parallaxploration Play

elevating employee engagement to new heights

For the past three years, our PARALLAXploration program has paid each of our employees to travel around the world, search for inspiration, and “fill the creative gas tank.” In the past, employees have traveled alone to the destination of their choosing – in order to get them out of their comfort zone and give them new perspectives to bring back to work. In 2016, we introduced a new twist: rather than send our employees on individual trips, we decided to travel as a team to Mexico City to connect with the local community, partner with other creative agencies, and find inspiration together! Watch the video above to live the adventure with us or read Jonathan’s perspective on the 2016 PARALLAXPloration!

tPX000_10102016_PARALLAXplorationblogpost_blog image




Then see below for where we Xplored in 2015!

2015 parallaxploration trips 

maddie | seattle, wa

I’ve lived in California my entire life, and have only visited a few other states at length, making layovers in or driving through a handful more. So when Jonathan and Guusje told us we’d be getting the opportunity to take another PARALLAXploration trip this year, I decided I’d challenge myself to really stick to the $1500 budget, only take one extra day off work, and become more acquainted with an American city that had always captured my interest: Seattle.

read more

janna | tokyo, japan

Tokyo wasn’t a destination I always dreamed of going. Honestly, I’d never thought much about Japan at all. I love travel, and have a long list of places I can’t wait to see: Croatia, Cape Town, Thailand, Patagonia…the list goes on. But I know I’ll likely make it to those destinations in my lifetime. For my PARALLAXploration trip I wanted to choose somewhere that I probably wouldn’t otherwise visit. I saw this as an opportunity to experience something that doesn’t feel like “me.”

read more

mallory | belize

I’m sure that at some point in their lives, everyone has thought about what it would be like to leave everything behind, move to a remote tropical beach and let all your cares just drift away, right? Well, after college I wanted to do just that… move to Belize, forgo the real world/working for the man, and just BE. Needless to say though, that never really panned out. But, with PARALLAXploration, I was able to live the life that never was, and come back to the safety and security of my normal 9-5.

read more

guusje | rio de janeiro, brazil

Just a few of the feelings I had before my upcoming PARALLAXploration trip: Excitement, curiosity, and impatience (from finding out where I was going). At the same time, I felt unnerved and scared not knowing where I was going. Normally, I like to prepare for my trips and love to have the accompanying excited anticipation beforehand. Why again did I agree to have my co-workers surprise me? I was beyond thrilled when I finally found out that they were sending me to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

read more

allen | ecuador

Design work is great and I love my job, but sometimes it’s healthy to detach from the pixels, disconnect from the interweb, and learn something new. My PARALLAXploration to Ecuador allowed me to get a taste of a life that’s almost completely different from the one that I usually live. I was out of my comfort zone, got my hands dirty, ate very little meat…and it was awesome. Ecuador is a beautiful place and I learned a lot about myself and others on my two-part journey.

read more

deborah | naoshima, japan

I love contemporary art. It enables you to see things from different perspectives. It shows you dimensions of life that you might not normally notice. And the best art always awaken in me a desire to create. (Since I’m a designer, that’s a pretty important thing.) Whenever I travel, my to-do list always includes visiting art museums. It allows me to absorb the culture and history of my destination though the art works on display.

read more

edison | barcelona, spain

My lineage is from The Philippines, a country that was subject to Spanish rule for more than 300 years, so the impetus for this trip was very personal. I was interested to see how much Spanish culture resonated with my own Filipino heritage. But once I got to Barcelona, the trip turned out to be interesting on lots of other levels. In addition to the obvious influence of Spanish names, blend of language, religious and culinary influences, I also got to understand Barcelona stands out as a progressively sustainable and unique place – making it an ideal destination for PARALLAXploration.

read more

jonathan | belgrade, serbia

For the first time in my life I went to a place that I was completely unprepared for in pretty much every way – Belgrade. I found out only the week before where I was going, so I didn’t have much time to prepare. I knew nothing about the country, history, people, culture, food – anything. I didn’t even know where I was going to be staying or what my “do good” task was.

