I got married in 2014, and given that I was then working & living in Maldives (yes, it was quite the experience!), we had booked our honeymoon for the bustling twin cities of Hong Kong & Macau. The honeymoon itself was centered around a few things — it had to be a luxurious experience, I knew how much I could spend and I knew I wouldn’t have the time to get a visa. Beyond that, the world was our oyster (well, for Indians, a visa free world is sadly not too large!).
On another occasion, my wife and I found a 3 day window for a short trip. It was only a couple of days away, and we were acutely aware of both our spending ability and the time on our hands. After several hours spent online over 3 days, opening and closing of tabs to hotels in different locations, we went to Chikmagalur, a town about 300 kms from Bengaluru, known for its pleasant climate and coffee estates. Nothing too fancy, but a quick, enjoyable getaway nevertheless.
It still didn’t hit me. Or maybe I wasn’t looking carefully enough. Have you caught it yet?
During the remainder of the year, I had several people ask me for holiday recommendations, largely due to my location in a tourist destination. After having given my nth travel recommendation, with people both accepting and rejecting them, I woke up in the middle of the night (yes, that stuff actually happens) and had an epiphany:
Most people are not obsessive about where they go. They just want to take a break. Eat something new. See something magical. Experience something wondrous. They want to get to larger cities or get away from them. Fundamentally, they want different. Some even want unique. But most of all, they want these suited to their constraints of time & money.
Of course, I am waving my hand (no pun intended) at those who travel to the same place over and over again (read: Goa, Bangkok). That is largely for nostalgic reasons or familiarity. That’s a different kind of travel. That travel provides you with the comfort of your house. That doesn’t mean to enlighten, inspire or amaze. And while we need some of this familiar travel in our lives too, making that final decision of how to go and where to stay isn’t easy either. Chances are, you still want a new experience within the overall realm of familiarity.
But, the vast majority of people are exposed to several stimuli each day. Each stimulus brings with it varying levels of awe. Often, when you get down to it, you discover you can’t act on each of those stimuli. You put them away in your bucket list container and some will, sad as it may be, never see the light of day. If you are starting from Asia, Paris is not the best romantic destination if you have only a few thousands to spend. Same goes for South America if you’re looking for adventure on a budget. Some places are just out of reach — till something changes substantially, that’s the (sometimes harsh) reality. But, there is good news. This is a large planet — there are experiences to be found everywhere. Often, great experiences.
Inspiration without context only gives rise to wishful thinking.
The question then is, how does one discover contextually relevant experiences?
Well, you come to us. In less than 5 minutes, you will be exposed to a world of options that you never thought were possible. But, we’re not done there. Some options are better than others. We realize that and we work that out for you. Not through perceptions of a solitary traveler who believes he or she knows best, but through a deep, data-driven understanding of the destination combined with a soulful interpretation of what makes that place tick. And yes, all of this is delivered with prices from over 1,000 sites which feed into our proprietary rankings for flights and hotels based on vast quantities of data in the world. I could go on about all that we do to make this experience match your thought process – for now, a quick snapshot is given here.
It’s the start of a whole new world of going from Desire to Decision. Get ready for it.
(Founder & CEO, MeTripping)