Under30Experiences 2017 Year in Review
Almost six years ago, I set out on my first international adventure - a trip to Iceland that would leave me forever changed.
Little did I know, this shift in routine and chance to experience something new would lead me to make massive changes in my life, and launch an incredible journey down the path of personal development.
This one trip to Iceland led me to five incredible years of travel, first to Costa Rica, and then the United Arab Emirates, Bali, followed by Nicaragua, Canada, Belize, Mexico, France, Peru, Colombia, England, Wales, Ireland, Spain, Brazil, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Taiwan, Singapore, and Ecuador - yes, almost in that particular order.
Far more important than the passport stamps were the things I’ve learned, new perspectives I’ve gained, and the relationships I’ve fostered with people both like-minded, and completely different from myself.
At the pinnacle of this journey has been the incredible opportunity to build a company and a community who wants to pay forward the life changing magic of travel.
This New Year, please join me in our annual practice of reflection so we can make 2018 our best year possible & continue our mission to change the world.
In 2017 Under30Experiences launched several new trips with Thailand being our community’s most asked for new country.
Opening a Southeast Asian destination is challenging: navigating a city as big as Bangkok, organizing the train to Chiang Mai and flights to Krabi and Railay Beach – all with massive cultural differences, sustainability concerns and understanding the right way to interact with the elephants.
In other words, we needed an expert.
Please welcome to the team Tim Gillespie, who's lived with his Thai wife in the small village of Mae Hong Son, Lampang for the past seven years.
Want to hike for four days through the Andes Mountains, over the 13,828 feet Dead Woman’s pass to Machu Picchu?
You better be prepared with expert guides, evacuation plans, quality food, and excellent equipment...
All in addition to negotiating with the Peruvian Government for trail permits over a year in advance of the hike.
Welcome Roland Llave Torres, born and raised in Cusco, Peru. He organizes our incredible team of porters, chefs, and licensed Inca Trail guides, in his native language, Quechua, for an adventure of a lifetime.
Ireland + Scotland + London
When our community speaks, we listen.
The success of our trip to Ireland was impressive, but our travelers told us that if they were going to cross the Atlantic, they might as well see a few more countries. This led us to develop one of our most popular multi-country trips yet; Ireland - Scotland - London.
Now, you can travel with Under30Experiences from Dublin, to Kilkenny, to the Cliffs of Moher, and Galway, fly to Edinburgh, see the natural wonder of Fort William, before departing on the train through the English countryside to London.
With all these logistics at stake, we’ve designated our very own Marion Bres to open our European office.
With all that we have in store for Europe, it helps she speaks English, French, Spanish, and Russian!
Amazon + Machu Picchu
Want to experience two of the top places to see before you die in ONE trip?
With our local expertise led by Roland Llave Torres, this Peru trips leads you from Lima to Cusco on a one day Inca Trail hike to Macchu Picchu, and then into the Amazon before flying back to Lima.
With all the careful planning and preparation across high altitude and then deep into the jungle, we know this trip is one where U30X can provide tremendous value to the traveler.
To the Under30Experiences community, travel is not just about checking off your bucket-list, but about getting to know yourself on a very deep level.
New trips for 2018?
In 2018 we plan to dominate Europe with our new trips to Italy and Spain…we’ve redesigned our France trip as a food and wine tour, we’ll be trekking through Iceland - camping in the back country for five days, and finally seeing some undiscovered corners of Brazil that should blow your mind!
This year we saw exponential growth in our Local Chapters who hosted 103 events in total across the United States and neighboring countries.
We saw incredible commitment from our 44 Community Managers, spreading the word about Under30Experiences and passing thousands of dollars of savings onto our community. Every attendee of our local events received $100 off their next trip.
Most importantly, we saw tighter knit communities formed, custom Facebook groups launched for each chapter, and events that extended beyond the classic happy hour meetups.
Atlanta hosted a camping trip, Austin went kayaking and SUPing, Boston went on a Cider Tour, Detroit played bocce ball, San Diego climbed a mountain under the full moon, and Atlanta and Raleigh both hosted yoga classes!
Did you know our New York community is hosting a ski weekend at Hunter Mountain this February? Get the details!
Join your local chapter on Facebook:
Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Bozeman, Canada, Central Florida, Charlotte, Chicago, Connecticut, Dallas-Forth Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Miami, Milwaukee, Nashville -Memphis, NOLA, NYC, Ohio, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh-Durham, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, SOCAL, St. Louis, Washington, DC.
If Under30Experiences was founded on paying forward the life changing magic of travel, nothing makes me happier than seeing our team grow into leaders who embody that mission.
We’re proud to build a diverse group of people, who share a love for improving themselves and the world around them.
Our teammates and Trip Leaders hail from Costa Rica, France, Honduras, Nicaragua, Italy, Peru, Chile, Bali, Thailand, Brazil, and Iceland…but more important than their color, creed, or origin, is their love for planet Earth and their desire to bring people together.
In 2017 Under30Experiences grew from a team of 10 people to a team of 20+ and we are currently looking for Trip Leaders and Local Guides in Costa Rica, Peru, Iceland, Ireland, Mexico, Belize, Colombia, Galapagos, Patagonia, Thailand, France, Spain, Italy, Cambodia, Vietnam, Australia, and New Zealand.
Who wouldn’t want to work out of our offices in Austin, Texas; Cusco, Peru; Lyon, France; Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica or Chiang Mai, Thailand?
What’s Next for U30X?
Our aim is to build a company that is a vehicle for positive growth.
Under30Experiences is committed to making positive impact on our travelers and on the local communities in which we operate. We know travel can have incredible impact on the individuals fortunate enough to experience it, and that their travels can have an incredible impact on the areas we visit.
We think its critical that our travelers understand the impact that spending their money can have on a local economy, and we must do so in the most sustainable way possible.
Our millennial travelers are the next leaders in the global economy. It is up to us to decide how we spend our money and shape our world.
We think it’s critical that our local partners at hotels, restaurants, surf schools, zip-line companies, and other local operators act as leaders in their community, assisting us to work with local community organizations to make our world a better place. Have you seen our local textile project in Chinchero, Peru?
Our goal for 2018 is to develop programs on every single itinerary that will give our travelers the opportunity to give-back to the communities we visit.
2017 has been just the tip of the iceberg.
Have an idea for how Under30Experiences can change the world? Comment below or send me a message on Instagram @mattwilsontv.