Gabe Douek – A Billion Dollars is Still Cool
7 months ago · 57:29
Imagine your doorbell rings. You walk over, open the door, and standing right in front of you is William Shatner and those two Property Brothers from HGTV. And a film crew.
Sound crazy? Our guest today made that story come true for a Star Trek and HGTV superfan, through his most recent venture, Guru Global. His name is Gabe Douek.
When he’s not steering the ship of GuruHub.TV with his partners, he’s following his peculiar love of all things travel – from airlines and airports, to big hotels and foreign cities. He’s visited over 70 countries and hacks travel points on hotels and airfare like a pro.
And did we mention Gabe was employee #1 at a company that grew from zero to $1 billion in valuation in 7 years? Yep, that’s true, too. It all adds up to a very interesting story of a man who lives the Opt Out Life.
Nate Broughton: 00:02 This episode of the Opt Out Life podcast from the Opt Out Media Network was recorded here in San Diego, and is the Opt Out Life story of Gabe Douek.
Announcer: 00:14 Welcome to the Opt Out Life podcast, the no BS guide to living the modern good life. Hosted by subversive millionaires Dana Robinson and Nate Broughton, the Opt Out Life podcast explains exactly how creative hustlers are turning side gigs into real income and taking back control of their time. From their studio in sunny San Diego, the Opt Out Life welcomes guests who are solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, travelers and creatives who are proof that you can choose a lifestyle over money, but still make money, too. If you feel like you’ve been chasing your tail, running the rat race or stuck in a system that’s rigged against you, we’d like to offer you an alternative here on the Opt Out Life podcast.
Dana Robinson: 00:56 Imagine it’s a lazy Sunday morning. You’re vegging out in front of the TV, scrolling through your feeds and half paying attention to another episode of the Property Brothers. Aw, those two guys, so handsome and wholesome, you think. Then, your doorbell rings. You assume it’s just another Amazon delivery, but why not? You get up from the couch and shuffle to the door. You slowly turn the handle and swing it open, and standing right in front of you is William Shatner and those smiling Property Brothers, and a film crew.
Nate Broughton: 01:26 Sound crazy? Our guest today made that story come true for a Star Trek and HGTV super fan through his most recent venture, GuruGlobal. His name is Gabe Douek. Gabe’s our buddy from around the way in San Diego, but his Opt Out story has more than a few sexy turns. When he’s not steering the ship of GuruHub.tv with his partners, the Scott brothers, he’s following his peculiar love of all things travel. From airlines and airports to big hotels in foreign cities, this combination of fast growing businesses and fast paced travel to countries that span the globe is well worth some further review and storytelling here on the Opt Out Life.
Dana Robinson: 02:03 While many of our guests have built their Opt Out Life around what we call base hits, or small deals with a payout that gets them to the next thing, we occasionally get to sit with somebody who got a home run. For Gabe, that home run came seemingly out of nowhere when he jumped into a job with a startup during his first semester of business school at St. Louis University. That startup ditched its humble beginnings quickly from FindStuff.com to the eventual acquisition and sale of Answers.com. All in all, it made Gabe the first employee of a business that grew to a billion dollar company in under a decade.
Nate Broughton: 02:36 No question that Gabe’s had success that few of us could expect to replicate. Follow along with the story as we hear about his challenges with burn out and how he made a bold decision to walk away, move his family across the country and start anew. The real point of it all is that any of us can reach a point where we feel stuck. It’s how you choose to deal with that challenge that defines who you are. For us, and for our buddy, Gabe, the answer’s always to take back control and opt out. Let’s listen to Gabe’s journey.
Nate Broughton: 03:08 Opt Life, we are here. Dana is half-smiling today coming off the Memorial Day weekend. Not quite as chipper.
Dana Robinson: 03:15 I’m recovering.
Nate Broughton: 03:16 He’s recovering, but our guest is peppy and happy to be here. We are joined by my good friend, Gabe, who has got a very similar backstory to me that begins in St. Louis. At least, part of the story does, and lands him here in San Diego. Who better to have than a reflection of myself, Mr. Gabe Douek.
Gabe Douek: 03:37 That’s quite a compliment. Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Nate Broughton: 03:40 Well, thank you for being here. It’s actually funny because I mentioned there are so many things … Well, there are even more things that I’ve mentioned that are similar about us, but we actually haven’t known each other that long. We have all these parallel backgrounds and histories, but we just met what? Last fall?
Gabe Douek: 03:56 Yeah.
Nate Broughton: 03:57 We did meet at a thing that was an outgrowth of our SoCal’y events, Brotherhood Dinners, which are just a good example, I think, of some of the things we encourage people to go to, that are a way that we’ve met so many cool people, and we have one right here in the flesh. Those are just dinners that entrepreneurs from around San Diego, a couple people put them on. You go, you have dinner, you chat about what you do. It’s not like a lame networking event with a name tag. It’s just hanging out with cool people, and that’s where I met Gabe.
Dana Robinson: 04:27 Yeah, it’s the ultimate un-networking event.
Gabe Douek: 04:30 I agree. They’re great events. I like the causal vibe. You’re guaranteed to have something in common with most people in the room, so it’s a good way to just hang out.
Nate Broughton: 04:41 We’re like every person at this table fits this description of what we call the Opt Out Life. People who have taken control of what they do professionally, how they make money, where they live and just their destiny so to speak, and people that have freedom of time and money. You fit all those things, so let’s start to hear about them, man. Background’s in internet marketing, but you went to business school in St. Louis.
Gabe Douek: 04:41 I did.
Nate Broughton: 05:06 Tell me what was going on in your life before internet marketing entered, and let’s hear about how it entered.
Gabe Douek: 05:12 It actually got started because of business school. When I moved back to St. Louis shortly after I got married, I was looking for opportunities, working on a family business and ultimately, not entirely happy with that so decided to go and get my MBA at St. Louis U and literally two weeks after I started that, I came across a job opportunity through their career center, which was for an advertising manager for a new startup. I was intrigued, and went to meet with these two recent WashU grads who had started this company just a month or two prior and were looking for their first hire. I ended up being that guy. That, at the time, was a company called FindStuff.com, which was a comparison shopping website. The three of us were operating out of an old convent building in south St. Louis with no doors. We had no heat or air conditioning. I remember having to put my own desk together. I remember days where I was typing in gloves, which is not easy to do.
