New website aims to make that "life changing" trip easier to find

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The Independent Online

If you've ever looked in envy at the long-haired travelers that step off the plane with the contented aura of having just "found themselves" on a trip, Todd Sullivan and Lauren McLeod could have just the idea for you.

The Australian pair hit upon the idea of creating a community of "experiential" travelers when they were searching for people to join them on a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro. Finding anyone, they claim, proved difficult - and so Globetrooper was born.

The site launched this week as a way for for travellers "to create their own trips, join others' trips and travel the globe together."

"We wholeheartedly believe that global travel can enrich anyone's life," explains Lauren. "But it takes a like-minded group to make the most of a global travel experience. Globetrooper.com provides a place for people to collaborate, travel together, and extract real life lessons from their trips abroad."

Each trip has its own homepage and is ranked in terms of difficulty, culture shock, remoteness and risk. Travelers can create their own plan or browse those of others - current offerings on the site range from a driving tour through India in May to a climbing trip in South America next year.

Members of the site, which is free, can ask questions, share ideas, and help build itineraries. Once the group agrees on an itinerary, says Globetrooper, "they can leave behind their computers for an adventure of a lifetime".

Globetrooper knows that it faces a threat from established social travel sites, particularly from social trip planning sites such as Dopplr and aSmallWorld. Earlier this year, Canadian hotel chain Fairmont launched its own social networking site to help travelers plan trips together.

However, Globetrooper hopes that its focus on those life changing trips can help it stand out from the crowd.

"Global travel is a faith," says Todd in a blog post on the Globetrooper website. "It's a movement of people who agree that life is all about experience, and experience is all about exposure to the unknown."

For those searching for something to believe in, the two co-founders think that travel could perhaps be the answer.

http://globetrooper.com

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