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Monday’s Links for Curious People – Quito/Trippy Edition

Marine Iguanas in the Galapagos Islands

Marine Iguanas in the Galapagos Islands

I’m winding up my stay here in Ecuador. My original plans were pretty aggressive. In the end, other than my trip to the Galapagos Islands, I’ve spent all my time here in Quito. It has given me the opportunity to work, eat great food and explore the city a bit. Also, when you have a room with free wifi at $20/night, it seemed like a good idea.

Wednesday I’m going to have one of those hell travel days I have to suffer through every so often. My flight from Quito leaves at 6am and lands in Los Angeles at 2:45pm with a layover in Houston. My flight to New Zealand then leaves at 11:40pm, which means I have to kill a good part of the day at LAX. Oh well.

I’m going to New Zealand with Qantas Airlines. They ran a contest where Australians were able to come to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup and follow the Wallabies around in campervans. They also had a slot for some bloggers, and they asked me. As of yesterday the Wallabies are in the semi-finals and they will be playing the All Blacks from New Zealand. If you have any suggestions for things I should do/see in New Zealand, you can suggest them to me on Trippy.

Speaking of Trippy, I’ve mentioned it briefly before, but I am serving on the board of advisors of the company. I get requests on almost a daily basis from startup travel companies who want me to promote them. Most of the requests are impersonal, the services are uncompelling, and there is really no incentive for me to even follow up.

I’m very picky about the companies I associate myself with. There were several things about Trippy which appealed to me.

  1. JR Johnson, CEO of Trippy, took the time to actually meet with me in person. So many people just send mass emails out to bloggers. By taking the time to meet with me in person (we were both in New York City) he demonstrated that he was serious about my involvement. I was also able to assess him as a person. It meant a lot.
  2. The team has an excellent track record. JR and much of the Trippy staff were behind VirtualTourist.com which was sold to Expedia for a boatload of money. They have experience running online startups and also have experience in the travel industry.
  3. The product is good. Obviously, you can have the best people in the world with all the financial backing you want, but if the product sucks, it sucks. I’ve had several people tell me that it is addictive to sit and just plan your dream trips. That is a good sign.
  4. They are making it worth my while. I’m not getting any money, but they are offering me some stock options in the company. I’m not going to get rich from it, but it is nice gesture on their part. Much more than the nothing which most companies give you for your involvement.
  5. I’m in good company. In addition to myself, other heavyweights are on the advisory board of the company: Kim Mance, Johnny Jet, Tim Ferriss, Brent Snyder, Peter Shankman and Randi Zuckerberg. In fact, I’m not even sure what the hell I’m doing on that list.

I’ll be using Trippy as my platform in the future for all of my future trip planning. You can view my trips, make suggestions, comments…you can even take my entire trips and use them as your own template for visiting a place. The site is currently in Beta, but it is open to anyone.


What I’m Reading

As you may know, I’m in the process of rereading all of the books in the Dune series in chronological order (order they take place, not the order they were written). I’ve been making headway now that I’m back on the road.


Links

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Comments

  1. Mike says:

    Trippy sounds trippy. Will check it out!

    How did you like Quito? I can’t get over the traffic and pollution…drives me nuts every time I visit.

  2. Thanks for the tip on triply. Will check it out.

    Nancy & Shawn

  3. Ysmay says:

    Hi Gary!

    Ysmay from metroseeker here. I know it’s been a long time since I commented. I’ve been up to my eyeballs with work. I’m glad to see how well things are going and how much you are enjoying your trip even if you didn’t do as much as you originally set out. :)

    Thanks for recommending Trippy.com. I travel a lot for work, and I’m always looking for something that would make it easier!

    Take care!

  4. Kierston says:

    Trippy sounds great! I love the idea that your travel is powered by your friends, however i agree with Chanel- I don’t want to have to login with Facebook. I don’t trust that you won’t post things to my wall (even though you say you won’t). Just some input…I’d love to actually get inside and check it out but I guess i’ll have to wait until I don’t have to allow access to my FB :)

  5. Dustin says:

    This is absolutely amazing! I just found your blog when I was looking for travel blogs. I am about to graduate college and plan on moving to Japan. I want to see all of Japan, big and small.

    Definitely going to RSS your blog…

  6. Chanel says:

    Trippy sounds like so much fun… I just wish it didn’t require a Facebook account link to login. As someone who has sworn off of Facebook, I’m pretty disappointed that I can’t use this service.

  7. Amanda says:

    Trippy sounds pretty cool. I’ll definitely have to read into it a bit more. As for your NZ trip, I have plenty of suggestions!!

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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