Gabe Douek: 06:24 Those were fun times. That startup ultimately turned into a billon dollar company in seven years.
Dana Robinson: 06:31 That’s amazing.
Nate Broughton: 06:32 Humble beginnings.
Gabe Douek: 06:33 Yeah, exactly.
Nate Broughton: 06:34 No heat or air conditioning in St. Louis is not a good place to be. I love that story because as we’re going to find out as we go through this narrative, it reflects so much. Found a job with a startup while in college, didn’t necessarily know what I was looking for. Did you know what you were looking for? Why did that one stand out?
Gabe Douek: 06:51 Well, because I was getting my MBA, I was in a position to take a little bit more risk in my career. I figured okay, if this goes bust, two years from now I’ll have an MBA and I’ll be in a better position to find another job or start something on my own. There was that, and then just the notion of working for a comparison shopping website. That spoke to me just because as an entrepreneurial person since I was a kid, I always was able to make money off the heels of buying low and selling high, whether it would be selling baseball cards to my friends in school, or when I was in college buying things from stores and selling them on eBay for more, and just understanding what people where looking for and how to buy effectively in order to be profitable. That just spoke to me.
Nate Broughton: 07:42 Yeah, so things that you had hustled and played with as you were coming up, you had that framework in your mind, and that allowed you to say, “Oh, this opportunity is interesting. I’m going to learn something about how to market products on the internet and I’m going to get to play around with some things that interest me.” That makes sense.
Dana Robinson: 07:59 Did you end up finishing the MBA?
Gabe Douek: 08:00 I did, yeah. I considered stopping a couple different times just because once I knew the company was going to do well and I was not going anywhere, I was like I don’t really need to finish, but I’m not a big fan of starting something and not finishing so it took me three years and I got through it.
Dana Robinson: 08:16 Nice.
Nate Broughton: 08:17 Well, you mentioned hustling to sell stuff on eBay. Tell me a funny story about something you took from a store and sold online if you have one.
Gabe Douek: 08:24 It was the early day of eBay, so there was less competition and literally you could sell anything. Anything you put up there would sell, and I found that out quickly. I’ve sold used wallets. Basically anything I could find in my bedroom, I could pretty much sell. Once I realized that, I was like if people are wiling to buy my used crap then I can go to any discount retailer like a Marshall’s or Value City, or any of those stores and buy anything name brand on clearance and then you’re pretty much guaranteed to make money. I would say 95% of the time, I would end up selling them profitably and the other 5%, I would just return the merchandise. [crosstalk 00:09:05] I was pretty much at the post office four times a week with packages.
Nate Broughton: 09:11 I love it. I’m sure it produced a bit of income. Playing around money. Was it mostly for that and just for the sport or were you doing enough to fund nights out on the town or trips or something like that?
Gabe Douek: 09:24 It was basically just to fund my spending money throughout college and a couple of trips here and there. I started getting into traveling when I was in college. I would take some random regional weekend trips, so yeah, it would fund those.
Nate Broughton: 09:36 Nice. All right, Dana, first break in. Hearing Gabe’s story, not only where he came from but where he initially got started, first off, I love the parallel between how he ended up in this rocket ship of an opportunity with how I did as well at such a young age. He’s in grad school. He’s established for us that he’s entrepreneurial, so he’s got an entrepreneurial mindset. It’s like he doesn’t think he’s going to get everything he needs out of that school and he sees a job ad. He’s intrigued because it’s a comparison shopping website, but there’s not much more to it besides that and a couple guys with an idea. He goes for it, ends up working in an old convent building. That’s kind of funny.
Dana Robinson: 10:18 No nuns still around, but it’s still a very austere place.
Nate Broughton: 10:22 Yes.
Dana Robinson: 10:23 Working in gloves.
Nate Broughton: 10:24 We need to find a picture of this building he was working out of. He’s working in there. He’s having to wear gloves because it’s freezing. He’s a grad student, and as we’ve heard a little bit and as we’re going to hear more, that company goes on quite a run, and eventually, after some acquisitions and some funding, is worth a billion dollars.
Dana Robinson: 10:42 This is a cool story. I think it’s important to note that we’re not just chasing down entrepreneurs that have had this kind of luck, but it’s pretty cool. Every entrepreneur that we have known wants a hit like this, and I think it’s fine to want that. I think it still could have had a really cool result for Gabe if it had been a base hit. He got all this cool experience that’s turned into all the other stuff he’s done since. Didn’t have to be a billion dollar outcome.
Nate Broughton: 11:09 Yeah, I think we have to throw that out there because it’s true and it sounds sexy to some people, but you’re right. If this was a company with ten million dollars in revenue or value, the story’s the same from our perspective. He’s someone who was a hustler who had reached out to get an internship that we’re going to hear about in a second with Southwest Airlines, but to get this job in the first place and to have the drive to want to do that while he was in business school and then to really realize that it’s a prime opportunity and to dig in and work really hard while he was still in school, that’s just one of the traits that we want to highlight, I think, and point to. I think it’s very instructive in that a lot of people go to business school and be like, “Why would I want to work during that time? I’m there to get my degree, to learn some things, to make some connections.”
Dana Robinson: 11:56 Then, go get a job.
Nate Broughton: 11:57 Right, right. That’s not his approach, and I think that’s what we want to highlight.
Dana Robinson: 12:01 All right, every now and then, Nate, someone who’s listening to our podcast says, “Dana, I loved this interview but I still don’t understand that guy’s business. Can you explain it to me.” Nate, maybe you can lay it out. What’s the business here for people that don’t understand this venture?
Nate Broughton: 12:17 Well, he mentions he started with the comparison shopping website called FindStuff.com, if I’m not mistaken, right? That’s what it started as. Gabe is working for a company that produces websites that do comparison shopping for eCommerce. That means he’s building pages that have a list of shoes. He’s building pages that have a list of water bottles, of laptops, and it’s just this comparison place you can poke around and find out what prices are on these things. They’re actually a middle man, so they’re just grabbing ads and advertiser’s ads and placing those on their own pages. People search for shoes, they find Gabe, they come to a page that has seven ads for shoes, and they click off and go buy them. He’s a middle man.
