In early 2016, While flying from my hometown of Medicine Hat, Alberta to my base of operations in Shanghai, China I was in conversation with businessman about the problems he faces with travelling alone. He spoke about his shyness with approaching people, the anxiety he experiences with networking events, not knowing where to go to meet people, how to connect and basically how to have fun during his time abroad. Aside from his work meetings, he said his routine consisted of go to work — eat alone — go back to his hotel — repeat. I soon discovered that this issue isn’t unique to him. Little did I know, that this conversation would have such a huge impact the next 15 months of my life.
Following the conversation I had with this man, I returned to Shanghai and got to work. I wanted to provide a solution for this all too common problem. This lead me into hundreds of conversations with professionals spanning multiple industries and the same question would always pop up. “Is there a platform that exists that would allow me to network, connect and join events in real time?” I wasn’t satisfied with the platforms i’d come across that already existed so there was only one thing for me to do. I needed to create something. So, with help of some like-minded professionals, we started building WeAbroad, a location based social discovery platform. As we researched more around the idea, we found that the lack of social interaction was not the only problem associated with the idea. What do you do if you are travelling in a country that doesn’t speak your mother tongue? What then? How would you connect? Our research uncovered a variety of different pain points that travellers around the globe experience daily, all of which we took to the white board and had a sticky note extravaganza.
Lack of social interaction
I don’t need to emphasize more on the fact that we are becoming slaves of our smartphone screens. This is as true if you’re hanging out at home, or travelling abroad. We bury ourselves in the pixels so much that we forget to engage with the world around us. The reality is though, that this isn’t going to change. There are 2 choices then. The first, is to fight against it, and the second is to embrace it. Let’s continue to interact socially, and to do so, let’s use online to take of offline.
We are acting as an ice-breaker
There is a significant number of people who feel awkward to strike a conversation with strangers. That is why they say ice-breaking is an art. How many times has it happened that you wish to strike a conversation with your co-traveler and just can’t do it?
We help you do precisely that by providing a platform that encourages you to connect and “break the ice” before actually meeting up face-to-face.
We are constantly addressing the aforementioned pain points. We encircled our mission to one simple statement: To build a vast co-travelers network that is fun and engaging. To do so, we are taking steps forward.
After a successful beta run and implementing feedback provided by beta users, we have launched the revamped version of WeAbroad. You can check it out a give us your feedback. We would love to hear from you. We are constantly improving and pushing towards making your trip abroad feel a little more connected, one step at a time.