Bhavuk (Digital Marketing Specialist) is based out of Big Bang’s Toronto office. He recently had the opportunity to work and travel around Europe and wanted to share his experience.
“Everyone should do this at least once in their life”
Bhavuk, tell us about your itinerary and the reason behind your trip.
I started my trip in Paris, where I spent three days. I then visited Amsterdam, Brussels, and Brugges, and circled back to Paris. My phone told me that I had walked a cumulative 120km during this trip, which is something I’m very happy about.
Europe had always been a dream destination for me and my brother, who also works as a consultant at Big Bang, by the way! We knew that Big Bang offered the flexibility to travel and work remotely, so we jumped on the opportunity and planned this trip with some of our friends.
How was the experience of working from an office different than the one you are used to going to?
Working from the Paris office was such a special experience for many reasons. Firstly, the location is excellent – it’s centrally placed right near the avenue des Champs-Elysées. It made for a great lifestyle, namely all the lunch and coffee spots that are just a few steps away. I was able to meet up with friends during my breaks and take time to connect with colleagues over a hot beverage and delicious French snacks that I hadn’t tried before. I also got to try a lot of local delicacies outside of the office, including bread (lots of bread), and even managed to find the best croissant I’ve ever had!
Secondly, I got to meet a lot of colleagues in person that I interact with regularly over Zoom. I also had a few Montreal colleagues coming in and out of the Paris office during my stay which was a great testament to how international our work life really is.
It was an incredible thing to sit down with my Marketing team member Yannick (Business Development Representative) who is based in France. Zoom and other communication tools make it possible to work across time zones and thousands of kilometers seamlessly, but nothing really beats sitting down side by side to attack a challenge.
Did anything surprise you about your digital nomad experience?
I sometimes worked on European hours, but could also choose to stick to North American hours and come to work around noon local time and work into the evening. I was pleasantly surprised at how seamless it was to switch around my working hours, allowing me to explore the city and sights in the morning when it is less busy.
That sounds like a great experience in our Paris office. How about the rest of the trip?
I lived a true Eurotrip experience – staying in hostels, trying unique activities, and of course enjoying the local cuisines. In Belgium, I had Belgian beer, chocolate, and waffles. During my time in the Netherlands, I of course sampled Dutch pancakes (I loved that Europeans also have salty pancake options – this was a nice surprise). In Amsterdam, I treated myself to a thrilling experience: swinging on the highest swing in Europe! It’s amazing to think that this was all part of a work trip through the Big Bang Nation initiative.
What a thrilling itinerary! Did you have any less pleasant surprises during your trip, and was Big Bang able to support you through them?
Yes, unfortunately, my return flight got delayed and I had an unplanned overnight stay in Portugal on my way back to Montreal. Big Bang and my team were super understanding. I was relieved that we have the flexibility to work through unexpected situations like this with zero disruption to my work day. I had some meetings planned that day and was able to set up comfortably in the airport in Portugal, get my meetings done online, and return back happily without losing a work day.
Overall, I had an incredible experience discovering these great cities, meeting colleagues for the first time, and connecting with them, all while on a work trip. I had so much fun and also have the satisfaction of getting a lot of important work done. I’m thankful for my employer’s initiative to allow us to work from anywhere in the world and for the convenience of the Big Bang Hubs, located on different continents and offering the comforts and lifestyle I’m accustomed to while working at Big Bang. I truly hope all professionals get to have a similar experience to mine in their life!