My first interview of 2017 is with Darryl, the founder of Traveller Collective. As most of you know, I’m a huge fan of traveling. I love exploring new places/ countries and I know that I’m lucky that I’m able to do it. Traveling is not cheap, but I believe that traveling is the only thing that you buy that makes you richer. Traveller Collective is about traveling and giving back, because traveling basically is a privilege. Let’s meet Darryl!
- Darryl, wat do you want people to know about you and Traveller Collective?
Tough question and I could go a million different ways with it so I’ll keep it simple. I’m just a regular guy following his passion trying to build something that people who love to travel will really love.
- When did the travel bug get you?
I had done a decent amount of traveling growing up, but it was my first big trip, the standard four months in SE Asia, that really did it for me. I can still remember quite vividly the cab ride from the Bangkok Airport to Khao San Road where we were staying our first night. Simply staring out the window with a feeling of excitement and nervousness about everything new around me. I had never been immersed in anything so outside of my comfort zone up until that point and I absolutely loved it. Funny story…on the 100 meter walk from that cab to our first hotel that night, my wallet was pickpocketed which had EVERYTHING in it. First big trip overseas, on my own, and wallet gone within an hour of arriving 🙂 A pain in the ass of course, but I was so excited to be there that it didn’t really matter.
- What is it that you love most about traveling?
It’s a couple things for me. When I’m on the road I really feel like I’m living in the moment. I feel at home, it’s easy to go through the motions and not really take it all in, but when traveling you’re immersed in it and not thinking about much else than what’s happening in that moment. I also feel, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, that the amount of gratitude, empathy and patience you learn when traveling can’t be replicated.
- How did the Traveller Collective start and why? Why a keyring and clips?
I had been a part of a few businesses in the past, but nothing I was really interested in. So in July 2015, I dropped everything and decided to create something based around the things that I was really passionate about…. travel and giving back. I know that it’s super cliché to say “follow your passion”, but I thought I’d give it a shot. At that point I had no idea what I wanted to create, but I knew that there were so many other young people out there who were passionate about those same things. The idea for the clips and rings themselves came from always seeing people with country flag patches on the packs. I liked the idea of it, but I always felt it was a little ‘loud’ for my liking. So I set out to create something much smaller and more personalized. Something that’s a simple reminder of all the amazing places you’ve been and an inspiration to keep exploring. Everyone’s clip is different and each country ring has so many unique stories and experiences behind them.
- Which charities do you support with the profit?
We’ve completed 2 projects to date. Our first was with charity: water to fund a hand-dug well in Northern Ethiopia to provide clean water. The second project with ‘imagine 1 day’ was to provide adequate education for children in the same region by building a school and providing educational supplies and training. We love both charities as they focus a lot of their effort on sustainability ensuring the project will benefit generations to come in the area. Also, every dollar we raised went directly into the field which means the impact is even greater. We actually just got back from Dum, a community in Northern Ethiopia, to inaugurate the school we helped fund. A pretty amazing experience to say the least. What made it even more special is that we ran a contest in the Summer and the winner was able to join us on the trip. It was great to be able to share the experience with someone from TC.
- What are your hopes for the future?
In the near future we hope to simply keep spreading the word of what we’re doing with TC and completing more projects along the way. The response so far from around the world has simply been amazing…13k+ memebers from over 75 different countries and we’re excited to continue to grow that. In the long run, our goal has always been to be the most recognized and loved brand in travel. Too hard to say what shape or form that will take at this point, but we’re excited to move in that direction.
- Your favorite place around the world?
You know that’s not an easy question…. Everyone always has a tough time with it. Every place is so unique in it’s own right. To be honest, I’m going to say my home country, Canada. I try to travel and experience new things as much as possible, but I’m super proud of where I’m from and I am never disappointed when I’m spending time at home. And I love how my perspective of what ‘home’ is changes every time I take a trip…and it’s typically a greater sense of appreciation and gratitude for the things we do have and typically take for granted.
- Your bucket list?
I don’t have any specific things on a list, but I’m probably like a lot of other people who just want to see and experience as much of the world as possible. Besides that, I’m all about creating something really special with Traveller Collective. A movement that resonates with people from all over the world.
- What is your life mantra?
First time I’ve been asked or thought about it to be honest. I’m just looking to live a happy life while trying to make as many other people as happy as I can along the way.
This heart of mine was made to travel this world