I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to grow up in an area that isn’t a popular tourist destination. I grew up knowing that every fall hundreds of thousands of eager eyed “leaf peepers” will slowly drive our curvy and steep roads in search of “that view” – the one that suddenly explodes with vivid color so vibrant that no photograph will ever capture what the eye can truly see. I’ve come to expect that during the winter, excited snow starved visitors will brave our kinda-sorta plowed roads and menacing hills to visit the region with the most ski areas per capita. And my springs and summers? They’re full of tourists seeking lobster, strawberries, moose, craft beer, and rapids. This is my home and I’m quite alright with sharing.
With all that being said, I wonder most what I would be like if I had not grown up in a place that has turned me into a bonafide local. Under the usual blunt, tough as nails exterior of every New Englander, we’re actually pretty darn proud that folks want to visit. This pride makes us smile at strangers, willingly give directions to just about anyone (even though it might include a “Ya cahn’t get there’ah from here’ah”), and jump into conversations we probably have no place in. It’s why we ambush obvious visitors with recommendations on where to eat, play, and relax. We know exactly where to go to see the best views, be the biggest daredevil, and have the time of your life. Locals are pretty good like that, and I’m proud to be a local.
So, when a friend of mine told me about a new start-up named Advlo totally focused on the idea of connecting bonafide locals with authentically curious travelers – my curiosity was piqued. Of course you can visit just about anywhere and hire a guide or spend a few hours with an outfitter, but does anybody really know somewhere like a local? I don’t think so. Imagine visiting somewhere and knowing that instead of having to wing it, someone would 1) know you’re heading their way 2) have some sweet plans all figured out based on what you love to do 3) and are totally prepped to recommend the best local brewery, dinner, and dessert. Uhm. Awesome! Fortunately for authentically curious travelers, that’s what Advlo plans to do. Advlo is all about putting the people aspect back into travel, and I love that.
Since Advlo is so in line with what I stand for (I mean really – in the past six weeks I have in fact ambushed folks while on a SUP to tell them about a guide shop around the corner, overwhelmed a family with restaurant suggestions, and had some pretty indepth discussions about the best easy hikes in Northern New England), it was pretty logical choice to share their mission. They are in fact a start-up, and need your help to get from “awesome idea” status to “let’s connect” business… so go check them out. Can’t wait to see them get going!