It is currently 21:59 on October 12, 2016. I just finished overpacking for an 8am flight to Ibiza with 1,000 of my fellow co-workers. 1,000. Let me spell that out, one thousand. That is a lot of people to ship 2,000 kilometers from Düsseldorf to Ibiza for a weekend, am I right?
While this is my third trivago on tour, the initial anticipation of the unknown which later led to excitement has started to subside. This time, the thought of trivago On Tour has been replaced with appreciation (don't worry, the anticipation and excitement are still there).
At this point, I am beyond grateful to be able to work for a company that fosters a productive working environment while challenging the status quo of the modern workplace. It is not everyday a company who has had incomprehensible growth over the past few years keeps a tradition in place to ensure their core values are practiced -- trust, passion and focus (to name a few).
With so many new faces to get to know from all over the world, it really is a gift to be able to party, laugh and bond with so many people from all walks of life. It is not everyday that individuals are able to listen to dozens of languages if desired. It is also not everyday a company flies 1,000 people to an island off the coast of Spain. What trivago is doing is above and beyond, and while it may take a massive trip to an undisclosed location to make the outside world realize what we are doing, I think it's the little things (on a daily basis) that really make this company a special place to develop both professionally and personally. Plus, the day before trivago On Tour is always an exciting time around the office.
Alright, it's time to get to sleep, i've got a flight to Ibiza to catch.
Update: It is now Sunday, October 16th at 18:57. Though I am moderately exhausted to say they least, I thought I would keep the tradition of getting this blog post published as soon as possible before post-tour 'depression' sets in.
the tour starts here
day 1: the flight, GPS challenge, beach dinner & Ibiza night clubs
Day 1 started off bright and early with 5 chartered flights from Düsseldorf to Ibiza (and let's not forget those who took a ferry from Mallorca to Ibiza just as early in the morning). With a meeting time of 6am, and flexible working hours I am sure many people struggled to wake up in the morning -- though the early morning wakeup call was beyond worth it when we got a 'swag bag' full of super cool goodies upon airport arrival. All of the products were designed with seamless branding to reinforce the theme of the weekend: 'On Tour In Tune,' dedicated to all types of music to suit a variety of preferences.
It wouldn't be a flight full of trivagoers (?) without water guns to wake those who decided to fall into a little kip. We also received a special package containing the instructions for our GPS later that would happen later in the day. Exciting times!
I knew it would be a weekend for the books when I felt the warm, humid air against my skin as we drove over to the Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza, our home for the weekend.
Not only is the Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza the largest in Europe, but it was created to experience and enhance the already vibrant culture that Ibiza fosters. They also pride themselves on being the place 'where you create some of your life's most unforgettable moments,' where I can honestly say that is entirely true. This hotel enabled our company to be together at all times in order to get to know one another while having one heck of a time.
After getting settled in, grabbing a bite to eat, and of course indulging in a tropical cocktail we were welcomed by our Managing Directors. We then split off into groups to explore the town for the trivago GPS challenge, which was by far one of the coolest team building activities I have ever done. One thousand people exploring the town of Ibiza by iPad answering questions about trivago, and the island itself. I can now confidently spell Paella (a question that seemed to come up more than once).
Even though it started to downpour, spirits were kept at an all time high knowing the spa was open to warm up and relax.
Dinner was held at a variety of beach locations around town - with upbeat music & family style tables, it was the perfect environment to eat at before heading over to Vista at Privilege. A venue that is also known as the world's largest nightclub where Nina Kraviz would get us in tune for the evening.
PRIVILEGE x nina kraviz
day 2: hiking, paella & dress to impress
After clubbing until 5 in the morning, waking up to hike wasn't exactly on the priority list. As per usual we all knew it would be worth it. So after indulging in breakfast we slowly made our way to the busses (struggle city). The first couple of kilometers could have been better, but once we got talking and laughing everything seemed to work out perfectly.
At the end of our 1,000 person, 12 kilometer hike we ended up in the Hippie City with local food trucks / artisans selling jewelry and other trinkets. A group of men made the LARGEST paella I think I will ever see, and of course - it wouldn't be a trivago luncheon without a few cocktails and dancing.
Exhausted after an early morning and long night - we all got back to the hotel and had a few hours to relax before getting dressed up for our annual 'dress to impress' night followed by, you guessed it - another night of partying at the hotel's club. With seared tuna, sirloin steak & a copious amount of wine - we were ready for the evening to begin. After all look good, feel good, play good.
day 3: the tiki themed pool party
To be honest, I don't even know where to begin with this day. I guess I will start by imagining myself at the same party -- a great location, with amazing weather and incredible music surrounded by 1,000 people I do not know. While I would have an incredible time, there is nothing in the world that can replicate the energy of 1,000 people who have left their lives at home to work towards similar professional and personal goals at one company.
Without knowing the person's name next to me, I know that we are similar in many ways considering we wake up and spend our days working towards similar goals together. Our company got together and forgot about the daily arguments, judgements, and pain points to bond over music, sunshine and laughter.
I had to take a few minutes to look around and really remember what I was witnessing because I genuinely do not believe a group of people can replicate such love and energy like that again.
back to the party -
To begin, we opened up the trivago On Tour app to find out the line up for the day & Jill's face was like a little kid on Christmas.
the line up
1. William Carmichael aka Will the Pill, trivago's very own DEA authoritaire. He absolutely brought the vibe for the day and certainly set the bar up very high.
2. trivago's in house DJ, DJ Brecko kept the party moving before the afternoon really got started
3. Claptone - need I say more?
4. Fritz Kalkbrenner (yes Paul's brother), who brought absolute tunes for the later afternoon, where the party really got wild.
5. Michi Beck - founding member of the german hip hop formation 'Die Fantastischen Vier'
6. Crux Pistols - hip hop master
7. Back to our in house DJ, Hakan to close the party (in the early early morning)
After we freaked out a bit, we opened up the curtains in our room to see a pool FULL of fun, inflatable toys and the vibe was set for the day. We were ready.
the calm before the storm
Photo booths, luau couture, confetti, liquid courage and pure bliss gave us the power to dance for 15 hours straight. After all, time flies when you're having fun ;).
taking the party to the next level: Claptone
Fritz Kalkbrenner - Take us to the sunset
< quick dinner break & change of location >
After 15 hours and 6 DJ's later, I got to bed at 4 in the morning (yet again). I packed up my things, went to the airport and flew back to Düsseldorf with all of my coworkers and friends like it was all a dream.
This year's tour was really unlike all the others. While the last two were also very rememberable, this one goes to show no matter how much trivago grows, their core values are so engrained within the trivago culture. Although the team keeps growing, the company seems to be stronger and closer. It is very inspiring to see a company that is willing to change the way corporate culture is approached, along with being open to changing the lives of all of its employees by setting corporate standards very high. With impeccable organization, seamless design and top notch service this was the work event of the century. After all, life is what you make of it.
Thank you for this experience, trivago.