Travel tends to make the out of the ordinary into de rigueur. You're in a cafe in, say, Warsaw and out of nowhere the leggy lady next to you is introducing you to her Crossfit-champion Icelandic friend who runs a back alley contemporary art museum that doubles as a circus tiger training den. By nightfall, you're there with both of them, sipping vodka on ice. Back home, you can sit at the cafe for a month straight and this will not happen - go ahead, try it.
SideTour is harnessing this strange power and packaging it up for us locally. Easily one of the more fascinating startups we've seen, SideTour curates small group experiences with local experts. Excursions range from dinner with a banker-turned-monk to a go-round of Little India in Queens with a writer who covers South Asian affairs for the New York Times.
We chatted with co-founder Vipin Goyal, about his company's culture. Employees get to attend SideTours regularly - in fact, they must (so far an employee goes to every experience) and sometimes they'll book a whole one for the team as an outing. They also host 'idea scrums' where all employees must shout out new ideas for experiences, and have team trivia nights.
Now go forth (and learn lion-taming from that guy in south Brooklyn).