Dana Robinson: 13:03 Yeah, it’s a little bit of a publisher. You’re publishing content, but you’re being very specific about it. You’re not shopping, but you’re going to be shopping, and once you get there, you find out some comparison information, you click a link, then you’re going to buy something. He’s making money on the ad, and maybe in some cases on the purchase if he’s an affiliate for one of those products that they’re selling.
Nate Broughton: 13:26 Correct. We’re going to hear a lot more about the specifics, but just think of it as a middle man that knows how to get a user to a page and then get paid by the advertiser for sending them off to the sale. All right, now we’re going to hear how he ended up with an internship at Southwest Airlines.
Nate Broughton: 13:41 I haven’t even foreshadowed that we’re going to talk a lot about travel because you are a man about the world. One thing before we jump into some of the deeper business stuff is I saw on your LinkedIn today, you were an intern for Southwest Airlines.
Gabe Douek: 13:53 Yes.
Nate Broughton: 13:54 Nice. What did you do at the LUV?
Gabe Douek: 14:00 I got heavily into travel when I was in college, and I was really interested in Southwest Airlines. I remember doing some project on them in one of my marketing classes, and I loved their story. I loved that back then they had this promotion where you could fly for trips and get one free. For college students, they were doing fly three, get one free. It was a great optimization to go and buy $29.00 flights to Albany from Baltimore and then after three of those trips, fly out to California for free. I was doing that kind of stuff, and I was like this is a cool company. I respect their values and their ideals, so I would love to work for them. I just did some research and saw that they had a marketing office in Baltimore new BWI. I called them up and I said, “Do you guys hire interns?” They said no. I said, “Will you hire an intern?”
Nate Broughton: 14:54 Let me ask again.
Gabe Douek: 14:54 “You don’t have to pay me. I will come and I will work.” They hired me. I did that, had a great time working for them in their marketing office. I did things like wearing a big, furry airplane at college events to get people to sign up for their credit card.
Nate Broughton: 15:10 No shit.
Gabe Douek: 15:11 Going to some of their events in the region just to promote their brand, and helped them build one of their business databases for a business program they were launching. I had a good time doing that, kind of thought it was something I was going to continue with after college, and I actually looked at moving to Nashville for the one marketing position they had open after I graduated. Once I realized what it paid, and what the trajectory was in that career, I quickly said no. Not for me.
Nate Broughton: 15:38 I love that story. I love the visual of you dressed up as a furry airplane on a college campus.
Gabe Douek: 15:43 I got a picture somewhere.
Nate Broughton: 15:45 You’ll have to send that over to our boy here so he can make some promo videos. I love it because it’s the humble beginnings, but we’re getting pieces of the story where we sit here today, you’re on the Opt Out Life podcast living the proverbial good life in Del Mar, and there’s a lot of success to be talked about, but the things you were doing when you young, you weren’t saying I’m too good to put on the furry suit. You were creating your own internship almost so to speak. Those are the traits and the actions that lead to these bigger successes down the line, so it’s cool to hear more about your backstory and hear that they were there.
Dana Robinson: 16:21 I was going to ask about Answers.com.
Gabe Douek: 16:23 Yes, so FindStuff ultimately became Answers.com. From FindStuff, that was comparison shopping, we scaled out to different verticals and from there, we went to local search. We fairly quickly became one of the leaders in local search. Then, that’s what led to the acquisition of Answers. Answers was a public company based out of Jerusalem when we acquired them. We took them private, rebranded the company of Answers.
Dana Robinson: 16:50 We don’t have that many people that have been on who’ve been ground floor with a business besides you, but where you’re working with a dog in the bedroom of somebody’s house and the business becomes a billion dollar enterprise. Can you talk a little bit more about the early days? How much experience did the other partners have? Where did they come into the deal from? What were the critical things in that first few months, it sounds like, where you just go boom, we know we’ve hit on something? Was this dumb luck by inexperienced entrepreneurs, or what else was going into this recipe?
Gabe Douek: 17:23 Definitely not dumb luck. These two founders are still good friends of mine. They still live in St. Louis, and they are two of the smartest people I’ve ever encountered. They’re the kind of people that no matter what you’re working on, you know it’s going to be successful. That being said, I think a lot of things have to fall into place and there has to be some luck involved in order to grow at that level. We had some fortunate circumstances throughout the way, and they had a stint with some lead generation stuff in college that they did well with, and that’s what led them to comparison shopping because they figured if they can drive profitable leads to a product, or a mortgage refi, or whatever it was, comparison shopping gives them so much more to work with. That’s where it came from.
Gabe Douek: 18:09 Then, they had an angel investor through one of their classes at Washington University who liked them and decided they were going to give them $100,000 to do this, so they had some money. Then, just through grassroots reach outs, they ended up getting a contact at Yahoo who said yeah, we’ll partner with you on the ad side. Those things fell into place, and it was all green pastures from there. Even then, along the way, having to get that first round of funding all the chips have to be aligned. If that would have happened two months later, it may never have happened and the business would have stopped after a year. There were three subsequent rounds.
Dana Robinson: 18:47 Venture capital?
Gabe Douek: 18:48 Yep. Private equity, venture capital and then funding bigger acquisitions. Going out and buying bigger pieces until you finally get to that billion dollar mark.
Nate Broughton: 18:58 Answers.com.
Dana Robinson: 18:59 Yeah, yeah. Again, did you guys hire an experienced CEO to come in at some point and go this is getting bigger than us, or did you just grow with it?
Gabe Douek: 19:08 No. The one founder who was the CEO from day one was the CEO until the very end. He’s now working on another startup. Again, I think that was one of those things where in order to be a CEO of a company that size, it’s really a rare subset of character and personality traits. This guy had those.
Dana Robinson: 19:31 Another piece of luck, I guess, because a lot of entrepreneurs don’t. I’m not sure I do. I’ve never been put in that position, but I’m not sure I’ve got the combination of those character and skillsets that you need.
Nate Broughton: 19:43 Yeah, it’s a completely different skillset that you need to get something off the ground. You’d have to not only have the skillset, but the desire. I know a lot of people who have grown their business even to a tenth of that … Well, fuck. A hundredth of that size … and struggled with I want to be back in my bat cave. Like Amish, our first guest, right? Doing marketing stuff. I don’t want to be the face, the motivator, the one that this shit rises to my desk sort of thing.
Dana Robinson: 20:08 How many employees did you end up with?
