The Yak Is Out of The Bag

March 23rd, 2016 at approximately 3:56pm, the all-new FlyingYak was unleashed and saw public eyes for the first time. After months of slaving away at our computers, working into the wee hours of the morning, and more google docs than anyone wants to see in their lifetime…ever, we are happy to announce, the yak is out of the bag! 

Our virtual child, (trust us very loved and (at times) hated) is finally ready for the world to see, and we could not be more excited! FlyingYak is a true passion project created by some of the coolest, travel-nerds around. We poured our heart and soul into this project so let us introduce you to our killer team and everyone who kicked ass to make it happen:

Meet Ani:

Our awesome head of product. (But to be clear, her name and title are often interchanged with the word ‘superhero’). Here she is on a beach in Gili Air near the Island of Bali.

Gili_Air_Bali

Favorite Destination:

Favorite City? Berlin without a doubt! There is just something magical about life in Berlin; the history, the architecture, the culture, the non-stop parties all weekend, but above all I love Berlin because of its people! Ich liebe dich mein Berlinern! Favorite location? Thailand 100%! Oh the food, the dives, the warm water, the waterfalls, the food, the temples, the food, did I mention THE FOOD?!!!

What was the biggest challenge (or 2 or 3 or 4)?

By far, the biggest challenge for launch was prioritizing what needed to get done first. We are all so excited about this project that the ideas haven’t stopped flowing! I receive emails from Yakkers every week with amazing suggestions; it’s so cool to see people responding to what we’ve created. With literally hundreds of great ideas, the biggest challenge is choosing which one to offer first. Stay tuned because we’ve got lots in store for you in the next few months!

What’s your favorite aspect of the all-new FlyingYak?

That’s a hard question! It’s like having to choose between chocolate truffles in Paris and spicy papaya salad in Bangkok, which I obviously can’t do! How about top 3?

  • The new explore page will transform how you plan your travels! A perfect visual way of searching for cities & people with lots of new filter options and 1000+ cities to choose from! 
  • Of course a cool new site wouldn’t be complete without a new design, so we traveled from Milan fashion week to the Champs de Lise in Paris to source top notch fashion designers to dress our Yak in the most exclusive, uber-awesome fashion. Or…. did we? You can find out for yourself on FlyingYak.
  • Last but not least, the all new Yakker profile has a cool new option to share your adventures & love of travel with your friends. I call it the “Yakker Resume”! It shows a count of cities & countries you’ve been to but you gotta add them to your travel map first to gain bragging rights! What are you waiting for? You can be the next Super Yakker of the month!

Meet Andrew:

Our in-house dev extraordinaire. Also known to some as the Flying-YakDrew.

YakDrew

Favorite Destination:

Probably Lake Tahoe, I grew up going snowboarding there in a little cabin we have.

How many hours did you spend coding?

I was forced to experiment with polyphasic sleep and set up a hammock in the conference room to catch a few minutes of shut eye. Hours? I don’t remember, I can’t even remember my own name anymore. I think I have become one with the Yak. I’m also pretty sure I’m now growing horns….. (In other words, the rewrite took about three months, so somewhere close to 700 hours sounds about right.)

What’s the one place you’ve travelled that you least remember?

I woke up in a bush with one shoe in Amsterdam after what I can only assume was a great night. Either that or Rio. I lived in Rio for 6 months, but only remember about 2 of them. That was an incredible trip.

Meet Wilton:

To avoid confusion, that’s David (our CEO) on the left and Wilton (our CTO) on the right. Both wearing blue checkered shirts, the jury is still out if they coordinated (odds are they did).

DaveAniWilton at Gjelinas

Favorite Destination:

Buenos Aires. – (said without hesitation)

What was your favorite new feature to create on FlyingYak?

My favorite new feature was the cost of living comparison tool for cities. We spent a lot of time getting great data for these calculations and making sure they are as accurate as possible. This awesome tool helps travelers find great cities to visit that are within their budgets.

How many countries have you visited?

18 countries so far, from what I can remember. (If you feel so inclined, you can visit his profile and check out his travel map to make sure).

Meet Makenna:

Hey, that’s me! From social media to content and everything in between, I’m not sure two days working on FlyingYak have ever looked the same, but hey it keeps things interesting. Here it goes, interviewing myself:

Favorite destination:

If I had to choose, Florence! There’s something inherently magical about Florence and it doesn’t hurt that the entire city is a work of art.

What’s your favorite FlyingYak feature?

Who me? I’m so glad you asked. Without a doubt it’s a tie between the personalized travel map and the cost of living comparison. I often find myself staring at the map, convinced I’ve visited more cities and that I’m forgetting them. Then I give up and pin more ‘Places I want to Go’. I spend the rest of my time on the Cost Comparison page which usually results in tears as I compare the cost of living in Santa Monica to any number of cities in Southeast Asia. For example, Santa Monica is 61% more expensive than Ubud….(Why do I live in Santa Monica again…?)

Meet Britanny:

Here she is fighting off a baby crocodile while scuba diving in a crater. When she’s not doing that, she spreads the word about FlyingYak and makes sure our online community is as awesome as possible; she is also known to take anything off Ani’s plate when possible (even superheroes need a sidekick).

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Favorite Destination:

Too hard to choose! Variety is the spice of life but, if I had to live in Europe it would definitely be Berlin, Asia would be Bali and South America would be Buenos Aires.

What’s one of the most ridiculous things to happen to you while traveling?

Yet another toughie to choose from. I will definitely never forget sleeping next to a wilted leaf of lettuce at the Munich train station during Oktoberfest. I found out as we were leaving Paris that my friend had only found accommodation for two of our three nights there. An interesting first night in Germany to say the least.

On a range from Monday mornings to your birthday, how excited are you for FlyingYak to be live?

The FlyingYak launch is definitely more exciting than my birthday :)

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Left || Ani and Andrew celebrating the launch. Right || the two Yaks, quite literally, butting heads.

There you have it, a virtual meet-n-greet with the killer, FlyingYak team. The only thing left is to head over to the site, become our friends, and see if you’ve out-travelled us…we know you want to. Oh, and did we mention how excited we are that FlyingYak is live?! For reference, we are more excited than the cast of Seinfeld.

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Stay tuned for more! Join the conversation and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

 

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Makenna Taylor

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