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Interview with World Record Holder & Entrepreneur James Asquith

Dear Thrive Readers, for a while, it’s been on my mind to create an interview and talk show hybrid format. I’ve been meeting so many interesting and great humans on the path of my life. Especially here in Dubai since its such an international hub and on all my journey’s on this planet. Even during […]

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Dear Thrive Readers,

for a while, it’s been on my mind to create an interview and talk show hybrid format. I’ve been meeting so many interesting and great humans on the path of my life. Especially here in Dubai since its such an international hub and on all my journey’s on this planet. Even during Covid Times. Many of those I can call friends today. So here we go, this is “Mende World – The Interview Series of Entrepreneurs & Interesting Personalities” exclusively on Thrive Global for you to enjoy. So please note, there will always be the original Interview as a Youtube video linked below.

In this episode here I was blessed to cross paths and interview the incredible James Asquith here in Dubai. James is the world record holder by being the youngest and first person to have travelled all the countries of our planet. He is also a contributor at Forbes, Founder of Holiday Swap and a hardcore globetrotter who doesn’t stop travelling at the current COVID Times.

Learn more about James Asquith journey.

Enjoy the exclusive Interview:

Matthias Mende:
Hi Guys. Welcome to Mende World where I’ll be interviewing amazing entrepreneurs and people who make a change in this world, not just with their projects, but also highlight the cool actions they do. So today in my first show I welcome James Asquith, an incredible entrepreneur from the UK who travelled the whole world. He holds the world record in being the first and youngest person visiting all the countries in the world. Also, he has an incredible application, which is like the Revolution of, let’s say, “the upgraded Airbnb of the Airbnb as the future”. Maybe?! He will tell us more and I’ll just ask him some questions and welcome James, welcome to Dubai.

James Asquith:
Thanks for having me. Thank You.

MM:
Thank you. So, James, that’s the first question I like to ask you: How did you got inspired to travel to all these countries so young?

JA:
I wasn’t is the answer. I got carried away. So Yeah, When with my two best friends we went out to Vietnam and volunteering to build some homes out there and I had no interest in actually travelling more than that but picked up the travel bug did the classic Southeast Asian backpacking circuit and I came back from that but my first solo trip to Egypt and then went to South America for a bunch of months and kind of got carried away from there. So yeah I mean, it taught me a lot when I was in Southeast Asia. Probably I wouldn’t like the 18-year-old version of myself too much now, but, you know, you grow you learn about yourself different cultures, religions, and it’s the best education I had, so that was probably why I got carried away and did it.

MM:
So, when you been in the country, let’s say, you figured out “oh I have 120 countries now in my passport or in my many passports” sure, you had many?

JA:
Yes, seven!

MM: Seven passports! Did you got inspired to finish the whole world of?

JA:
Yeah, I mean, I don’t actually know the exact point that I thought I going to them all, but it was probably around 120 something like that, under 130, somewhere in there and then I thought “yeah I’ve been to most of them”, a lot of hard ones as well I guess, so I just continued from that point and thought, you know it took me six years to me, six years to go to them all and, you know: “you hear a lot now about this competitive travel and some people want to be the fastest to go every country and I don’t really understand why because that just seems you go in stamp- in, stamp-out. I don’t understand the point of it, even for me, I felt like I did it in a rush in six years, and now I can travel more than I did back then any of them boys on the planes somewhere.

MM: I read you have like 150 flights per year. Right.

JA:
Yeah. Yep, something like that.

MM: One more opinion to your world record. I mean look at it, Christopher Colombus, he discovered America. Just America! You travelled to every single country on the globe. That’s such a bigger achievement than Colombus in my opinion.

JA:
Thanks. LoL, actually interesting way of seeing it.

Studies in commercial planes, but you know.

MM: Nice, nice. So also, James he is a businessman and he has this incredible application called holiday swap where people can basically kind of life for free in other countries in other people’s places by exchanging their apartments or their flat, or their bedroom with somebody else’s place. It’s a swapping thing, so it’s like, kind of staying for free. Can you please explain to us more about this great business venture.