Gabe Douek: 20:10 We were at about 800 people worldwide, and then at that point, that’s when the division that I was running spun out. They didn’t acquire our division and that’s when I departed. We did the same thing at Gateway Media. The only difference was instead of search marketing it was social media marketing, but we did some things well and we got users to the site profitably, and we invested that profitability in acquisitions of other media companies that did not rely on that strategy. We were able to build our valuation that way.
Dana Robinson: 20:39 What was the ultimate exit for Gateway?
Gabe Douek: 20:42 Gateway’s not exited. I exited Gateway. We did try to go out and do a sale after a couple years. We missed the boat. The thing with an exit is it’s all about timing, right? We missed the timing. A company like ViralNova is one that I would compare us to, and they ended up getting a great valuation and exiting several months before we did. Then, the market turned right after that. They were on the absolute good end of timing and we were on the bad end. When I say bad, we didn’t get an exit. The company’s still doing very well, but for myself personally, I was feeling some burnout after having gone through so many rounds with Answers and then building this company up with Gateway. That’s when I was feeling it because moving to California was part of the game plan for a long time and it had been delayed. I basically said it’s time for me to go.
Dana Robinson: 21:34 I was going to ask this question actually, but I thought it might be too invasive. The entrepreneurial journey, when things hit you get sucked into this vortex of growth. You got from three employees to 900 worldwide employees and you’re no longer a scrappy little startup. You probably have to work your ass off, right? Long days, long weekends, always go. Defer gratification, defer that time off and then at the end of this, instead of taking some money off the table and taking a break, you end up with a company. The most struggling, hurt, injured part of the business gets spun out into your hands, so burnout.
Gabe Douek: 22:16 Yes, that is a very accurate description.
Dana Robinson: 22:20 It took you three more years of running that company before it came to a head.
Gabe Douek: 22:25 Right. Things were going well. I had a great team. I didn’t expect to be a CEO of a company with 90 employees, and then had to experience some layoffs and had to let some people go, which was not a fun thing to do, as things turned down a little bit. They’ve come back up since. Like I said, the company’s doing well. I’m still an owner of the company. I’m still good friends with all of the people there, and I hired most of them. They’ve done some great things, and I think that their future is bright, but I think for me it was just too much. I needed a break, and I also felt like it’s not easy to uproot a family and move them across coast. There’s a window where that makes sense to do, and that window was starting to close.
Nate Broughton: 23:05 Just because the age of the kids?
Gabe Douek: 23:08 Age of the kids and willingness to make a big life change.
Nate Broughton: 23:12 Yeah, I think I faced that as well, and the timings never going to be right, right? The timing is never going to be right to uproot your family, leave a profitable business situation and move to the west coast or to a new state. You just have to rip the bandaid and do it.
Dana Robinson: 23:27 What was your goal once you made the move?
Nate Broughton: 23:30 Yeah, why’d you want to get out here and then what did you want to come of it?
Gabe Douek: 23:33 My wife at the time, we had always planned to come out west. There’s a lot of things we love about California. The weather was a big piece of it, and wanting to be able to live more of an outdoor life and be closer to the ocean, and also just discover something new. St. Louis is a great city, especially for those who have a family. It’s a great place to live and it’s easy. We wanted more of a challenge. I think we wanted to see what else was out there and just have a different experience. San Diego fit a lot of the pieces that we were looking for in life, so we just came here on a whim without really knowing anybody here.
Nate Broughton: 24:14 Did you travel out here much prior to moving to San Diego?
Gabe Douek: 24:17 Not much. Honestly, I’d only been here a few times, but been a lot of places and really just not a lot of places like this.
Nate Broughton: 24:24 All right, Dana. We’re getting a little bit more in the personal side of Gabe’s story, how he ended up here in San Diego. He started to tell us his three year run with Gateway Media coming out of Answers.com was a fruitful one, a successful one, but he was starting to get burned out, which is not a surprise if you’ve heard his story and you’ve heard him talk. This guy likes to work. His mind is always on work. It’s interesting to start to contrast that a little bit with the fact that he does love to travel and did have his eye on a different type of lifestyle. He’s seen some success, but I can empathize, I guess, a little bit with someone whose coming into their 30’s with a young family and has always felt like they want to live somewhere else and have a new challenge. I definitely wanted to hear him talk about this, and I admire it, man. It’s Opt Out.
Nate Broughton: 25:12 It’s not easy for people to do. He’s telling us a story that’s a little bit closer to home, I think, for Opt Out life, where it’s like he was working in a company. Yes, he was the CEO and yes, it was doing well, but he was getting burned out. He probably wasn’t liking going in every day. That’s the same in some ways as going to a job you don’t like. He’s living in a place that he knows he’s looking over the mountain top and saying, “What else is out there for me? For my family?”
Dana Robinson: 25:39 Just like you.
Nate Broughton: 25:39 What other challenges are out there? Yeah, but just like anyone who’s unhappy with something, they wake up with this itch, whether it’s business or personal or both. It’s cool to hear him talk about it because he’s someone who got up and decided to do something about it.
Dana Robinson: 25:55 Yeah, it’s not easy for an entrepreneur to leave a venture before they feel like it’s hit a certain climax. That’s a pretty deep personal decision that an entrepreneur’s got to make. Very much like someone leaving a career, I think. You know, you have to figure out how you’re going to land financially, where do you stand as an owner. Do you trust the people you’re leaving the company in the hands with, because I’m sure as a continuing shareholder, he’s got a vested interest in that business? You can’t keep just burning yourself out. He had done this already. This is a second company sequentially. In some sense, that’s great. It’s more than luck, but what burnout.
Nate Broughton: 26:36 Right. The personal side, too. Even if he took care of all that stuff, he’s still going home, based on what he’s telling us, and being like I want to be somewhere else. I know no matter what level of success you’re having financially that if you’re moving a wife and kids, which he had and has, that it’s a whole nother challenge to logistically pull them out of whatever they’re tied to, whatever family’s around, pack all that stuff up and get them out to a new city and new state. Then, oh by the way when you get there, you don’t know anybody and you got to start again. I did like what he said about spending six months networking, getting his bearings here in San Diego, and finding his way to some other similar people … That’s how we met as well … and just figuring it out, man. I admire that a lot, and some people might not be able to identify with some of the successes he might have had on paper, but I think they can identify with some of the things we’ve talked about here.
