Nadine Wick, the inspirational founder of travel community, Bond n Fly, shares her vision for her company with LocalBini. In the second part of her interview, she reveals her inspiration behind her innovative concept and how she turned that concept a reality that provides an alternative to mass tourism.
Could you tell us a little bit about Bond n Fly?
Bond n Fly is a travel community that aims to help people find travel friends and share experiences with one another. I first launched it in October 2015, following a successful crowdfunding campaign. As I was still working full-time back then, I decided to start small by concentrating on just one service: helping people find co-travellers. Travellers could use Bond n Fly to post ads and find mini-group trips and events to participate in.
After a few months, I saw that my community was growing. So, I decided to develop my website further and add a new service: offering trips that are all about sharing. As I already mentioned, with the passing of the years I came to realise that the true value of travel is generated through our interaction with the local communities, not through the successions of sights we visit. I wanted to offer people the opportunity to participate in a more meaningful way of travelling. So I quit my job last fall to fully devote myself to developing Bond n Fly.
So what kind services does Bond n Fly offer now?
As I am alone, I decided to first concentrate on Switzerland. It is the country I know best and I am convinced that it has a lot of hidden treasures. Because it is a country that people often think of as being boring, I wanted to launch a fun product that would prove that Switzerland has a lot more to offer than people tend to think.
So, I came up with the idea of creating mystery trips in Switzerland. People tell me what kind of getaway they are looking for and I take care of everything for them. I arrange the accommodation, a surprise activity, as well as a discovery kit to help people get acquainted with their destination. Because it is a mystery package, I keep everything a surprise until the day of departure. So the travellers don’t know where they are staying, or even where they are going, until that day. For these packages, I always select small hotels or local bed & breakfasts so that the guests have the opportunity to interact with the locals. I also try to select a surprise activity that will bring travellers in touch with the local population.
What inspired you to create Bond n Fly?
I used to travel alone quite a lot and, whenever I did, I always felt frustrated when I returned back home. Even though meeting people abroad was easy for me, I was frustrated because I couldn’t reminisce about the wonderful times I had with them. Of course, I could talk about my travel experiences with my friends and family. But, it was not the same as reminiscing about my travels with the people I had shared those moments with.
This was followed by the realisation that people sometimes don’t travel because they do not have anyone to travel with. I wanted to give people the opportunity to meet companions with whom they could travel.
Even though this idea fist came to me when I was at tourism school, I did not try to concretise it at once. This is because I wanted to gain some professional experience and also save some money first. I took on other jobs for a few years, always having in mind the idea of creating a service that would help people find travel friends. Finally, in 2015, I decided that it was time to stop thinking about it and start acting on it.
At LocalBin, we believe that the people you meet are what you remember the most. Would you say that resonates with Bond n Fly and its values?
Absolutely. This is at the core of our values. That is why Bond n Fly fosters exchanges and interaction, not only between travellers, but also between travellers and local communities. I want to promote a healthier approach to tourism, one that breaks away from mass tourism. I want to encourage people to interact with their destination and the local population in a meaningful way.
Discover the travel community Bond n Fly.
Read the first part of Nadine Wick’s Interview.