The Fetch Blog

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Coffee talk: Jordan Bishop, flight hacker and founder of Yore Oyster — October 12, 2015

Coffee talk: Jordan Bishop, flight hacker and founder of Yore Oyster

He turned a love of flight hacking into a successful business; he crowdfunded a wildly popular mystery product; and he recently launched a beautiful content site designed to share inspiring travelers and their stories. Today, we talk to Jordan Bishop about his personal journey and how he turns ideas and dreams into reality.

How did you get to where you are today?

I think it’s important to first define “where I am today”, which I think is a curious person who refuses to accept the rules and self-imposed limitations that govern most of society. With that in mind, to get to this point, I try to do everything backward first, and then only revert to the norm when its opposite has been proven wrong. I think it’s an effective, or at the very least, an interesting, way of living.

What was the hardest thing about leaving Toronto in pursuit of life as a digital nomad?

I think my undying love for Toronto is what made it so easy to leave. I grew up in a small town a few hours outside of Toronto, so seeing how quickly I fell in love with the city when I first moved there at the age of 19 gave me the confidence that I would have similar experiences in other places, too. A few months later I moved to Manhattan on my own, and since then I’ve lived in a couple of different cities each year all around the world.

Toronto, Jordan Bishop

It sounds crazy, but sometimes I miss the cold, and more specifically, the fresh feeling of cold air running through your nostrils on a wintry morning. And I miss a few people, but not as much as I thought I would. I’m pretty good at living in the moment, and I try to keep my relationships of the moment as well.

How does your routine vary while traveling? Do you have tips for staying healthy, productive and focused while moving around so much?

I try to keep my morning routine as stable as I can, since that sets the tone for the rest of my day. I start every day by making my bed, followed by 21 minutes of meditation, and then a high-protein breakfast. If I’m in a good writer’s groove, I’ll also write for as long as I can before eating breakfast. Eating makes me think differently and often distracts me from my first few clear thoughts of the day.

I don’t normally go to a gym since I’m often in a place for less than a month at a time, so instead I do bodyweight exercises to maintain good blood flow and athleticism. Push ups and sprint training are my two favorites — the two of them combined make for a good full-body workout that requires no equipment and challenges both endurance and explosive power.

You turned your love of flight hacking into a business by founding Yore Oyster, a company created to help travelers get the best flight deals. What’s been the most rewarding part of working on it so far?

Helping others to explore the world.

Rio de Janeiro by Jordan Bishop

It’s extremely rewarding to hear from clients, many of whom become friends, how life-changing their trips were. I get nostalgic every day when I send people to places I’ve been and loved.

You also just launched How I Travel, a brilliant site that focuses on sharing travelers’ stories. What do you hope people will get from it?

As humans, we’re hardwired to learn most effectively when information comes to us through a story, so the obvious solution to accelerate our own growth is to document and transmit as much information as possible through highly compelling stories. How I Travel is my answer for current and prospective travelers.

Jordan Bishop, Yore Oyster and How I Travel

Columbia, by Jordan Bishop

How I Travel is also designed to inspire people to get out and take the trips they’ve always wanted to take. Travel is a gift that benefits you for a lifetime, and I want everyone to discover it in the ways that I have.

A man of many ideas, you’ve even tried your hand at crowdfunding. With your unique campaign, you got more than 1,000 people to buy something before they knew what it was! What was the secret to drumming up buzz?

I read, write, and think a lot about human psychology, and at that time I was curious to see if any of my friends trusted me enough to buy something I had created before I told them what it was. I never intended for anyone but my closest friends to get involved — but when others did and strangers started trusting me, I realized something much larger was happening.

We are witnessing an early indicator of how trust is quickly becoming a new global currency.

Strangers trusted me not because I had “won” their trust, but because they knew that with the way information travels today, I couldn’t afford to breach their trust. The Internet is no longer the place where you can betray someone’s trust behind a veil and get away with it, but actually the opposite; somewhere reputation is easy to discover and matters more than anything else.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given as you continue to push yourself out of your comfort zone and experiment with ideas? How have you applied it to your life and work?

I was at a really low point when a guy I know told me, “Blow kisses to the haters.” The more you achieve and the higher you rise, the more people are going to try and break you down out of jealousy, a lack of understanding, or a generally negative attitude toward life. It’s not easy, but I try my best to ruthlessly eliminate any negative people from my life.