Dana Robinson: 27:31 We talk a lot about people being empowered to do what they want, when they want, how they want. It’s not always coming to the coast. We’re biased. We had Cameron in here. He lived here. We made friends with him here in San Diego, and he’s living in the mountains now, right? We’re going to see him this summer in Montana. His passion and where he wanted to be as part of his Opt Out Life was not surfing at the beach. That’s pretty cool to see different perspectives from people that have made choices and difficult choices that are personal, financial. I think it’s a good story that he did some planning. Everyone’s got excuses that maybe hold them back from maybe making these big decisions. Regardless of how you’re going to Opt Out, I think it’s instructive that he took some time to think it through, be deliberate about it and took that time to execute.
Nate Broughton: 28:23 Now we’re going to hear about what he’s up to now. It’s People magazine, HGTV shit. You’re going to love it.
Gabe Douek: 28:29 Right now, I’m working on building a company called GuruGlobal. I was hired nine months ago to basically start this company from the ground up with the Scott brothers, who are the Property Brothers from HGTV. They brought me on to realize one of their dreams, which was to build this video platform that centered around known experts creating original content off the heels of fan engagement. GuruHub. tv is the website. We launched it March 1st, so it’s still pretty new. We did a soft launch, but we’ve got over 25 different series that we’ve produced. Five episodes per series, three to five minutes per episode, and we’ve got more than 30 different gurus and content creators across six verticals. We’ve made some really fun and cool shows that fans are really engaging with.
Gabe Douek: 29:22 One of the more interesting ones, we just shot a show called The Ultimate Fan Cave, where we basically took William Shatner and the Scott Brothers, and we sent them over to one of Shatner’s super fan’s houses and they showed up unannounced at their door, and they redid a room in their house to make it into a Star Trek fan cave. It was awesome. We’ll launch that show in the next couple months when we do our redesign and hard launch. Those are the kinds of things we’re doing, and becoming an expert at arbitrage is good principles for really anything in life. When I apply that to one of my biggest passions, which is travel, I think that’s where it’s easy to figure out ways to travel the world by understanding some rules and understanding how to find loopholes. If you want to fly around the world in first class, most people don’t have the money to do that. I think that what most people don’t realize is that you could do that with call it 100,000 airline miles, which can be had by signing up for two credit cards.
Gabe Douek: 30:29 It’s just understanding all the rules of the game, and that really takes time. A lot of it is about time, and that’s when it comes down to willingness to spend your time on these things. For me, that’s a hobby. That’s what I enjoy so it’s a win-win.
Nate Broughton: 30:45 Is there any place online that you follow for these tips and tricks, or do you just sign up for all the programs and you just nerd out on all the terms and watch for credit card deals?
Gabe Douek: 30:53 It started when I was at Answers because we were spending so much money on credit cards by marketing. We were actually the largest AMEX customer in the entire Midwest at one point.
Nate Broughton: 31:04 I’m jealous. I wanted to be that. You were it.
Gabe Douek: 31:08 We’re talking millions and millions and millions of points. Ultimately, we had to figure out how to get the most value out of those points, and because it was something that was already a hobby of mine, I was the guy at the company. I wrote a 50 page white paper at one point on spending AMEX points.
Nate Broughton: 31:26 Oh my God.
Dana Robinson: 31:27 You can share that as a Google [crosstalk 00:31:28].
Nate Broughton: 31:30 I know. I was going to say that’s going to have to go on the intro.
Gabe Douek: 31:30 It’s not even that relevant anymore. That was eight years ago. These things change so quickly, but ultimately it’s understanding all the programs that you can transfer points into and how to get the value there. We used them for all of our travel, and then we got to go and travel ourselves on them sometimes. I got to see the world. I don’t have those same earning capacities now with regard to points, but there’s still ways to do it on a smaller scale, and all of those general rules still apply. I know how to do it.
Nate Broughton: 32:00 When we were having lunch a week or two ago, you mentioned you went to Romania.
Gabe Douek: 32:05 Yes.
Nate Broughton: 32:05 That was your 70th, 7-0, country that you’ve been to?
Gabe Douek: 32:05 Correct.
Nate Broughton: 32:11 That is impressive.
Dana Robinson: 32:12 That? Yeah, I think that you win the Opt Out book of world records for most countries visited.
Nate Broughton: 32:21 I don’t think even Adam Daly was even close to that and he’s lived around the world and traveled around the world. God, I don’t know if I’ve even hit 30, 35. You got us all beat. Is there a goal? Is it to go to all 209-
Gabe Douek: 32:36 I’d like to hit 100, but it’s not a hard goal. Honestly, I just like seeing new places and experiencing new things and new cultures. 70 is a large number, but at the same time, most of those countries the average time spent is probably two days. I’ll spend a week going around the world and hitting three countries. Most people, that’s exhausting and it just sounds like the worst thing ever. For me, it’s all excitement.
Nate Broughton: 33:02 You like to fly and you like airports, too.
Gabe Douek: 33:04 I like every aspect of it. I like flying new airlines. I like staying in new hotels. I like being in new countries meeting new people, trying new foods. I don’t get tired in that week. I really don’t.
Nate Broughton: 33:14 Well, maybe I should get divorced and we should get married because I love all those things, too.
Gabe Douek: 33:14 I’m accepting applications. [crosstalk 00:33:20]
Nate Broughton: 33:22 Okay, I might have to make a few lifestyle changes, too, but it’s alright. It’d be worth it.
Dana Robinson: 33:26 I want to know a little bit more about your style of travel because my style has been extended. I like three to four week stints. I’ve got three weeks in Europe this summer and then the end of summer, three weeks in Bali. I’m not going to go very many places once I’m at each city. You’ve got the opposite. What are the mechanics of that? The planning? Is it all spontaneous? If you wrote a 50 page white paper on how to use AMEX points, you’ve got to have a pretty mechanical approach to what you’re doing.
Gabe Douek: 33:54 The planning aspect is the logistics. The planes, hotels, trains, cars, that kind of thing. That’s all planned in advance. What I do when I arrive is typically wing it honestly. I might do a little bit of light prep. When you spend two days in a country, I think if you go in with too many expectations, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. The thing that I get the most out of any place that I go is not usually a museum that I visit, or a sight that I see. It’s just absorbing culture. It’s who I talk to, it’s where I go to have dinner and just breathing the air and seeing the people, that’s what I get the most out of. I usually go in and hire a local tour guide for a day to show me around, and then I’ll just wander on my own for the other day. I’ll end up seeing some major sights. I don’t often leave the main city that I go to, but occasionally I do.
