Travel Massive Manila 1st Meetup Review

The Travel Massive Manila meetup was filled with familiar faces that I have met from joining previous events (blogging, entrepreneurship, travel, internet marketing etc) and I know I will keep on bumping shoulders with them in coming events . What made me more excited that night is listening to Ian Cummings, co-founder of Travel Massive. I listened carefully even went nearer in front as he tells us how he started this event and how it became a worldwide gathering of the whole travel industry for sharing of experiences and ideas. He is the founder of GetFlight, an Australian-based airfare search site that uses the Google Maps API to help users discover cheap airfare to global destinations. One thing that I admired about it is the entire site is built, operated, and maintained by Ian alone!  My  visit to Colab Manila – a coworking space that is into entrepreneurship and collaboration early this year has left me a big question mark when I got home that day up to now and this is… “What do I want? Have my own business or work under someone else for the rest of my life?”

The first ever Startup Manila Weekend also flashed back to me and I started recalling those people who are pitching their ideas to be applied in building software, hardware integration, apps etc that can help people, improve a process and make money. I could have been one of them had I followed the degree I finished in college. Call It serendipity or what but I keep on knowing a lot of entrepreneurs like Ian most of them are foreigners. They only need laptop and internet connection then they can work anywhere.

One of them was Oliver, a German, co-founder of a successful bar-hopping tour in Boracay. It was very successful that he and his colleagues just brought a version of this in Manila just recently. They build websites, do some internet marketing, programming and build connections out of an idea. They are not tied to an 8-5 job in the same cubicle. Their work is to party. They pay people to party… how is that sound to you? I grew up believing that a dream job is that 9-5 range. You clock in and clock out in the same range of time in the same place but them, they don’t have fixed time though they have deadlines to meet. This is the kind of path I want the young Filipinos of today to be soon: to have this entrepreneurial spirit of creating startup companies and be their own boss someday. We need to change our dream mindset of why work for somebody if you can start your own.
I was glad hearing Liliane Cobiao of Wanderlass about her round-the-world trip for 14 months nonstop. She has been to 25 countries, 110 cities and spent $45k. Yes that is about P2M! I even attended the event when she formally announced her trip last year in a sports store. James of Journeying James travelled the whole Philippines for 100 days nonstop – the cheapest possible way. He got tired about the routine of his teaching job and backpacked when his contract ended.
But you know life is not as easy as like what these people have done. Not all women is like Liliane who has almost two million pesos to spend just for vacation. Not all can be James who after finishing contract, can start backpacking because we have families to support and bills to pay. Not all have the courage to leave their stable job and do a startup. That backpacking and travelling is not all about fun. There are also scary moments like encountering annoying people that can risk your life or put you to jail. And those rock-bottom moments – when you run out money what do you do and who do run to if you are in a place no one knows you?
The night was more about sharing and laughing and getting to know fellow travelers and travel bloggers. My expectation was just enough considering this is a first time meetup. I hope next time since this aims to converge the whole travel industry maybe there will be a chance that these people be grouped according to their interests why they joined the event. One group for travelers, travel bloggers, tour operators, airline companies, travel startups and anything related. So that the ideas are merged in the right medium, the conversation is more spontaneous and most likely a partnership or collaboration is born at the end of the line.

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