You’ve obviously done your research when it comes to travel; which sites and social accounts do you look to for inspiration, reliable information, and trip-planning tools? Where can we find you online?

My flight hacking company Yore Oyster, which has saved hundreds of travelers tens of thousands of dollars in the past year. I also love the Mike & Jay Explore YouTube channel; they always manage to perfectly balance beautiful cinematography with unique travel insights. I have a list of my go-to travel resources on my site. And I’m a huge Airbnb fan. I’m going to do an Airbnb tour of Asia soon — there will be lots of pictures from that on my Instagram account.

Jordan Bishop, traveler

Which global events, meetups, and groups do you love and recommend?

I’m a part of hashtagnomads.com, which is hands-down the best way to meet other digital nomads (people living abroad and working online). It’s how I’ve made my closest friends over the past 12 months.

I’ve been trying to push myself way outside of my comfort zone, and that’s how I’ve met skateboarding buddies in São Paulo, philosophical adversaries in Chiang Mai, and lifelong friends in Cartagena.

I’m a big proponent of meeting friends of friends (discovered through Facebook) around the world, as well as meeting others spontaneously — wherever you are. 

Last, how do you like your coffee?

I don’t drink coffee! But I’ve never turned down a cold chocolate milk. 🙂

Interview: London/Melbourne Local, Michelle Matthews — February 7, 2012

Interview: London/Melbourne Local, Michelle Matthews

Michelle Matthews

Name: Michelle Matthews

Website: www.deckofsecrets.com

Twitter handle/Instagram: @SecretsHQ

Works at: Deck of Secrets

Tell us the story behind Deck of Secrets…

Deck of Secrets is city guide brand that takes the format of a deck of cards. Each deck features a highly specialised topic such the latest Breakfast & Brunch guide for London.

What role has digital, especially mobile, played in publishing and city guides?

The first digital impact was the move to digital cameras. Professional photographers took longer to make the move so I bought a very expensive DSLR back in 2001 and gave it to the photographer to use. A $5k digital camera was easy to justify when it saved $7k of scanning plus film and processing. Then the advances with Adobe Acrobat which allowed for in-screen editing as opposed to printing out hundreds of pages every for every draft. After much flirting with mobile platforms I teamed up with Shaun Ervine in 2008 to release DRINK. Melbourne an iPhone app guide to Melbourne’s bars, one of the first 10,000 apps released. This was followed by a dining guide for Sydney which was featured on the “There’s an app for that” TV commercial. These days I’m looking more to behind the scenes cloud services to manage my increasingly nomadic and minimalist lifestyle. A recent favourite is https://www.receipt-bank.com

Who do you think is doing cool stuff in our industries?

  • Instagram is a real passion of mine. An elegant app, fun and easy to use with just the right amount of features. http://statigr.am and http://printstagr.am/ add the fun and functionality.
  • Lockitron is a hardware and software combo that allows home owners to grant access to their property remotely and allows the front door to be opened using a mobile app. Perfect for Airbnb hosts.
  • Memrise: I’m working on my Spanish with this interactive learning website in preparation for a few months in Madrid later this year.
  • Bitcasa: “Infinite storage on your desktop” OK, you got me, where do I sign. I love the promise of this new website still in beta mode.
  • The Sixty One: this site isn’t new but I listen to it for hours each day discovering great new music.

You’re a big Airbnb advocate and live a digital nomad lifestyle – what does this involve and what tips do you have for someone wanting to emulate your life?

Airbnb started as a great way to earn revenue while I was on holiday, then a month long booking allowed me to take another location independent trip but now as Airbnb has grown I’m more away than at home and my mortgage is covered. And when I travel, Airbnb is always my first choice for accommodation. It has truly changed my life.

What’s your favourite city in the world?

After countless visits I finally fell in love with London in 2011. In 2009 I would have said Buenos Aires. It was Tokyo in 1995. And it’s always Melbourne.

What’s the hardest challenge you’ve had to face work-wise?

Preparing for the next change, staying positive and not giving up. Last year the equivalent of 50% of my retail outlets shut down, one of my distributors/sales teams is about to shut down and margins are shrinking. In business and I life I now aim for simplicity, efficiency and varied revenue streams.

What’s next for you and your business?

I’m expanding my range of UK titles currently there are two: bars, breakfast and brunch. But I’m heading to Bali next month so perhaps you’ll see a Bali guide come out of that.

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