The startup I built after travelling the world for a year
Exactly 6 months ago I came back from what was the most adventurous thing I have done in my life. Soon after, I got time to work on an idea that had been boiling in my head during months of travelling.
This is how we created Nomads; your backup backpack and handy storage shelf in the cloud.
Turning 30 made me panic
A year and a half ago things just didn’t feel right in my life. I needed a change. I sold my car and apartment, quit my job and dropped off everything I owned at some friends’. The plan was a solo trip to South-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It never felt more right to leave my comfort zone. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made.
The first month was mostly adapting to my new nomadic life and connecting to some of the most beautiful and inspiring people in the world. Soon after, things escalated quickly.
My life went full speed:
- I jumped out of an airplane in Byron Bay,
- needed stitches in Lombok,
- slept under the stars on a private island in Halong Bay,
- rescued kids from a 4 m olive python attack,
- drove 4400 km alone through the Australian Outback and got stuck….,
- bungee-jumped-water-plunged from a 50m bridge in Queenstown,
- ate dog in Ho Chi Minh City,
- went rooftop partying in Hong Kong for nights,
- drove through crocodile infested rivers near Darwin,
- flew a private jet above the Great Barrier Reef,
- hiked one of New Zealand’s Great Walks,
- shark-dived in Thailand,
- lit flying candles in Chiang Mai during Yi-Ping,
- and even encountered wild seals and penguins during a photoshoot in Kaikoura.
Yet one thing really annoyed me
There was one thing me and a lot of other backpackers hated: living out of a single backpack. 11 months with 25 kg. Dragging your belongings from place to place and wearing the same clothes every week. Wouldn’t it be lovely to get a box full of your fresh clothes shipped to you, making it possible to exchange your nomadic wardrobe without throwing your other clothes away? Or when changing countries and you need heavy hiking boots instead of your dusty flip-flops? Or if your Macbook crashes, wouldn’t it be handy to have an external hard disk within a mouse click’s reach?
The idea we came up with
When I got back to work at madewithlove I started thinking. A few brainstorm sessions with my colleagues later, we came up with Nomads. A digital storage service for physical goods, specifically aiming to help travelers and nomads out. A flexible online wardrobe that delivers things you may need along the way but couldn’t bring, via an online tool. Nomads is your backup backpack.
With Nomads, you order a few boxes that you fill with stuff you don’t need for a while. You then have the possibility to recall any of your boxes whenever you want, to a location of choice. Nomads will handle the shipping so you can further focus on worry-less exploring the world.
Soon we created nomads.space. An MVP that makes it possible to order an amount of boxes that get delivered straight to your doorstep.
Currently, the service is only for users living in Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg. We are working on better deals with transportation companies to make our product available to Nomads in Europe and the rest of the world.
We built a startup on our friday afternoons
Next to organizing a retreat for the team, a part of my job is to kickstart internal projects and shape possible ideas into small startups. Madewithlove creates specific time for this by blocking every Friday afternoon from client work.
Our choice to invest Friday afternoons in working on own ideas puts me straight into the driver’s seat. Yet, I am sure that the invested time and resources will eventually reward this choice big time. And I’ve still got plenty of dreams waiting on a handful of skilled developers to get realised.
Check it out: nomads.space