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Dana Steffe
Staff Visual Designer,
Google Maps

Choose your destination. Where would you like to go?
Poland. First a tour of Warsaw’s best milk bars—Pierogies! Borsch! One of everything you’ve got!—followed by mushroom picking with a slew of local experts during the “Golden Polish autumn.”

You need to plan your trip. Where do you start? What’s a go-to method / tool of choice to help you get something done?
The internet and a new Pinterest board. I tend to plan my trips around 3 things: food, antique artisan shops, and walking. Once I have a collection going, I’ll eventually transfer it over to a list on Google Maps so I have it on the go (offline maps for the win).

You sneak one person in your backpack and take them with you. Who do you choose and what role might they play?
I almost always travel with the same person—and no, it’s not my husband! My decade-long travel pal Emily. She’s the quintessential travel partner—down to go anywhere, eat anything, doesn’t sweat the small stuff, loves public transportation, and is fearless in a way that’s contagious.

What piece of the internet do you love so much you couldn't leave it behind?
The ‘random article’ link on Wikipedia. I’ve had a tab that’s been open on my computer for the past 6+ months, which I continue to refresh over and over again. Does it ever reset? Will I ever get the same article twice?

You’ve got to eat! You can bring one meal with you, and nobody’s there to judge. What will it be?
Xiao long bao, or soup dumplings, is something I could eat everyday, but would never have the patience or craft to make myself. All those tiny folds! The broth! The fact that you need no less than three utensils to really enjoy one…

You take a shortcut, but encounter a problem on your way. What’s your secret skill to help you get out of it?
The fastest way to inbox zero is to delete all your emails.

You pause for a rest. How do you spend your downtime? How about your life outside work?
Gardening, but more specifically trying to grow a significant amount of our own food at our home in Portland, OR. One day I'd love to transform part of our house into a live/grow space like this family in Sweden.

Finally, you make it! How do you like to celebrate? Do you throw a party? Look for the next challenge? Or eat a massive bag of marshmallows? Up to you!
A cold beer, a swim, a sunset, and a long breath of happy relaxation.

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Naheel Jawaid
UX Designer, Devices & Services


Choose your destination. Where would you like to go?
I’d wake up in the year 3000. How did I get here? I don’t know. But one thing’s for sure: there’s no time like the present, and I need to find a way back to it.

You need to plan your trip. Where do you start? What’s a go-to method / tool of choice to help you get something done?
When faced with a daunting problem to solve, I like to take a step back and.. decide I’ll get to it later. Little known fact: procrastination can boost creativity. Don’t believe me? Just listen to psychologist Adam Grant.

You sneak one person in your backpack and take them with you. Who do you choose and what role might they play?
Designers work best when married with other areas of expertise. If I’m building a time machine to get back to 2021, I’ll need an engineer! So I’d bring my childhood friend Justin Khabra—then, if I’m stuck here, at least I’ll have someone to hang with.

What piece of the internet do you love so much you couldn't leave it behind?
Mark Rober’s YouTube channel. I’m obsessed with the side of YouTube where creators teach you how to approach the world from new perspectives. So much so, that I’m actually working on my own channel where I teach everyday people how to think like a designer.

You’ve got to eat! You can bring one meal with you, and nobody’s there to judge. What will it be?
I’d pull out a container with my mom’s famous Pakistani green chicken. To this day I do not know what the green in green chicken is—I just know that it’s delicious.

You take a shortcut but encounter a problem on your way. What’s your secret skill to help you get out of it?
Time machines. In the year 3000, they’re actually sold at every bodega, but they’re not cheap. Lucky for me, past Naheel stayed consistent with his Youtube channel, and the bodega owner recognizes me—talk about evergreen content! He daps me up and lets me use one for free. Looks like side projects do pay off in the long run. Really long in this case.

You pause for a rest. How do you spend your downtime?
As I whirl back through the decades, I have to know, did TikTok ever get old? Did my team launch that thing we were gonna launch? Did Carti drop the ever deluxe album? On second thought, why ruin the surprise?

Finally, you make it! How do you like to celebrate?
I’m back, and it’s the year 2021! And while I’d love to celebrate… the world is still in a weird and challenging transition period. Only one thing to do, hop back in that time machine. Enter: 2022.

