A while ago, I joined Booking.com

6 months in.

I think this requires for a toast. Oh, even better, for a post.

You know those things with white pages and hardcovers, that you write in every day and save over the years…well I still keep one. Helps my bad memory and exercising with self-reflection.

So now, looking back, I can note exactly six months of change.

Packed my stuff (again) and moved to Amsterdam, the city of bridges, bikes and bitterballen and joined Booking.com. (whooo!). After working at another major company, which was great, seemed for many a bit counterintuitive.

There are many things to say, but I will select just a few, just because it’s late and don’t want to bore you to death. :)

I’ll start with the city, as it’s the easiest one. Living in Amsterdam has been a long time dream. Some love it, some hate it, that’s ok. I admire it and the people who created it. The history, the architecture, the arts are almost too much to take in. Then the attitude, relaxed and open. I really put it on the ever presence of water which molds the way people move, speak, think.

And I know, there will be so many blabbing around, throwing all the stereotypes out there, but hey, I’m the incurable optimist.

Anyway, I knew I’d feel at home in an instant. Home is where the heart is, right?

That was not the case with Booking.com, we did not get the chance to get too much acquainted beforehand. We did have a common interest though — travel, which is always a conversation starter. When I say travel I imply all that’s in it: diversity, tolerance, shared knowledge, the massive amount of curiosity that burns our souls and gives birth to the constantly regenerated urge to see more, to do more, to understand and change for the better. Ok, I’m romanticizing a little this now, but you get the gist of it.

So we hit it off, me and the biggest travel accommodation platform, serving over 1 million travelers a day. This was possible, because the people here and in the other 200 offices around the world want this “#1” and they want it in a way that I like. I see the passion and the drive, I see the struggles, I see the openness to understand the world of travel and change it for the better.

And I am not romanticizing on this one: we are a profit driven company, like all companies (duh!). But my fear with all the companies out there is that they forget about the people and then people forget about themselves. Haven’t forgotten about myself, still writing in that thing which starts with “d” and finished in “iary”, with great satisfaction, I might say.

I’m six months in and I love how people keep each other real. It’s not an easy process. It comes with frustration, questions, doubt, but also great satisfaction and wonder.

I’ll be back with new notes. Till the next retrospective, wish us luck! :)

PS: for all those who are accompanying me on this path, one way or another, thank you!