The idea of I Like Local started when I was working as a business consultant. In a world led by money and short-term vision, I never truly felt I was working on anything valuable. I quit my job and moved to Brazil. There I found a chance to combine my passion for other countries and cultures with my belief in the principles of The Sharing Economy: combining strengths, collaborating and sharing to create more value for more people worldwide.
During the early days of my idea I have spoken to many to find out why they are traveling. It confirmed my expectations; more and more people seem to look for more simple, authentic and unique experiences. Interestingly all of the explanations were related to spontaneous meet-ups with locals. It didn’t matter if they were on a budget travel or if they were spending more. They were invited for a dinner or a party; they were offered a bed or taken to a special ‘insiders-place’. These were the moments they remembered as the best and are exactly what locals can offer.
With I Like Local I want to create value for both the local and the traveler in a simple and sustainable way.
How is I Like Local different than other travel experience companies?
We provide authentic experiences with local people that have a genuine impact on the community. Our experiences provide an in-depth, first-hand experience with someone local, so that you don't go away feeling like a tourist. And who better to show someone what a destination is really about than a local? Our travel experiences include everything from tours to homestays, farmstays, food experiences and volunteering opportunities.
How does I Like Local vet the people it works with?
We ensure that the local is someone who is actually from the area, rather than someone who has simply relocated there, to provide a genuine experience. We also outreach to NGOs and individuals to find people who are both passionate about the area and are experienced in showing people the local area.
We also work with an international network of bloggers who test drive the locations and experiences and then share their findings on their blogger networks. I also combine my holidays with an authentic experience - so I guess you could say it's part holiday, part research!
What has been your most memorable travel experience?
I visited Kenya's coast and had an amazing cooking experience with a local family, which is something that I won't quickly forget.
What tips do you have for family travel?
Just go for it. It triggers curiosity and if you do a bit of research beforehand, it's totally feasible.
What is your favourite travel destination?
India was a completely overwhelming sensory experience. I lived there for six months and loved the colours, the smells and the spiritual vibe. I also loved Brazil, and the happiness that prevailed amongst the people, who although they may not be rich, were happy.
What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
Papa New Guinea and South America.
What is your motto that you live by?
Be open, go off the beaten path and don't be afraid to lose control.