Meet Lance: One of our external editors
Lance Badenhorst has been working as a freelancer for trivago over the last two years. Starting out as a writer creating hotel highlights (or “snippets”), he then went on to write hotel descriptions and review highlights, and now he’s currently one of the team’s external editors.
Transcribed and edited by Bartolomé Serrano
Visiting from South Africa to travel through Europe via a stop-off in Düsseldorf, the Descriptive Text Collection team got the opportunity to meet Lance and show him around our HQ. We also had the opportunity to interview him over a cup of coffee and picked his brain about writing, travelling, and randomness.
Descriptive Text Collection: Hi Lance! What are three adjectives a close friend would use to describe you?
Lance Badenhorst: That is a tough one… Maybe not as evident from today, but quiet is one. I can be quite introverted. Intense, sort of in a bookish way. And adventurous – as I like to travel.
DTC: What’s something that you think people should know about your hometown?
LB: In my hometown (Port Elizabeth, South Africa) there’s good diving and surprisingly good surfing. Some of the best waves in the world are about 45 minutes from where I live, a place called Jeffreys Bay.
DTC: Have you always been a writer?
LB: Professionally, as in writing for money? No. Only from when I worked at trivago, did I start doing so.
DTC: What did you do before that?
LB: Many, many things. My career has been pretty diverse. From accounting, to finance, to construction, to writing now and trying to start my own business.
DTC: What is it that you like about freelance writing?
LB: I particularly like that it’s not nine-to-five. You’re incredibly flexible and adapt to your commitments. Also, the writing itself, I really enjoy it.
DTC: While summarizing guest reviews for trivago, what was the funniest/weirdest thing you came across?
LB: Huh. That’s a good one. Weirdest review…There was one review highlight which was about the hotel only allowing small pets and the header was “No heavy petting”.
DTC: Going back to the different types of work you’ve done and your extensive travels: What is the most important life lesson you’ve learned and think would be wise for others to know?
LB: Oh, it’s getting deep. I’m not sure if I really learned a life lesson through travel or work. As I already mentioned, I’m an avid reader and I think that I’ve learned more from books. My favourite author at the moment is Nassim Taleb, who essentially writes about randomness and how the things that you think you can control are kind of an illusion. You can control some things to a certain point…But the last step – let’s say 2% – of pretty much everything you do, is outside of your control and is effectively, genuinely random. The best thing isn’t to plan to the last detail. The best thing is to be flexible enough to be able to adjust to whatever happens in those last 2%. The big takeaway is that reality doesn’t really care about your plans.
DTC: Where are you travelling to next?
LB: I don’t have anything planned right now. Maybe Paris. I visited there earlier this year and was quite impressed. But definitely somewhere in Europe.
DTC: What’s one destination that you consider fascinating?
LB: I recommend a place called Björkliden in Sweden. I’m headed there in the next few days, to see the Aurora Borealis.
DTC: Thank you for doing this interview.