Two years ago I had a meeting that changed my life and it’s about to change yours.
For those who don’t know, by day I help run Lifted Logic, a web design company in Kansas City, and one of the best parts of the gig is getting to meet with different companies and business owners all day, every day.
Some of the meetings are with large corporations with thousands of employees and others are with a single person just starting out, too crazy to know that success isn’t a guarantee and that as a business owner they are signing up for years of long hours, high stress, and countless sacrifices.
Jaqui, WiGo Founder and CEO, came into meet with Adam about an idea she’d been working on. Thirty minutes into the meeting Adam came to grab me, saying ‘Todd, I need you to hear this idea this girl has, it’s a travel thing.” It’s no secret around the office that anything travel related is right in my wheelhouse. I sit down and Jaqui starts explaining her idea to me. I was sold within the first 5 minutes. As she explained it, I couldn’t stop thinking ‘how is this not already a thing’? It was one of those ideas that you know the world needs and can’t believe no one had done it yet.
At its core, WiGo Trips is a trip sharing platform. It’s an app by travelers for travelers, with the end goal of connecting people, helping them to see the world, and cross stuff off their bucket list.
WiGo Trips allows people to plan a trip, post it, and open it up for anyone to go on. And there lies the beauty of it, let me reiterate, anyone can go on a posted trip: friends and family of the trip creator, or complete strangers.
You literally download the app(iPhone, droid), sign up (use CODE TSMIDT3255 to avoid waitlist), and can see a hundred trips already available. See one you like? All you have to do is request to join, get approved, and pay. Just like that, you’re talking about your next adventure instead of dreaming about it.
A trip is never just about the place. If you ask anyone who has traveled and turned it into a lifestyle, they’ll tell you traveling is about experiences and people. Which is exactly what WiGo Trips focuses on. While the app offers a bunch of cool “bucket list” trips, what it’s really doing is connecting people; allowing them to create a travel experience they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else.
WiGo is about putting people with high energy, who love to plan, have traveled a lot, and enjoy organizing chaos with people who are overwhelmed by those things. People who really just want to show up and do cool shit with great people.
WiGo allows each trip creator to pick their “travel squad” to experience the world together and form friendships that will last a lifetime. It helps travelers do what they do best, which is, to trust other people to create a unique and unforgettable experience.
I’ll be honest, anyone can plan a trip somewhere, but few can plan and lead it as good as I can. This is something I’m just now realizing. Planning a big trip and then going on it is like breathing to me. I know where to look for flights, activities, reviews, dive bars, and restaurants you’ve never heard of. It’s not only something I’m good at but something I love doing. The goal of WiGo Trips is to connect people like me with the rest of the world.
In mid-January we had WiGo ambassador orientation in Kansas City. Out of the 30 ambassadors, 23(ish) made the trip to KC. People flew in from LA, NY, Denver, Austria, Argentina, Chicago, Austin, New Orleans, and Seattle. Going into the weekend I’ll admit I had my reservations. I was worried this idea I had built up in my head for the past two years wouldn’t match up with reality. I worried that everyone would be crazy or that their travel style wouldn’t match my own. And guess what? I was right.
Each ambassador is a bit crazy – AND AMAZING. Who would have thought when you bring 23 people together who have been to over 300 countries and speak over 30 languages that shit would get a bit wild.
Their travel styles? Completely different. Which is the entire point. WiGo Trips offers a variety of trips based on what fits you. I’m a hostel, sleep on trains, catch early flights, do as much as I can kind of traveler (which isn’t for everyone). Jaqui’s travel style is what I would affectionately refer to as “bougie” and that’s okay. As long as you’re enjoying yourself and getting a feel for the culture and its people no real “right way” to travel. WiGo is all about finding your travel style and trusting the trip creator to assemble a squad that matches it (e.g. I’m not letting someone come on a trip to white water raft the Grand Canyon if they aren’t physically fit or hate being outside).
The weekend started out with a Happy Hour at the Crossroads Hotel and then dinner at Extra Virgin (with a limo ride in between). 30 minutes into dinner I felt like I’d know those people most of my life. There’s something about being in a room full of like minded people who are passionate about the same things that truly bonds you together. By the end of dinner, I’d already become apart of the “Corner Crew” and learned Cameron, Christina, and Yazmean’s life stories.
We spent the next two days talking about the past trips we’d been on and excitedly planning new ones. We went from planning our own trips to wanting to collaborate on them. The enthusiasm of using the WiGo Trips platform to share our talents and allow others to see the world how we do was more than I ever could have hoped.
Those two and half days in Kansas City the first real “WiGo Trip” turned us from strangers into a true travel squad. It showed each of us what WiGo Trips is really all about. Turning unknown places into home and strangers into family.