We had a great year in 2014 and we worked hard for it, so as a Christmas treat, we went to Amsterdam. Yep, really.

We arrived early on a Thursday morning, most of us already a little disorientated from waking up at 5am, and immediately split into teams for the strangest (and most fun) treasure hunt I’ve ever experienced.

We spent the day finding and eating rollmops, looking for the most intricate bongs, trying to retrieve the whiskers of a dutch man and tracking down a cat called Bowie.

Using our luck, intuition, Google Maps and some very friendly locals (including one good-natured barber…), we managed to tick off most things between us, and the winning team (chosen by Mark at dinner with no bias at all 😉 ) won a super exciting mystery prize (which turned out to be a bottle of duty free liquor each from the airport…).

After dinner, most of us went off in search of cool bars while a few stayed in the hotel to relax (did I mention we had a super busy year?!). We spent day 2 exploring the city on a search for art, culture, food, a nighttime rainbow (which we eventually gave up on after standing on a train station platform for an hour) and places to sit down (for those of us who chose the bar option the night before).

Aside from having the best work Christmas party ever, I actually learned a few things. I won’t bore you too much, but, in case you’re interested…

  • Amsterdam is a beautiful city but it’s pretty strange. Getting thrown out of your comfort zone with your colleagues is a great way to get to know each other better.
  • As you’d expect, a trip abroad is a great morale booster. I’ve never seen some of these guys so happy, and we still haven’t stopped talking about it.
  • I got the chance to hang out with some people I haven’t spent a lot of time with outside of work before.
  • Team building exercises don’t have to totally suck.

On behalf of the team, I want to say a huge thanks to Simpleweb for giving us a Christmas party we’ll never forget…

Check out photos of our trip below.

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