Nate Broughton: 34:45 You hire a local tour guide. One on one?
Gabe Douek: 34:48 Yep, usually.
Nate Broughton: 34:49 Okay. Is there a depot for these tour guides that you go to to find someone?
Gabe Douek: 34:54 Tours by Locals is a site that I use a lot.
Dana Robinson: 34:54 That’s cool.
Nate Broughton: 34:56 I like that. We talked a lot about travel in our blueprint, which is coming out soon. We talked about our different approaches to travel, what we do when we land first day. That’s a pretty good tip. A local fixer, a local guide to go one on one, get your bearings and then free wheel it from there and probably skip some of the sights. I’m sure there are a few places that have a sight that you feel is one you must go see or check off the list and you make it happen, but appreciating that that’s not really the thing that usually gives you the experience that you want. I love waking up early, going for a run, going to the coffee shop. Never staying too long in any one place because I usually have limited time, too, where it’s like I can get coffee here, and a bagel here, and a tea here. That’s three places in an hour, I might as well keep moving around. Being out on foot, I think, too, is a big part of it.
Nate Broughton: 35:45 I do like taking the public transportation actually when I’m in different cities just to see the different systems to be around locals, but walking, biking, doing as much of that as possible in and around the city core is usually where I feel that I get the most.
Dana Robinson: 35:59 My travel, I usually have a day in each city where I’m going to do the touristy stuff. Sometimes, it’s two or three. I mean, if you’re in Paris, and you’re going to spend anytime at the Louvre, it’s a commitment. Then, there’s the decompression days. A lot of people skip these when they’re planning their trips. It’s when you just stay home, or just stay in your neighborhood.
Nate Broughton: 36:17 I don’t think he and I do those.
Dana Robinson: 36:18 No. Then, my favorite is actually the days you’re talking about. You’re only doing the out and about town. Breathe, walk, eat, touch, see. All of that sensory absorption. Those are really some of the funnest days that I have when I’m traveling as well.
Nate Broughton: 36:37 L-I-V-I-N on those days, man. Why Romania? Why was that country number 70?
Gabe Douek: 36:44 I was actually going to Italy. One of the Scott brothers got married a couple weeks ago.
Nate Broughton: 36:48 I looked for you in People magazine. I didn’t see you.
Gabe Douek: 36:51 I don’t think I made the-
Nate Broughton: 36:51 I think they just caught the side of your head or something.
Gabe Douek: 36:53 Yeah, I guess I wasn’t on the attractive enough list. It was one of those things where okay, if I’m going to Italy, I’m going to at least get a new country in while I’m there. Once you’re in Europe, it’s pretty much the same price to go anywhere because you can get cheap inner European flights. I mean, I flew Wizz Air. I flew Wizz Air for God sakes.
Dana Robinson: 37:16 [crosstalk 00:37:17] They make cheese, too, right?
Gabe Douek: 37:18 It was quite a decent airline. It was $60.00 to fly from Bucharest to Bari, Italy. Then, flying from there to Milan, I spent a day in Milan, was $ 29.00 for that flight. Inner European flights are cheap, and inner Asia flights are similarly cheap. Inner Middle Eastern flights are similarly cheap, so it’s like once you get into a continent, it’s really cheap to get around if you know where to look, and Google Flights is probably the best way to do that. I just decided Romania was not too far from where I’m going, and an interesting culture that I don’t know a lot about, so I just tacked it on.
Nate Broughton: 37:55 Nice. That’s a good travel hack right there. If you’re going to go across the world, why not tack another one on?
Gabe Douek: 38:00 Right.
Nate Broughton: 38:01 Flights are cheap.
Gabe Douek: 38:02 One way flights are the key. You find the best deal, whether it be with miles or with cash, to get to a gateway city on the continent you’re going. It doesn’t matter where. If I’m going to Italy, I don’t look for flights to Italy. I look for flights to Europe. I don’t look for flights from San Diego. I look from flights anywhere in the western half of the US to anywhere in Europe. Then, you find that deal and then you figure out how to get to those gateways and it’s usually pretty easy.
Nate Broughton: 38:27 Yeah, I do the same thing, man. I always start with LAX because I figure you can drive there, but I’m just happy to fly out of Oakland because I can fly to Oakland for $60.00. If I can get back to Oakland or Seattle or Vegas, I can get to San Diego easily-
Gabe Douek: 38:40 Right, and when you round trip it, you’re stuck in that place and you’re stuck having to get back to that place. You don’t have any freedom. Buy one-way legs unless it’s just an absolutely amazing deal to do the round trip.
Nate Broughton: 38:51 All right, Dana, last break in. We’re talking about the fun stuff. I hope people stuck around with us because they’ve gotten to now finally hear about how not only is Gabe a successful businessperson but more interestingly, he’s been to 70 countries. He has all kinds of travel hacks. He’s written a 50 page white paper on how to use AMEX points for travel. That’s the type of stuff you stick around for and that I was glad that we could sit down and hear about from him, some of his tips in here that I really liked, and one that I agree with a lot is when you’re flying to Europe or Asia or the Middle East, you don’t have to look for a roundtrip flight from your city to the city that you’re going to to your destination
Dana Robinson: 39:31 Never.
Nate Broughton: 39:32 That is going to kill you on price unless you live in Atlanta or New York, or something like that, but even then there are better deals to be found by getting to what he calls a gateway city in and around that continent, and then flying for $70.00 from gateway city to final destination.
Dana Robinson: 39:49 Right. Every country’s got a cheap airline inside. They’ve got their Southwest. In fact, in Europe you’ve got Ryanair. You’ve got-
Nate Broughton: 39:56 easyJet.
Dana Robinson: 39:56 easyJet. You have several. There’s Vueling in Spain that’s flying all over Europe.
Nate Broughton: 40:01 He said he flew Wizz Airlines to Romania. That sounds kind of fake, but hey, it just goes to show how many there are.
