Lizzie Jones | Associate Recruiter, Expedia Group in Bellevue, Washington
Corporate recruiting pro-tip: you must be an (unofficial) brand ambassador for your company’s product. Professionally, because business acumen is fundamental to sharing opportunities with candidates. Personally, because it’s important to sell a product you believe in. When I received the opportunity to join Expedia Group earlier this year, I was ecstatic to have the unofficial responsibility to be a travel ambassador. Why? Because I don’t like traveling.
- I love adventuring.
- I love arriving at a destination, unexplored.
- I love taking in the sights and smells of a city I’ve never been to.
- I love sharing laughs and fumbled conversations with locals I’ll probably never see again.
What I don’t like is comparing flights, researching the best/safest hotels and figuring out what attractions to see. Too. Many. Logistics! I hoped that joining a tech company with a travel product might change my perspective on travel. Thus, I made a goal to book 12 trips with Expedia within my first 12 months of employment (update: I am on track to hit 12!) I envisioned doing a solo-trip to the middle-of-nowhere New Zealand to “self-reflect” or maybe a 1-month long yoga retreat in the Himalayas. I saw myself exploring safaris and ancient ruins. Scuba-diving and sandboarding. Instead, I discovered something greater: friendship.
Of the 8 trips I’ve taken so far, all but 1 have been somewhere on the West Coast (my mind’s telling me “Kilimanjaro,” but my bank account is telling me “San Francisco”). Though most of my travels remained domestic, here are a few things I did:
- Was in the same state with 2 of my best friends for the first time since we all graduated college 3 years ago
- Re-connected with a friend I had lost touch with (who only lives 2 states away)
- Watched several of my friends graduate with their Master’s degrees and met some of their family members for the first time
- Made new friends by meeting people at graduations, birthdays, events, and festivals that I might not otherwise have met
- It can be easy (I arranged all my trips on the Expedia Group app – I even bought tickets for one of my trips in a Lyft on the way to a coffee shop).
- Travel does not have to be “exotic” to count.
Don’t get me wrong, I still plan to explore many more places abroad (Greece 2019, I have been $aving up for you!) But I’ve also learned the immense value in traveling to stay connected with people and deepen relationships.
Expedia Group’s mission is to bring the world within reach. But for me, Expedia does that and more – it brings my world within reach.