JA:
Thank you. Yeah, its liquidity in the property market is basically allowing people to swap, to host as you say to whatever you, whatever you have. Even if you’re renting you’re allowed to use Holiday Swap. Unlike what traditional home swapping sharing platforms are where users are subletting. Now on Holiday Swap users don’t sublet. It’s $1 by the night. So you match up between you and that’s why it’s been called the travel tinder before in the press. You know, as long as you’re dating on holiday swap but it’s to do with people matching up based on what they have. So if you’re paying the biggest amount of money on your travels for accommodation, we’re trying to take that cost out. So people have more money to spend on things like flights and stuff to do, so yeah that’s essentially what we do in a nutshell, we have 185 countries now.

MM:
185! 185 is nearly the whole world.

JA:
Nearly all of it. So, you know, we just want to grow and grow and offer people more and more options. You know, everyone has asked me for many years kind of how I get to travel so much and the answer for me was I worked hard I guess. And always had multiple jobs allowing me to do it. So, look, you know from the sense of when people say to me they want to travel more, I think most people that more is kind of when they happiest when they doing it solo, with the family or, you know, with a partner or a loved one. Whatever it might be! And so yeah we’re trying to do something that genuinely allows people to travel more and save money.

MM:
That’s a great idea because also I think that these days the whole Instagram generation and all those people who like social media and like to travel, explore new places, new cultures has changed, instead then when we was younger. They also probably cannot really afford all those hotels and those Airbnb’s so without this solution, kind of the people they basically just need to pay for the aeroplane ticket. So the aeroplane ticket to me like for $1, or for free, this would be basically the next kind of revolution.

JA:
Not sure how we’ll be able to do that, I mean the whole way that we work is we’re a true sharing economy. So yes, it’s a fee of $1 but you’re already paying for that because you’re paying that in a rent or a mortgage for you but you bought your house, so why not be able to use that as your ticket to go travel. So you already paying for that obviously. On a plane, you’d have to pay for fuel and an actual plane so that might be a bit more difficult to do for a dollar.

MM:
So now if I travel, I will put my apartment into James’s Holiday Swap App and then when I’m out of town, for example, people they can stay in my place, I collect credits and with those credits, I’ll stay in Manhattan and Berlin and name it, anywhere in the world. Because Holiday Swap is now everywhere, right?

JA:
Yeah, we go almost every country.

MM:
When we talk about Manhattan and Berlin. These countries (cities), Airbnb is actually banned.

JA: Yes, there are regulations for it. I mean regulations increasing a lot because of traditional home staying websites. Renting prices have pushed up, property prices are pushed up because people are trying to profit from them. Right? And you can’t sublet on the meter. So, you know, with that there are a lot more regulations whereas if you’re not profiting from it and we are a national community, um, you know you’re able to use us,

MM:
Amazing! Like here in Dubai i know also like I think in the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, Airbnb is for example not allowed.

JA:
Yes, yeah!

MM:
Because its that people stay there because it’s the world’s tallest building and they have a hotel called Armani and it depreciates their hotel prices.

JA:
Of course. Yes.

MM:
Wow, I really like! And you are not banned or blocked anywhere?

James Asquith:
Nope.

Matthias Mende:
Incredible. So guys, try Holiday Swap. Look into it. Sign up, I’ll put you a little link here if you like it. And, yeah, I think this is very nice information from James and thank you for your time.

JA:
Pleasure!

MM:
I know you have a lot of meetings

JA:
Thanks, Thanks for having me.

MM:
Thanks for being there and building a great product which supports all the young people, entrepreneurs and also the older generation and everybody who loves to travel and see the World because I think this is one of the most beautiful things to do.

JA:
I appreciate it. Thank you, buddy and I’m excited to see where you go with your series as well.

MM:
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for your time.

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