This week several of my company’s European (Dutch and Slovakian) employees came to our US office in Alpharetta, Georgia for a few days. I and a couple of my fellow Americans took it upon ourselves to make sure that they really lived it up and got the best possible experience of this wonderful country.
Maybe you want to do the same. Next time your Spanish marketing team or Italian developers visit, you can take a few of these pages from our playbook:
1. Eat Mexican food. Apparently there is Mexican food in the Netherlands, but there is nothing quite like American Tex-Mex food. Outside of Mexico, the Southeast United States has that market cornered. Just make sure your coworkers don’t get food poisoning (i.e. do better than we did).
2. Sing American karaoke. From Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin,” there are so many great songs produced by American bands and loved by people from around the world. But don’t just sing those. Introduce your coworkers (as I did) to “Friends in Low Places, “Blue Suede Shoes,” and “Old Time Rock’n’Roll” too.
3. Play beer pong. It’s not my thing, but it is a classic American game (if not created by Americans, then perfected by Americans). We had a rousing game and used some concerningly old wine that had been refrigerating in our office for longer than most of our employees have been working here.
4. Go hiking. On a previous visit, I took one of our Dutch coworkers for a trek on the Chattahoochee River. Nature time is rare enough for people flying in from abroad, so hiking can be a great introduction to the natural beauties of the American Southeast.
5. Visit Waffle House / Chik-fil-A. These are two American food/cultural institutions, and your European coworkers need to try them. They might be confused by the concept of an all-night waffle and hash-brown based diner empire, but they’ll understand once they’re sitting down eating chocolate chip waffles at 2 AM in the morning.