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austria

trivago on tour

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trivago on tour

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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). 

IMG_4677.jpg

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. 

WWW.TRIVAGO.COM

 

photo by  Jan van Thoor 

photo by Jan van Thoor 

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THE SKI WEEK

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THE SKI WEEK

#werideTSW

For those who have experienced The Yacht Week you know the feeling when you watch the youtube videos of hundreds of like minded party-goers diving into the Mediterranean sea or the feeling of being sun-kissed sailing around the Aeolian islands with a cold drink in your hand. For those who haven't I highly suggest it, because just as they admit - it really is nothing like the real world. For those who may not know me, I would trade in my Rainbows and Vix bikini for a pair of K2 skis and my Canada Goose Jacket any day of the week. So when the idea of The Ski Week came about I felt the urge to experience something new and obviously something very similar to that of The Yacht Week - only on skis, in the alps - more specifically Obertauren, Austria. With a previous trip already planned, I was pretty bummed when I found out I wouldn't be able to make it to this inaugural episode of fresh snow, sun & of course an incredible après ski (a concept the USA has yet to adopt).  A few days before the week began an opening in a friend of a friend of a friend's flat (of whom I had never met - just another benefit of sailing the yacht week) had opened up and voila! I was joining ski week -- well, 1/2 ski week (which is better than no ski week at all - & so it began).


I Had arrived in Munich one day before The Ski Week began with no place to stay, and no plans since everyone was arriving the next day. After doing some research (Facebook stalking) I found a lovely, group of Americans predominately living in Seattle, but from San Fran, Canada, New York & Georgia who were gathering in Munich for an afternoon of sightseeing (Beer gardens) and casual drinking (more beer gardens) who were kind enough to adopt me into their crew for 24h, and let me be the first to tell you, this group was not messing around. From the moment I walked into the Wombat Hostel in Munich, these fine gentleman were ready to go. By the next day, and a 2h train ride to Salzburg we ended up on a giant bus to Obertauren (aka the ski week) with 50 others from across the world. Only a group from The Ski Week would kindly ask the driver to stop at a gas station in the middle of no where not to use the toilets, but to buy an assortment of adult beverages for the two hour ride through the Austrian Alps. --- 2 hours later our bus arrived in Obertauren, and one could feel the anticipation as we saw fresh snow falling onto country flags draped from balcony windows. It was like Christmas, but better

Accommodation: 

Unlike The Yacht Week, TSW's accommodation did not move, was slightly (and by slightly I mean significantly) more spacious, had fresh water along with big balconies to let in the fresh crisp air from the alps. They were cozy, chalet inspired flats with kitchens, fluffy down bed linens and modern appliances perfect for everyone's taste. Each Building was equipped with a sauna, jacuzzi, bar and of course wonderful hospitality from the brave hotel staff willing to host 400 ski weekers. It was like hoping from boat to boat, only from flat to flat. All you had to do was follow the music and everyone door was always open to welcome in guests. 

The Days: 

From Icelantic Ski Demo's, Pop-up Champagne Bars, Jacuzzi's equipped with rubber duckies & all, the Ski Week did not fail when it came to keeping ski weekers busy & constantly partying. I personally woke up early to catch the pistes while they were still fresh (well worth it if I may add) but within a few hours we had the locals confused by shredding down the mountain in onesies, golden spandex tights, tuxedos, neon crop tops & of course lederhosen - they loved it. The weather couldn't of have been better for such an event, a couple days with fresh snow & a couple days sporting spring skiing at its finest - tank tops & light jackets. The Ski Week had specific places to meet for lunch, or to grab a drink (jäger, beer, or Champagne - pick your poison) on the mountain if you wished to take a break from the mountain (we usually followed the great music and popping champagne bottles "pool"  side.) 

Après Ski 

It wouldn't be The Ski Week, or skiing in the Alps without an amazing Après ski. The major difference from skiing in Obertauren on a normal week verses ski week was the amazing music, locations & mind set of 400 people with a week off from work ready to party. Dancing on tables, Girls in bikinis, guys in tights, mini jäger bottles being passed around all in ski boots from mid afternoon to late night sounds about accurate. Every. Single. Day. Walking home at 10pm in your ski boots - normal. I have had the opportunity to participate in Après ski in the french alps, swiss alps, italian alps, but it has never been as good as The Ski Week's après. The best part was that the party kept going in the apartment buildings throughout the night just like The Yacht Week. 

 

Overall TSW team did an amazing job integrating the best aspects of TYW to the alps for the first ever Ski Week. I was very interested to see how they were going to do it, and I am very glad I got to be apart of something great. Wifi on the mountain to make sure everyone can find the pop-up champgane bar - genius. I wish i was there to witness the late night ski with torches, and the final closing party but I guess I will have to save that for next time when TSW brings après ski to the USA.

Reasons to experience the ski week?

1. It really is nothing like the real world.

2. You'll make international friends that will last a lifetime.

3. A Perfectly Planned / Unplanned Party. 

4. Who doesn't like to ski in costumes?

5. The inflatable  swans from Yacht Week made a debut on the slopes. 

Yacht Week or Ski Week? I would say both. I experienced TYW in Italy last summer, and it was amazing, but The Ski Week is entirely different in a good way. Just Book It so you can have your own stories. www.theskiweek.com

Questions? Feel free to ask!

Cheers from India - Speak soon. 

Per 

 

 

 


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The Time has Come.

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The Time has Come.

Ever since I can remember I have been waiting for this day. Not in any particular rush, but rather the day in which I can navigate a path for myself in any direction I desire. Four years ago I came to the Savannah College of Art and Design on an academic and artistic scholarship to pursue photography. I enjoyed taking photos on family trips to China, and Switzerland but I had never actually considered what career path I would follow. Four years later, I am graduating with my BFA in Fashion Marketing and Management and concentration in Business Entrepreneurship (well isn't that a mouthful). On a daily basis I am constantly asked "So Perri, Where will you go next? What will you do? What is your plan?" To be honest, I think it would be rather closed minded of me to have a direct answer because I don't think anyone ever knows. Throughout my experiences thus far I will be able to make a decision on where I will move and what job I will take because it fits in with my personal wants and needs as of this very moment in my life.  

With that being said, there is one thing I do know. I will keep on traveling. There are only a few years of every person's life where one can explore, dream, desire and live with no barriers. I have the ability to live inexpensively and simplistically in a place I love because there is nothing holding me back. For the next month, I will be traveling to Germany, Austria, India and Nepal. From skiing in the alps to backpacking throughout India and Nepal there truly are no words to describe my excitement. I hope to have the opportunity to capture the emotions of diverse cultures and the people of whom I am surrounded by to inspire you to take a moment out of your life to travel. 

I have recently been asked several questions on how to fund trips. There are a variety of ways to save money while traveling. There are plenty of opportunities to pursue a short term (3-6 month contracts) as an Au Pair, English teacher, Chalet Host, freelance designer, etc. It may not be a high paying job, but it will give you the opportunity to see the world in a way that has changed my life. If you are traveling with friends post-grad I suggest staying in hostels, splitting food costs and buying a few books to guide you along the way. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have as you plan a trip - I am happy to help. 

 

Anyways, I leave for the airport on Thursday, March 13 and will be returning one month later. I will try to upload photos on instagram @perrirothenberg, and will post when I return home.

Speak soon, 

Perri 

 

 

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