We’ve seen them all over social media: scratch-off maps that reveal where we have gone. Not only can we use them to show off where we have been, but we can also make some beautiful Instagram-worthy photos of them in our living space. When I received my Travelization map, I was honestly blown away by the quality, color scheme and just how amazing it looked in my room. I had to know more about the company.
Andri, a self-proclaimed “globalist, minimalist, explorer and weirdo,” is the founder and designer of Travelization maps.
He grew up in Ukraine, but in his pursuit of freedom he ended up in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, for now.
His mission with Travelization is to serve the new human nation, otherwise known as the Traveling Civilization, to encourage people to travel as much as possible and live their lives to the fullest.
Check them out: travelization.org
Join the community: facebook.com/groups/TravelingCivilization
How did you begin a life of travel and adventure, and how has it changed you for the better?
I think everything started from my curiosity as a teenager. I grew up in Ukraine and back in the day I had no means or rights to cross the border. That single fact made me want to explore what else is out there in the world. I remember my first trip to Germany; it blew my mind and I then decided that I will not spend my entire life in my home country. I decided that I don’t want to spend my entire life in any single country.
I find travel makes me most alive and enriches my life with unique experiences that make me a better human being.
What inspired you to create the Travelization Maps?
I wanted the freedoms of an entrepreneur and I wanted to make an authentic story. Most of all, I wanted to be my own boss and become location independent. Once this business gains momentum I will be able to work and travel and blur the difference between the two. I was looking for something I could create that would speak to my beliefs, something that will add value to the lives of others.
Since I believe that travel is the only thing that makes us richer, creating the best tool to encourage people to travel was a perfect fit. This is my pursuit of happiness.
What is it about Travelization Maps that makes them so unique?
The Travelization Maps are made in Europe to the highest possible quality standards. This is a product of many minds from all over the world: designers, cartographers, publishing professionals and manufacturers.
Everything we disliked about the other scratch off maps is fixed in our product. It is gorgeous, detailed, made of a sturdy eco-friendly paper, large poster size, well selected colours and fonts, all big countries are split into regions/states, all country flags are in the bottom adding a cultural dimension to your travels, no BS accessories to keep the cost down, top level quality control … yada yada. It’s simply the best and I am super proud to deliver it to the homes of fellow travelers.
What are your goals for your company?
First of all, I want the Travelization community to grow as an online hub where ‘global citizens’ can exchange their ideas and support each other’s travel dreams.
As a business owner I want to see our products sold worldwide and be recognized internationally as the quality leader in travel goods. I want people to say that there are scratch maps and there is the Travelization Scratch Map. This is my motivation.
Why do you believe travel is the best form of education and best way to solve some of the world’s bigger problems?
In today’s world information is more accessible than ever. That is why there’s more educated people in the world then ever before. That’s pretty awesome, right? To make this world an even better place we still need to become more adequate with regards to the entire world. Most of us have quite healthy personalities within our local communities: our families, workplaces, towns, states, countries, etc. Still, many of us to this day have no idea at all what the life is like in our neighbouring countries or even states. Many of us have not experienced life on other continents, with other cultures and ethnicities. Many of us have still never spoke to representatives of other religions and beliefs. Yet. In the 21st century we still tend to start our lives and end our lives in, or close to, the same place, within the same culture and sometimes with the same people. This naturally turns into “us vs them” view on the world. I see this close-mindedness as the main reason for most human problems.
We tend to feel like we belong to a certain limited community (family/region/country) and we often separate our ‘tribe’ from the rest of the human nation. The separation comes from the archaic idea that we are inherently different around the globe. Yet, there’s much more we have in common than we think. We can debate this forever, but we can only truly get this when we meet people from around the globe in everyday situations.
You get this when you find close friends from places we previously didn’t know existed. You can only truly realize the beauty of this world when you go outside your comfort zone and travel. Suddenly, instead of judging and arguing, you start to honestly CARE about the war in Syria or Iraq, the animal extinction in Africa, refugee crisis in Europe, or pollution in China.
It’s not just their problem anymore, it’s now your problem too. Why? Because it’s our common responsibility and you as a traveler now feel this way. Guess what happens when millions of people start to truly care about the entire world as much as they used to care about their own apartment and their few school buddies only. That is my answer. That is why I called our online community “Travelization” – it’s short for the Traveling Civilization.
How do you think people can benefit from traveling more?
Traveling makes our lives richer in experiences, turns us into storytellers and makes us more open-minded. There is nothing else in this world that makes us more fulfilled, mature and more wise than real life experiences. Traveling simply intensifies our lives. It allows you to be yourself – because new people have no idea what is your story and how you used to tell it. Traveling helps you find your life path and better than anything connects us with our own selves. Travelers are usually more positive, action oriented and generally look happier than the rest of us. Would you agree?
What are some of your most memorable stories from your travels?
My favourite is the story when I accidentally met my now mentors in the USA. I am an immigrant to Canada from Ukraine. In 2010 I decided to take on a new opportunity and went on a summer trip to the Washington, DC. I worked as little as I could to support my travel ambitions while I was in the U.S. The day after I left my lifeguard job I was commuting in a subway train returning home from an interview at a fast food restaurant in the Pentagon City Mall. When I arrived to my station, I had to either take a bus or walk to my apartment. Walking was 10 times longer and it was scorching hot outside, but given I was unemployed counting dollars in my pocket, I decided to walk. Just as I left a subway station, a black Lexus SUV has stopper and an older guy offered me a ride. Long story short, because of him and his partner I am now in Canada living my life to the fullest. We are still in touch and I will see them again in California very soon! That was simply a life changing meeting of a stranger. I try to always be grateful for everything I’ve got and to always stay open for new life opportunities.
Where are some of your “bucket list” destinations?
My number 1 is space. I’d love to see this world from the outer space. For everything on Earth, I just want to see and experience as much as I can.
Where is your next big adventure?
I haven’t been to Asia yet, even though so many of my friends live there. My big goal is to spend my next winter somewhere in Asia. I just have to make sure my business runs well by then!
Get your map today: https://amzn.to/2Cc4evC
At This Adventure Life we celebrate the lives and stories of the people who live life fearlessly. #livefearlessly