trivago, take me home! (with 10 of my colleagues)
If you have read any ‘life at trivago’ article in the past, you probably know a bit about our company make-up, and what it is that makes working at trivago so unique. But just to give you a quick recap, we are 1300 talents from over 50 different countries, working and sharing experiences together every day. We often hear a lot about the faraway lands where our team-mates hail from. But sometimes stories don’t paint the whole picture, that’s why we decided to start sending our employees home, along with 10 of their colleagues!
The first edition of the ‘Take Me Home’ series was to Lyon, France, the hometown of Corentine from our Communication department. Corentine is a PR specialist for the French market and self-confessed ‘Nurturing mother of French journalists’. She has been at trivago for almost two years, since finishing her Masters of Business Administration in Leipzig.
We sent Corentine plus 10 (randomly selected) employees back to Lyon for a long weekend, here are their first-hand accounts:
Corentine, PR France
“Before I dig into the topic of taking a bunch of people to my hometown of Lyon, I apologise for the philosophical touch of this text, but I’m French after all, and we like discussing topics in an inefficient way, let’s call it ‘philosophise’, because it sounds clever.
So, ‘Take me Home #1′ was not about me taking 10 people from trivago to Lyon. Sure, I could tell you the city spots we’ve been to, the (great) food we had, the number of kilometres we walked… but this is not the point. The point is (philosophical part starting after the comma), no matter the destination, it’s all about the people. You could go to the most beautiful place in the world, and without a great crew, it would not matter”.
“I rediscovered my city and saw my parent’s house in a new light, good vibes were the magical ingredients which made the difference. I did not take people home, but they took me.
It was not about 11 trivago employees in Lyon, but a bunch of smiley guys, eyes wide open, supporting a very talkative French girl, tasting weird food, trying to speak French, trying even harder to understand my parents’ very poor English, learning how to taste wine and cut cheese, belly dancing, latino dancing and playing like kids in the swimming pool. Thanks for taking me home guys!”
Alex, Marketplace Data Analyst
“To be able to experience Lyon from the perspective of a local was a unique experience. The food, drink, sights, and experiences in the city centre were so much more authentic and personal than I could have otherwise experienced. Enjoying the Beaujolais countryside with the locals is something I could not have done alone, it’s an experience I’m very grateful for”.
“The highlight for me was definitely enjoying a range of French cuisine, wine and champagne with 10 other really interesting and friendly people from 10 different nations. I now understand why the French hardly ever go on holiday!”
Mayada, Arabic Markets Country Developer
“To be honest this experience was such a pleasant surprise. How can 11 people, from 11 different countries, different ages and completely different sets of interests get along so well?
I guess this is the beauty of trivago; people here are just so open to learn new things, to meet new people and to have experiences that take them to different places physically and mentally”.
“It was an added bonus that our host was a kickass planner! Corentine made it her mission to have each one of us experience the most we could about her beautiful hometown!
There were so many highlights of this trip, but what I appreciate most was the convergence of cultures that happened. We learned latino dance moves while taking a break from our very French wine tasting experience”.
“We got an Italian Vocabulary lesson, belly danced like Egyptians on the green grass, hiked to the top of a hill like good Germans would, partied hard like the Brits and each one of us came back knowing at least 3 words of the lyrics to the Spanish song ‘Despacito’! It was such a memorable experience!”
Nicola, Project Manager – App & Business Reviews
“At trivago we are encouraged to really get to know our colleagues, reflect on, and share our personal experiences, whether informally or in various workshops. Well, there’s certainly no better way to get to know someone than literally seeing where they come from and meeting their family, the people who shaped them from the beginning!”
“Not only did we all get a unique insight into our amazing host’s family and culture, but we also got to learn about each others cultures too. As well as learning the correct French way to cut cheese, I also learnt the true meaning of antipasti and have a new travel goal – to go to Bogotá and have a hot chocolate with cheese!”
Amanda, Marketing Intelligence
“It was cool to meet people of different nationalities from different parts of the company. Corentine was a great host and did an amazing job explaining the history of this very ancient city, where the eras of geographical development can be seen from the hills overseeing Lyon. The rich religious, culinary, and working culture is visible in the architecture, street planning, and vibrant lifestyle of the people”.
“I loved the food (including the smelly andouillette) and the modern light rail transit. The real highlight though, was visiting Corentine’s parents’ home in the country, in the Beaujolais region. The family was incredibly warm and charming, we enjoyed lots of sunshine, the swimming pool, delicious homemade food, local cheeses and wine (and pâté en croûte …yum!), and of course the quirky French humour.”
Jairo, IT Support
“My trip to Lyon was such an amazing experience. I didn’t know anything about Lyon before we landed there, and that was actually the best part of the experience. Lyon was, overall, a surprise! To feel as though you are in the renaissance while walking through the streets, tasting the food and wine, enjoying the art, and discovering places. I can’t recommend enough that everybody spends a weekend there, enjoying both the city and the Rhone countryside, with all their vineyards and history. I am already looking forward to going back!”
Christian, Java developer
“I always heard great things about Lyon; its streets, people and food, so it was on my list of cities I wanted to visit and I must say it was an incredible experience. Before the trip we got the itinerary for the 4 days, and just reading it was really exciting.
The organisation and dedication of both Corentine and Stefanie was great, and the people in the trip couldn’t have been better. During the two days in Lyon we visited the main points in the city, walked around the beautiful streets and parks, discovered hidden places, and enjoyed the French culture, architecture and food! All comments about the food were right. I had some local pan-fried beef tripe, andouillette sausage, cheeses, and foie gras. All of them were delicious”.
“We also headed to the Beaujolais by bus, when we got there Corentine’s Mum was waiting for us. Her parent’s house was like a postcard picture. We spent the day in the pool (the weather during the whole trip was perfect) and we had a BBQ lunch. In the afternoon a regional wine and cheese tasting was arranged”.
Fabián, Full Stack Developer
“One of my favourite things about trivago is been able to share experiences with people from all over the world, and this event was no exception. Those who were lucky enough to go on the trip were a very diverse group of people.
Just the idea of it is amazing, one person showing you around their own city with all the excitement, joy and mixed feeling that this evokes. Coco was up for the job, she answered all my random questions on French food and culture, and even shared her family costumes with all of us. We tried the food, toured the streets, and partied while learning about the history of Lyon and about each-other. We shared the past and enjoyed the present surrounded with the young atmosphere of the city”.