Jasper Mutsaerts – Bohemian Birds
Can you tell us about yourself?
When I was 3 months old my parents moved to Tanzania to work as doctors in a tiny little village called Igogwe. This African adventure ended 1,5 years later when I lost my mother in a car accident that I had with my parents. This experience made me realize that life could be short and therefore I decided to focus on emptying my bucket list before it is too late. My item on that list has been to discover the world’s most amazing countries and people. I am grateful that over the past 27 years I have had the opportunity to travel through 60 countries and meet thousands of people from all walks of life. All around me I see a shift from a society focusing on material motivation, to one that puts experiences at its core. People are looking for meaningful ways to reach their life goals and find fulfillment – or, as I call it, empty their bucket list. At Bohemian birds it is our mission to help people do that.
Why have you started this?
3 Factors: Fun. Fear. Fantasy.
Fun: In my opinion it is fun to start a company and to create something out of nothing. We have a cool team and I get a lot of energy from working with my colleagues.
Fear: “Travel is the only thing you buy, that makes you richer.” My fear is that without starting a travel organization like Bohemian birds many people will miss out on cool opportunities such as going on a road trip through Albania, Macedonia & Montenegro.
Fantasy: Many times while having a beer with friends we are fantasizing about potential business plans and crazy ideas. Most of the times the ideas didn’t turn into reality, but this time I thought: “Screw it, let’s do it!” It rhymes so that usually means it’s a good idea.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Bohemian birds has a Board of Inspiration with 20 people that work for a wide variety of organizations such as the United Nations, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the 1%Club, McKinsey & Company, Cellulant, and Child & Youth Finance International. These people inspire me and give me a lot of valuable advice on setting up a global travel organization.
Who inspires you and why?
Ricardo Semler the CEO of Semco, a Brazilian company. I like his radical approach to motivating and engaging people. He gives his employees a lot of freedom while staying focused on results. They can determine their own working schedule and salary. At Bohemian birds we try to apply his philosophy and the people that work for Bohemian birds seem to like it.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I divide my time between overhead activities (e.g. accounting, legal & tax), the projects that we have (e.g. Bohemian Nights, Bohemian Blackbox, Bohemian Journeys) and building relationships with potential partners in the travel industry (e.g. City is Yours, Citinerary, Gooh) and people within the Bohemian birds community (e.g. Food Frontiers). It’s a great mix of different things that keeps me going well past 5PM!
Can you name some of your favorite places in Amsterdam?
- To Eat: Loetje
- To drink: Weber / Lux
- To relax: Vlaamsch Broodhuys
What is the hotspot in Amsterdam that is still on your bucket list and why?
To my embarrassment, I still haven’t been to the Anne Frank huis. I’m very interested in that part of our city’s and country’s history though, so hopefully one of these days!
We are currently working on a partnership with Food Frontiers, an organization that aims to reconcile nations across Europe by organizing community meals at cultural crossings. Food Frontiers believes that the ritual of sharing a meal can overcome the mistrust and the prejudices people harbor against each other. We are considering to have a pilot dinner on August 17th in Tirana, the capital of Albania, as part of our road trip through Albania, Macedonia & Montenegro (Aug 14-23). I can’t wait to break bread with people from different culture and eat our way to mutual understanding! Check out the Facebook book event here.
What did we forgot to ask?
You forgot to ask what the top priorities are on people’s bucket lists. Research of Bohemian birds has shown that the 3 top priorities are traveling the world, having a social impact on society and starting a business. We offer aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to start a business under the umbrella of the Bohemian birds platform and we offer our community opportunities to travel the world and to have a positive social impact with projects such as Food Frontiers. Of course, if you have other life goals we stay flexible – just get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter or via firstname.lastname@example.org or 0031655875353 and we can tell you what experience would best fit your bucket list!