Having traveled extensively, my students asked to travel with me. I told them no, I ride solo. I was part of leading tours through bigger companies like EF Tours and Rustic Pathways. However, I did not like most organized trip as I saw them as generic trips. A parent of a student who had led trips to Belize showed me the ropes and convinced me to lead my own trips. This is the origin of Pathinator.
When Pathinator was formed in 2011, the target audience was people scared to travel solo but didn’t want an organized tour. I understood that some do not want this type of trip. Having worked in IT and putting in 100 hour weeks, I didn’t have time to plan and wanted cookie cutter trips. I wanted a beach and not to have to plan anything or worry about anything. However, there are people that have the time and the sense of adventure for these type of trips. The people that took these trips were usually younger but other age groups were represented .
I started making contacts with tour agencies and agents with one area standing out, my background. The immediate suggestion was student travel because: 1. You have heeps of prospective clients as you’re a teacher and 2 it’s a cash cow, you can make a ton of money especially with all your travel stories and places you’ve been. You can just tell a couple of your stories about scary situations to parents and then just jack the price up a couple hundred dollars more.
He inspired me but not in the way he thought. I wanted to do it the right way. Not play off people’s fears. The truth is the trips weren’t to Grand Canyon but weren’t to a war torn, failed state either.
As the years and trips accumulated, the focus changed away from adventure trips and to how to help others. We still lead trips and give advice, but the emphasis has changed. The main focus of Pathinator and the Pathinator Travel Lounge (PTL), is to explore and help our world and ourselves.