Dana Robinson: 40:08 If you don’t live near a gateway city, then you’ve got to just pick your flight from a gateway, the closest you can, and then you take the Southwest or a cheap flight there. Then, the same thing happens when you land. I’m going to Europe in a couple weeks. I’m going into Copenhagen. It’s really inexpensive to get in and out of Copenhagen. Once I’m there, then it’s cheap flights throughout Europe. I didn’t plan my in and out based on where my ultimate destination is.
Nate Broughton: 40:33 For us, LAX is a nice option because you can drive there, rent a car, drive the two hours up. I always look there, but I’ve done it Oakland as well. Vegas, even New York. I’ll look for a deal for a one way to New York, or even a roundtrip to New York honestly, and then get a cheap red eye from New York to London, or something like that. You can get those for a couple hundred bucks.
Dana Robinson: 40:52 Yeah, you and I did Iceland and we found what? A $100.00 flight out of Denver, so we just Southwest flight San Diego to Denver, and then Denver straight to Reykjavik.
Nate Broughton: 41:02 Right. To find those, I think it’s Google Flights and Kayak. You start to look for the roots. I’ll go the straight up airport website to look at what non-stop destinations they have, either from the US to Europe or Asia or back the other way. Sometimes that’s more efficient. You’re like, “Oh, I’m going to Brussels. Do they have any non-stops to the US?” Well, they probably have some to the east coast, and then you can look at the price of those from Brussels to Boston and then figure out your way to Boston. I think that’s a good way to go round about and find them.
Dana Robinson: 41:30 What do you think about this short approach to travel? This is definitely not the style I’ve taken in most cases.
Nate Broughton: 41:37 Well, you know I love it actually. I like checking a lot of things off of the list. I think he’s that way, too. It actually seems like he doesn’t even look back on places he’s been, and I’m like, “Oh, I love Stockholm. I must go every year.” He seems to be like, “All right, now I’m going to go to Romania and that’s off the list.” Later, we’re going to talk about his choice of one city for one night, and you’ll want to hear what that is because it’s not a place he’s been. I empathize with it a bit. I like it. I think if you can summon the energy to do it, it’s certainly one way to travel.
Dana Robinson: 42:05 It’s a cool way to travel alone.
Nate Broughton: 42:07 Yes, very much so. A cool way to travel alone. He loves airports, airlines, hotels. The whole thing is fun for him. It’s a different experience versus going somewhere and letting it soak in, and spending five hours at the beach in Barcelona. I think he wants to just get in to Barcelona, walk around real fast, see some shit, check out his hotel and leave. I’m okay with it, right?
Dana Robinson: 42:29 Yeah.
Nate Broughton: 42:29 We all Opt Out in different ways. That’s the whole point, right?
Dana Robinson: 42:33 A great lesson in there is that all of that travel stuff that we think is just a barrier is part of the fun. Enjoy it and just take your time and soak in. Yeah, you’re going to wait in some lines, but that’s cool. Think of you’re always in a hurry. This is your opportunity to not be in a rush.
Nate Broughton: 42:51 I agree. Here’s one question that I get asked a lot. How do you travel with kids? I know that Gabe has kids a little bit older than mine, and he’s an avid traveler, so let’s hear what his answer is to that big question.
Nate Broughton: 43:03 Now, you have kids. I get asked this a lot. I’m putting this in our blueprint course, how do you travel with kids? I’m making it a two-part’er because I got so much shit to say about this. How do you travel with kids?
Gabe Douek: 43:13 Well, that’s why a lot of my trips are short.
Nate Broughton: 43:16 Cause you don’t do it.
Gabe Douek: 43:18 Well, no. I’m saying for my own trips. I can’t be gone long because I can’t be away from my kids for more than a week. I mean I could, but I don’t want to, and I can’t be away from work for more than a week. I also travel with my kids, and there’s different ways and there’s different styles of traveling, whether it be alone or with friends, or with a significant other or with kids. My kids were on airplanes from six weeks and they were flying across country at six months. They are very accustomed to travel. My eight year old probably likes airplanes just as much as I do at this point.
Nate Broughton: 43:51 I feel the same way.
Gabe Douek: 43:53 The hard part about traveling with kids is you can’t get around as quickly as you can otherwise. For me to hit three countries in a week, and to hop around airports, is nothing but to do that with kids is near impossible. You have to change things up a little bit.
Nate Broughton: 44:09 You have to bring different stuff. There is so much more stuff must come on the planes. Especially my one son just turned one, so he’s at a tough age, particularly tough with having stuff to keep him occupied and stuff to make his life livable so to speak. What about lodging with the kids? I think this is another thing that hangs people up, and there’s a clear contrast between my approach to lodging when I’m by myself. I don’t actually even give a fuck where I’m staying. I’ll just show up. I’ll find somewhere to stay, not a problem. I love that. Can’t do that with the kids per se because ultimately you don’t want to end up in a bind where you’re sitting in a coffee shop with nowhere to stay with kids crying. I think it’s wise to set up something in advance.
Nate Broughton: 44:50 Our approach is either two hotel rooms, or one hotel room that’s hopefully big enough that we can stick a kid in the closet or bathroom. Then, definitely the Airbnb approach. It’s nice that that platform is so mature and prevalent now because you can find something with two bedrooms, three bedrooms, usually at a price that’s the same as a hotel.
Gabe Douek: 45:09 I never do Airbnb’s. I’m much more a fan of hotels for a few reasons. One, I think when you play the loyalty frequent traveler games, that loyalty is important. Knowing how to get the most value out of it when it comes to traveling with kids, if you can leverage status you can get a lot more value out of your stay. If it’s booking two rooms and making sure you get connecting rooms, or if it’s just making sure you get upgraded to a suite, those things become easier and then you get all the free amenities like the breakfast and all this other stuff. Then, you earn the points or maybe you redeem the points, which you don’t have that with Airbnb’s.
Nate Broughton: 45:46 Programs like Marriott Rewards and Starwood and Hilton and things like that. Also, I just got back yesterday. We went on a quick little run to OC. We stayed at the Ritz, which is a great hotel. Great lobby, great place. I actually am not a member of the rewards program for them, and actually, I think their Marriott and Starwood merged I was getting told.
Gabe Douek: 46:06 Yep, correct.
