If you are reading this blog, then you must be wondering why anyone would be crazy enough to launch a travel site start-up at the tail end of the summer of the staycation (how I loathe this term!). I don’t know about you, but personally I need the escape of travel more than ever before. I love my day-to-day life, but it’s intense and it’s easy to forget that the rest of the world really exists outside of the self-absorbed confines of Madrid.
As I write this, I’m sitting in a little house in “el pueblo más raro de Andalucía” (Andalusia’s weirdest town, as our friend who loaned us his apartment calls it). This place has zero tourist interest. When I plugged my laptop into a Franco-era outlet, my power cord caught on fire. Wifi? You’ve got to be kidding. Every evening families leave their front doors open and eat dinner. When you walk down the street, you can’t help but be a voyeur—it’s like peering into dozens of living dollhouses. When we went to the local public pool the kids flocked around us as if we were endangered animals in a zoo (my paleness is pretty freakish here). Every day, we drive through the dusty hills dotted with toros bravos to the windy, nearly abandoned beaches, look across at the dark mountains of Morocco, check out Roman ruins and white medieval towns perched on hills, eat sea anemones and reproductive organs from tuna from the Strait of Gibraltar. For a lot of people, this would be the vacation from hell and for us it’s the best one ever.
And, for me, that’s what Trazzler is about. So many other travel sites are essentially reference books with logistical information, tourist bureau propaganda, or an unedited, overwhelming morass of useful and useless information. Guidebooks rely on just a handful of undercompensated writers to do it all. When I started writing for Trazzler, I quickly realized that it was completely different from any other assignment. Here, a writer creates his or her own beat. There’s no pressure to write about places you don’t know or care anything about. No need to create trips that appeal to everyone. Here you’ll find what slips through the cracks everywhere else—those secret places that you might only tell your friends about… those defining travel moments that reside in your memory long after you have returned home.
What we want to do is create a world of travel possibilities. Each Trazzler Trip transports you to a very specific place and moment. Real human beings are behind each and every trip, carefully choosing the photo, writing the copy, and editing it. You decide what appeals to you and what doesn’t. Trazzler is a savvy friend who will get to know your Travel Personality over time. You can use it as “virtual teleportation” (as Biz Stone imagined when the idea was hatched), travel therapy, a game, an escapist fantasy, or—we also hope—as a tool to learn about new ways to travel to one-of-a-kind spots and an outlet for your travel ruminations.
More later, but I just wanted to give a shout-out to the smart and creative people behind this site. I worked with Adam Rugel over twelve years ago at AOL, writing ad copy for everything from frozen steaks to the Weekly World News. He moved onward and upward to specialize in online travel sites (and I took the escape route into the world of freelance writing, design, and perpetual studentdom). Trazzler is the culmination of many years of experience, experimentation, inspiration, planning, and dreaming. It’s not going to be anything like anything else out there. And it’s just going to get better.
So sign up and take this crazy journey with us, then take a crack at writing your own trips. But, be warned, if you are really astute and analytical, we’ll rope you into helping us—we’re wily that way. Let us know what you think.