read more

leah | new delhi, india

I only had ten days in India, a mere drop in an ocean when it comes to conquering the many to-do’s of this country. The adventurer in me was on full-blast though; I saw monuments, temples, and markets, zipped around in tuk-tuks, braved the suffocating metro, sampled street food, bargained in local shops, and held hands with locals when they wanted to share a photo. But there are five experiences from my PARALLAXploration that will stick with me like gum sticks to your boots (and, I hope, long, long after that).

read more

tyler | havana, cuba

Cuba is complicated. That’s the phrase I’ve found myself repeating most often while rehashing the details of my #PARALLAXploration in Havana to friends and family. Although diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba were restored in July of 2015, there were still a few obstacles standing between me and my trip to the lone communist country in the Western hemisphere.

read more

2014 parallaxploration trips 

jonathan | germany & holland

I have a yearly pilgrimage to Holland to visit my in-laws, yet each time I find new inspiration with design, architecture and the little nuances of daily life. This time we added in a biking and boating trip down the Rhine into Germany, so I’m kicking off our PARALLAXploration initiative by sharing a few things that inspired me on this recent trip…

read more

anna | machu picchu, peru

The first time I learned about Machu Picchu was in an anthropology class in college. I was mesmerized by how a lost Inca city perched on the side of a mountain in the middle of the Andes was left undiscovered until only 100 years ago. It was a reminder of how small my presence is in this world and how much is left to explore and discover on this earth…

read more

edison | berlin, germany

Berlin has always been in my top three European cities to visit because it’s a dynamic place of change — a melting pot with plenty of history, and a leader in art and design. The whole world recognizes the fall of the Wall and unification of the German people as a great example of freedom. Berlin then, became a city of opportunity…

read more

maddie | napier, new zealand

About a year ago, thinkPARALLAX’s Senior Project Manager, Elizabeth, took a leap of faith and moved her life across the world to begin a new chapter in Napier, New Zealand. Since she left, each day brought new photos from her that seemed too beautiful to be real, and her stories about New Zealand’s fantastic mix of nature and culture created images in my mind of a surreal, fantastic world full of unknown wonders. She urged me to come visit and experience it for myself, but I couldn’t imagine how that would be an attainable goal, until PARALLAXploration…

read more

allen | puerto rico

My PARALLAXploration trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico re-opened my eyes to the world and left me with a desire to explore outside my San Diego bubble. It has been about 4 years since I last traveled on a real vacation, so I knew that wherever I ended up on my trip would be an inspiring journey, especially traveling alone for the first time…

read more

julia | costa rica

I soared through the canopy at the base of a volcano. I hiked to a waterfall. I wandered through rainforests filled with monkeys springing from branch to branch in little leaps of faith. My objectives for my PARALLAXploration were to explore, connect with locals, learn, and relax, and I can say without hesitation that my trip was a success…

read more

tyler | mexico city

From 30,000 feet, the ground between Tijuana and Mexico City doesn’t look particularly Mexican. But, descending through the smog, fuzzy images begin to take on a distinctly Méxican feel (for example, a soccer stadium next to a bull ring) and as far as I can see, stretching out in all directions, are the cars, and houses, and humanity that is Mexico City…

read more

guusje | austin + d.c.

I’m very happy to be an American but I have not always loved America. As a Dutchie who moved to the U.S. almost 15 years ago, my initial not-so-positive view of this country was influenced by America’s foreign politics, which felt pushy and nosy to someone who grew up in a tiny country. When I’d travel to Thailand, Greece, Mexico, or Hungary, I noticed that American brands, movies and music were replacing local, unique, colorful, culinary, cultural expressions and traditions…

read more

janna | colombia

My Spanish is embarrassing. Unfortunately, I stopped adding words to my Spanish vocabulary back in 11th grade. For some reason the only phrases I can remember are “Donde esta biblioteca?” and “Este es mi lápiz,” and I think it’s fair to say those won’t help me much. I naively thought Colombians would speak at least some English, or that my my limited collection of words would get me by. Turns out, I was wrong. Vigorous hand gestures it would be…

read more

deborah | argentina

Buenos Aires has always been my top city to visit after reading the novels of Jorge Luis Borges during my high school days in Korea. Because of his portraits about the city in the 1940s, I created fantasies in my mind about traveling to the opposite side of the earth. Luckily, PARALLAXploration gave me an opportunity to explore that wonderland…

read more