Our first guests on the couch are Faris and Mohammad from @bluebook.kwt: a trio of travelers who organize small group trips around the world.
Their main passion is getting to know the culture and the people up-close; learning more about a country’s customs, food, art and everything in-between.
Why did you start Blue Book?
Faris: The reason we started is because… well, obviously people here love to travel, but they tend to go to the same place and do the same things over and over again. And I noticed that I started traveling on my own because I couldn’t find someone as adventurous as I was, even though I don’t consider myself an adventurer.
People wouldn’t believe me when I say, for example, Hong Kong is beautiful, or this place is beautiful. Their reaction is usually: “Oh no, it’s difficult to find food, it’s so different there” etc. but then I go and take pictures people ask me where I am and I how I got there.
Mohammad: Even when people go to well-known destinations like Europe, they stick to the same research list that’s been done years ago. Same restaurants and hotels lists… it’s too touristy. They don’t live the real life of the place they’re visiting. Getting to know the culture and local life is, to us, what changes you and broadens your thinking. That’s our idea.. to change people’s perspective on traveling. It is less commercial and more like a hobby that we’re really passionate about and we invite people to join us! We plan those trips like we plan our own.
Faris: automatically you’ll attract people who are like minded.
Mohammad: and we can see that people who have traveled with us love how we do it.
When did you know that this is what you wanted to do?
Faris: For me, as far as I can remember. I spent most of my life abroad, and because we moved around a lot as I was growing up, I thought it was normal. Settling here as an adult, I’ve realized that, ok, this where I’m from but I wanted to keep moving. This need to travel coupled with my passion for aviation kind of went hand in hand.
Mohammad: I always travel. I love traveling a lot. I love living the culture. I’ve always been a very social person, since I was a kid, and I love meeting new people. I used to work in a different field for 16 years, and I just quit my job to start this from scratch with my friends. I was in my comfort zone working in the same job, but I took the risk. After I quit, I didn’t know what to do… I’m interested in a lot of things: I love filmmaking, art, and culture. I briefly worked as an assistant director and It was a pleasant experience and I learned from it a lot, but I still felt like this wasn’t my place. Then we got the idea for Blue Book!
Blue Book’s first trip was in February last year which was to Vietnam. Since then, they’ve done India, Japan, Russia, and Poland. Soon, they are going to Lisbon with a private Group and from there they are heading to Southern Spain (Al-Andalus).
Best of Luck Mohammad, Faris, and Abdullah!