Montreal. Remember traveling isn’t about the Instagram posts & facebook statuses, it’s about the people you meet & share moments with along the way. You never know how your actions may impact the people around you.

So where is next? I'll be spending thanksgiving with my family in Florida, and then will have the opportunity to go back to a city very dear to my heart, Chamonix. I spent winter break 2012 studying French at Insted language school in the heart of this mountain town. This year I have a unique opportunity to intern with a start up company in the alps. Why not integrate work and play? I'll be spending 4 weeks designing, working and of course skiing (conditions permitting).

Have a safe & happy holiday season.

Speak soon,



P.S. Don't forget to volunteer & donate to local shelters this holiday season. Sharing is caring :)