2015.01.19 Where and why you go

People travel for very different reasons: For business, for sunshine, for entertainment, for exercise, for seeing new things, for being able to say they have been there...What is your reason?

In business, a new phenomenon - workation retreat - is being described in this article. In many tech functions your presence in one physical location is not needed on a daily basis. The "work from anywhere with a good internet connection" upside can soften the challenge of never having a real vacation unhooked from the office.

That is unlike - and yet it has some similar elements with this startup that concentrates on giving cash strapped startup entrepreneurs an entry into the local networks of the cities they wish to visit. Airbnb with a purpose.

Here, the idea is that people become more than just a LinkedIn contact. By already having an interest in entrepreneurship in common, the parties have something to talk about from the get go. If the host can also provide a little guidance to the most relevant local dos and don'ts, these connections can become resources with extreme credibility.

Matching people with similar interests offers interesting opportunities for crossing cultural barriers.

Finally, this short TED talk gives another reason to go: Peace.

The talk is about a small travel agency that arrange tours so people can get to meet real people under different circumstances, eat with them, live with them, and hear each others' stories.

The talk reveals that some of the host/guest dyads kept in contact three years after their original interactions.

These new concepts all differ from standard tourism/business travel in that they try to build real, human connections.

When we meet total strangers from foreign countries, we are often "adversaries". In B2B relationships we have to negotiate business contracts where both parties may see an interest in coming out on top.

In other contexts we are customers. In B2C relationships we may or we may not want to have an ongoing relationship with our suppliers of accommodations - the term "tourist trap" didn't come out of thin air.

Relationships become different when you have breakfast together - and that also goes when everything has been "totally on the up and up". There is a vulnerability to sleepy people in pajama pants with tussled hair that break down barriers.

You only sleep well in the company of people you can trust.