Why Travel and a Software Startup?

My wife Susan and have joined the transitory band of folks sometimes called digital nomads. We’re taking from December to May and exploring parts of Central and South America. At the same time we’re starting a new startup - Wanderfeast.com. So, besides the usual travel adventures we’ll be looking for co-working spaces and trying to get some research, writing, and coding done.

One of the original inspirations for me is someone whom I’ve never met yet, but hopefully will one day, is Peter Levels of https://levels.io/. He’s very prolific writer, entrepreneur, and digital nomad and his original nomadlist.com was an Minimum Viable Product (MVP) of just a public spreadsheet with a list of cities. He knew the idea had merit when people not only added new rows (new cities good for digital nomads), but also new columns with more info about those places then he originally started with. Once the idea proved itself, then he built the website. Genius. He’s started on a self-challenge of 12 startups in 12 months and I’m impressed by his creativity and productivity.

So, I want to travel more, I have an idea that solves a problem of mine I’ve been toying with for a long time. I’d like to learn Swift, do more with Github, learn Docker, learrn to build a community and an app and web services that solves informing you about a place as you wander through it. What are the interesting bits on the internet about the place where you are but that take too many hoops currently to discover and surface? Not just what you can find straight out of a travel guide. While that is interesting info, and I’m a travel guide addict, I’m a geographer and I want more detail about the places I visit. I want a geographic super power. Luckily I have a smart phone and the internet and I can build something that gets me closer to having that super power.

See you on the road. - Tim

What is a Wanderfeast?

A Wanderfeast is an exploration of a place, using your senses, your particular interests, and includes eating and drinking as part of discovery.  I was originally inspired to start Wanderfeasting on a trip in Oregon and reading from www.traveloregon.com. That started several years of family and friends using the term "Wanderfeast" as an excuse for special road-trips, hikes, bike trips, or simple walks where the emphasis was on discovery, exploration, learning about a place, followed by great food and drink. It could be a Sunday afternoon walk with the dog but I started developing an attitude and techniques to learn more about areas of our home in Berlin, or where we were traveling,. It could be a more epic multi-day hike on the UNESCO World Heritage trails in the Wachau, Austria (our home page photo), a hike in the Dolomites (above with Kona the Wanderbeast) or a simple walk through Hasenheide Park and Templehof. But it always included learning more about the place, the geography, history, culture. Eventually I wanted even more tools to help me identify great Wanders and to be able to share them with friends. That was the genesis of Wanderfeast.com and soon our Wanderfeast app. Technology is great to find amazing places to wander and then "feast", but it's still too hard to really discover and learn about a place. Too many steps and apps. What if we can make it much easier to understand a Place's DNA? What if we can personalize that discovery and exploration? So the things you're most interested in are what surface first. I think the answer is a focused app and a community and then together you and I can start building and sharing Wanders we love with our friends.

I'll put some more posts up soon with specific examples so you can see if it's something you'd like. If it is, please sign up for the email list and then you can give feedback as we roll out features and the app and let us know if it's working to enhance your own Wanders.