Our story began in the magical backroads of Patagonia, when we were accepted into Startup Chile with little more than a wild idea and a couple decades of personal exploration to serve as inspiration. We were driven by our belief that the type of travel that had been most meaningful and transformational in our own lives was severely underrepresented and inaccessible.
This type of travel was fully immersive - it threw us into wild, untamed nature and introduced us to the vastly different perspectives and world-views of people that called those places home. In the rugged mountains of Patagonia, the glaciers and fjords of Svalbard, and the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, we gained an ineffable understanding about ourselves and our place in this world, feeling absolutely tiny and infinitely large at the same time. We were humbled by the unforgiving power of the storms and found bliss listening to the sounds of the trees when there was no wind.
It was not only the wilderness that taught us these valuable lessons. From the gauchos of Patagonia, the arctic explorers of Svalbard, and the monks and villagers nestled in the remote Himalayas, we learned that there are ways of living and engaging with the world that are vastly different from our own. We were shown a brief glimpse of the rare wisdom engrained in these ancient cultures and traditions. We grew to understand our own perspectives and biases and returned home with wide eyes and a fresh outlook our the world, energized to preserve these places and peoples that had impacted us so. We coined this authentic and intrepid way of exploring the world "Untrodden Travel."
The people we met on our journeys - locals, guides, travel experts - had fascinating stories to tell and wisdom to pass on. They knew their hidden corners of the world better than anyone else and were eager to share; to show curious travelers with open minds and open hearts the wonders of the land and give them a window into their lives. But they had no way to get in front of this kind of respectful traveler. In their eyes, listing with one of the travel industry's giants would land them in the vast ocean of cookie-cutter "Experiences" from around the world and open the flood gates to a revolving door of disrespectful and close-minded tourists.
These insiders we encountered wanted a more personal relationship and the respect they deserved as generous teachers and keys to a hidden world. They wanted to be sure that access to their communities was being controlled and activated by a company that cared deeply about limiting traffic and preserving the natural beauty and unique authenticity that defined their way of life.
That's why we started Untrodden - to connect these inspiring individuals with the right kind of traveler, eager for an adventure and to immerse themselves in a world quite unlike the one they left at home. Our mission was to give the locals access to the tourism dollars. To allow them to collect a meaningful income while preserving their traditions and ways of life. And we knew these experiences could cultivate a community of stewards of the environment and remaining indigenous cultures. We believe people defend only the things they love, and they love the things they’ve only learned through direct, heartfelt experience.
In our own travels, and in the years that it has taken to build Untrodden, we have assembled a community of these insiders around the world. We have partnered with locals, guides, teachers, eco-warriors, photographers, conservationists, chefs, and community leaders in the communities and regions we feature. When a member of the Untrodden community reaches out to inquire about a destination, we can easily connect them with the individuals that can tailor-make the journey of their dreams.
Three years from our conception, now based out of San Francisco after a year in StartX (Stanford University's startup accelerator), we remain feverishly motivated by the same aspirations that drove us three years ago when the seeds of Untrodden began to germinate in the fertile void of Patagonia. Now, more than ever, the world needs Untrodden travel - experiences through which the curious can immerse themselves in wild landscapes, learn from unique cultures steeped in tradition, and discover something essential about themselves and their place in this world.