Say hello to TravelbyDart
A while back I got an email from Sorin . It spoke on a new concept and way of travel which was quite intriguing. Imagine throwing a dart on a world map and then deciding to travel . I wrote back to Sorin sharing my interest in possible collaboration and also in the process asking him a few questions . Here were his answers on
a) How did you start your adventure?
The idea came around a couple of years ago. Matt asked me how I see an ideal life. I said that I would like to wake up one morning, get my wife and kids, and ask them: “Where shall we go this weekend? Let’s throw a dart at the world map and let’s go wherever it lands. Tomorrow”… Obviously, in order to be able to do that, you have to have everything taken care of already – financial freedom, a job that YOU own, so you can take time off whenever you want, plus the wife to have the same thing. So to me that was an ideal life. It took a couple of days for Matt and I to realize that we don’t need wives and kids to be able to throw a dart at the world map and go wherever it lands. The only issue was our jobs, so we planned it to do it during holidays. We hit the North Pole on the map and that was the best thing that could have happened to this project. To go to the North Pole is the most expensive thing ever. We didn’t really have money for that. So we decided to fund raise. But who is gonna pay for two guys’ trip? We did an IndieGogo campaign and then connected with a few local businesses who were interested in our adventure – and we filmed for them at the North Pole. We raised $7,500 and bought our plane tickets.
b) When was it when you really began to push towards it?
We had over 200 hours of footage so we decided to do a documentary, especially since we had so many great adventures there: dog sledding, snowmobiling races, witnessing Aurora Borealis, etc. That’s when media got involved. We were invited to do so many interviews on TV, newspapers, etc, that everybody was wondering: “Who the hell does this: throws a dart at the world map, goes there, and gets funding for it?” Also, everybody was asking us if we will do it again. That’s when we decided to continue it and turn it into a series! But for this was we needed to take it to a different level. We decided to add philanthropy to our project. Wherever we would go, we would do something good for the land or the people we visit. This way, not only we would help the locals small or big, but we could have a successful fundraiser, too. The North Pole was just a pilot, but the real first episode had to deliver. The whole city loved us. We had a big fundraiser, add a few special elements to the dart throw ceremony, and raised $34,000. We threw the dart and hit Russia. This time we went there with a real crew and decided to focus on child homelessness. In Russia, there are over 750,000 orphans, mostly due to alcoholism. We picked an orphanage in the middle of nowhere, where nobody speaks English, and we bought those kids gifts, clothes, laptops, TV, etc. However, it was a crazy time in Russia. Almost got arrested in Red Square, Matt fell in love…but wait, for whoever didn’t watch the movie they can see it on our website, at: www.travelbydart.com
Fundraising. It’s not easy. We put a lot of money from our own pocket, but we’re still looking for partners. Especially for brands. Canada Goose, Intrepid Travel and Silver Jeans were the smartest ones. They sponsored us and we implemented their brands in our episodes by making them genuine parts of the movie. We worn Canada Goose gear and Silver Jeans throughout the North Pole episode without saying their names, but people would see their logos and brand, while Intrepid Travel supported our show by strategically having a heartwarming whole segment produced in the Russia episode. We are open to proposals, we know how to blow everybody out of the water using a simple brand name.
d) With so much content floating around, how do you keep things fresh?
If we would be lazy, we would have been done after the pilot episode. We actively keep in touch with our thousands of fans, have contests on the website (by the way, we are giving away three brand new GoPro cameras, check our website!), and tweet pretty much every day. We also built partnership with a bunch of well-respected bloggers and journalists. Great results come with great work.
e) Is there any place in the world which still hasn’t been explored yet where you would like to visit?
Well, I personally seen about 40 countries, but there is still one area I haven’t been too and I can’t wait to get there: South East Asia: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, India, Mongolia. etc…. I am sure it will happen in the next two years.
d) What is the probability of hitting the dart to India?
e) I loved your idea of travel with purpose. Can you share a few positive stories that came out of it? Happiness journal is all about travel with purpose ,so we would love to hear them out.
Absolutely. In Russia I had goosebumps the whole time. We made those children cry. They told us we are aliens – because we didn’t speak their language but we were bringing them gifts and clothes. Why, they said? They were sticking to us, three four kids at the time. I relate to that, because I grew up in a poor country – Romania – and every time I had received things that I never thought I’d get, I would just be in love with the person who made the ‘miracle happen’ for me.
Another thing that we didn’t expect is the massive impact that this show now has on people who watched from the beginning: fans, friends and families. We get daily messages saying how they are so inspired by what we are doing. Many of them travel with a different mindset now. We got one lady from Detroit, Linda, to quit her job and travel with her lifetime savings. That’s pretty powerful. Positive stories always occur when you inspire and empower people all over the world.
here’s more of them in this video
lets hope they come to India quickly . An incredible travel journey .