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Elisa Sunga
UX Program Manager,
Community & Culture

Choose your destination. Where would you like to go?
Teleport me to the SoHo FarmHouse, in the Cotswolds villages of Chipping Norton and Great Tew. I want to breathe in the 100 acres of Oxfordshire countryside. I also want to try clay pigeon shooting, boating, and enjoying the indoor-outdoor pool at the Boathouse. And multiple sessions of afternoon high tea. Clotted cream is a must.

You need to plan your trip. Where do you start? What’s a go-to method / tool of choice to help you get something done?
By day, I live and breathe spreadsheets, but my personal go-to is a draft email. Packing list, to-do list, and trip planning are all done in barely formatted drafts. Once my itinerary takes shape, I’ll move items around in bullet points. During the trip, I’ll delete the lines as I complete things.

You sneak one person in your backpack and take them with you. Who do you choose and what role might they play?
I would bring my long-time friend, Marshmallow. We’d have the best trip together. As a teddy bunny, he’d complete the cozy vibes, be my staycation partner, cuddle on demand, and agree to whatever I wanted to do. He doesn’t have a passport though, so I better get on that...

What piece of the internet do you love so much you couldn't leave it behind?
Jeff Nippard’s YouTube channel. In between scones and boating trips, I need to keep up-to-date with the latest on muscle and training science.

You’ve got to eat! You can bring one meal with you, and nobody’s there to judge. What will it be?
A bag of Takis. Definitely party size.

You take a shortcut but encounter a problem on your way. What’s your secret skill to help you get out of it?
Phone a friend! One of my favorite ways to tackle problems is to crowdsource and mindmeld with a variety of perspectives, insights, and experiences. It helps with thinking through the ins and outs.

You pause for a rest. How do you spend your downtime?
Sit down and daydream about donuts. Filled or unfilled? Yeast or old fashioned? What are the different donuts from each country like? And most importantly, are Krispy Kreme donuts really the best? I’ll take notes for my own baking experiments later.

Finally, you make it! How do you like to celebrate?
Take a long, long, long bath! Baths are the most underrated and ultimate form of luxury. Lots of bubbles and french fries via room service to toast this celebration.

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Emma Beede
UX Researcher, Google Health

Choose your destination. Where would you like to go?
I’d love to go to Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. Getting to the southern tip of South America seems like an adventure in itself, with incredible experiences in nature. I’d also like to explore the edge of the world. There’s penguins there, too!

You need to plan your trip. Where do you start? What’s a go-to method / tool of choice to help you get something done?
I’d start researching my trip by opening about 30 tabs in my browser, and interviewing anyone who has already been on the adventure I’m about to embark on. I’ll also jot down how I want my adventure to feel.

You sneak one person in your backpack and take them with you. Who do you choose and what role might they play?
My good friend Robin Hayashi for sure. She’s an experienced traveller and an incredibly adaptable leader in stressful situations. She’d be someone who would help me take a step back, see the big picture, and enjoy the ride. Her sense of humor means we’d be giggling along the way.

What piece of the internet do you love so much you couldn't leave it behind?
The meme group chat I have with 4 of my good friends. We share everything from dancing videos from @donte.colley, impressions from @jfirstman, puppy videos, to critical action items against racial injustice. It’s how I keep up with The Internet.

You’ve got to eat! You can bring one meal with you, and nobody’s there to judge. What will it be?
I could live on good bread and butter. Throw in some pastries (savory for breakfast, sweet for dessert), and I’m in heaven.

You take a shortcut but encounter a problem on your way. What’s your secret skill to help you get out of it?
The toughest problems require local knowledge. I’d work with the people I’ve met along the way on some participatory design exercises. Chances are, for any problems I’d encountered on my adventure, we'd figure out a solution that will work for everyone.

You pause for a rest. How do you spend your downtime?
Being present is important to me, so I’d just take in all the natural beauty around me! I might do some yoga to feel present in my body, a mindfulness meditation, and then, probably a nap. I’d also find local wildlife to observe—by kayak if possible—and a dog to play with.

Finally, you make it! How do you like to celebrate?
Looking over the landscape of Torres del Paine, I’d consider what I’d accomplished and give thanks to everyone who helped me get there. We’d make paintings, jewelry, silly doodles, tie-dye socks—something to remember the trip by. To top it off, we’d celebrate with a gourmet meal over a fire, and maybe even see some shooting stars.

06/24/2021

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