Nate Broughton: 46:07 I used AMEX Platinum to get early check-in so we could check in at noon. Late checkout, so we could checkout at 4:00, got the $100.00 food and beverage credit, got the $60.00 for two breakfast credit. Also, got an automatic upgrade when I showed up just through that credit card, which was huge on the kids side because it basically turned a one day trip into a two day trip. I was able to check in before nap as opposed to after nap, and also could get a second nap in the next day if I wanted to, and that was all plain just off having that one card. I wasn’t even a special guest per se of their hotel or their chain, but the card got me to do it.
Gabe Douek: 46:42 Right. That was the Fine Resort and Hotel program they have. It basically is designed to give people that status even if they don’t have it essentially.
Nate Broughton: 46:52 There’s a quick hack if you don’t want to get [crosstalk 00:46:54].
Gabe Douek: 46:54 It’s a great program, especially for Vegas hotels. You can get some amazing deals because you can get sub-hundred dollar rooms with that card, and the amenities alone are worth more than what you’re paying for the room.
Nate Broughton: 47:05 Right. I should use it more there actually. I always end up trying to use Founder’s Card in Vegas because they’ve got a couple, and it’s always hit or miss, but I should use that more for Vegas. Hey, there’s my takeaway from the podcast.
Gabe Douek: 47:15 There you go.
Nate Broughton: 47:16 Followed us along this long.
Dana Robinson: 47:17 All right, so we allege that we’re trying to help people connect with people that have preceded them and succeed them in the Opt Out Life and business entrepreneurship side gigs, that sort of thing. For the benefit of our listeners, I think a lot of guests don’t really feel that sage that they should be handing out life advice or business advice, but pretend you’re hanging out with us and some interns, or some people that are new to business, or thinking of starting something. Given your career path, what’s some advice you’d give them?
Gabe Douek: 47:48 What I tell young people is to go out and ask for what you want. If you start with that internship, experience at a young age is huge in order to figure out what you like and what you don’t like. Don’t just assume that the list of internship opportunities that a college career counselor gives you is the end all. Go out and go after what you want to do and make phone calls. I actually got two internships that way. Then, in terms of general life advice, I think the same way that moving out to San Diego was a lifelong dream, and it didn’t necessarily fall into place as far as the puzzle pieces fitting together, you just have to make it happen if it’s something that you want. I think that you don’t typically look back. I know for me, I don’t typically look back and regret those risks that I took, even if they don’t always work out great. You have to always be weighing all aspects of your life, not just a potential paycheck when it comes to finding happiness and finding what you want.
Dana Robinson: 48:55 Well stated.
Nate Broughton: 48:57 Have you said that before on stage?
Dana Robinson: 49:00 At your thought leader TED talk.
Gabe Douek: 49:02 I just put my script away here.
Dana Robinson: 49:03 That was great.
Nate Broughton: 49:04 Okay, we’ll we’ve played this game twice. This is going to be the third time we play this game.
Gabe Douek: 49:08 Twister?
Nate Broughton: 49:09 Yeah, yeah. It’s actually Spin the Bottle.
Gabe Douek: 49:11 Sweet. That’s what I was hoping you would say.
Nate Broughton: 49:16 We love that here at the Opt Out Life. No, the game is the travel game. We’ve done it with our two other guests who loved to travel, if not all of our guests who probably love travel in some way. The game is this. We are going to the airport right now. Me, you and you. We’re going to go to three cities. One night each, we each get to pick a night. We’ve added the qualifier that travel time between them is irrelevant. You don’t have to pick something based on a city that’s close to fly to the next city, but we each get to pick one night. We’re going to the airport now. Where we going on night one, Dana?
Dana Robinson: 49:50 Copenhagen.
Gabe Douek: 49:52 Great city.
Nate Broughton: 49:52 That is one of my favorites. I could get some biking in.
Dana Robinson: 49:55 Mm-hmm (affirmative). It’s nice and flat. Cool bikes.
Nate Broughton: 49:59 What’s the park there called? That old school amusement park?
Dana Robinson: 50:02 Christiania.
Nate Broughton: 50:04 Well, that one. That one. Not the [crosstalk 00:50:07] commune. Not the place where you can get the snow cones and shit. No, what is that thing called? I don’t know. It’s a cool place, though, and actually the same company owns the one in Stockholm actually. It’s like an old school amusement park with the merry-go-round’s-
Dana Robinson: 50:04 Merry-go-rounds, yep.
Nate Broughton: 50:04 From like the 1920’s.
Dana Robinson: 50:21 Right in the middle of town.
Nate Broughton: 50:22 Yeah. It’s Gronalund. That’s the one in Sweden. Gronalund. Anyway. Copenhagen. We get some-
Dana Robinson: 50:30 Get some street hot dogs that are nothing like a dirty water dog.
Nate Broughton: 50:34 Yeah, and some toast with some shit on it, you know like some fish and some salvaged denim. Ride our bikes around. That is a great city. Good time of year to be headed to Copenhagen, too.
Dana Robinson: 50:45 Tivoli.
Nate Broughton: 50:46 Yeah, Tivoli.
Gabe Douek: 50:46 Yes, I went there.
Dana Robinson: 50:46 Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park, right in the middle of town.
Gabe Douek: 50:51 It’s very cool. It’s a rustic, old amusement park that feels like it should be shut down, and then you go in there and you’re like holy shit, this place is amazing.
Nate Broughton: 50:56 Yeah, so much fun. It’d be a place where you would just pop into if you lived there. I don’t think it would get old.
Gabe Douek: 51:01 No.
Nate Broughton: 51:02 There is a beer garden in there where we just hung out and drank when my son was one. He just slept on my wife’s back for two hours. I’ll always remember that time. All right, where we going on night two, Gabe?
Gabe Douek: 51:13 Does it have to be a city?
Nate Broughton: 51:15 No. It could be a planet.
Gabe Douek: 51:17 If distance and cost were no issue, and logistics are no issue, I would probably go to Antarctica.
Nate Broughton: 51:25 Wow.
Gabe Douek: 51:26 Just because it’s the last continent that I have not been to, and it’s hard to get to. I don’t know a city that I would go to there because they don’t really have cities, but that’s where I would go.
Dana Robinson: 51:38 I knew a guy that went there.
Nate Broughton: 51:39 Really?
Dana Robinson: 51:40 Before he was an attorney, he had been a scientist, so he went on an expedition. I think probably just because he wanted to go there.
Gabe Douek: 51:47 It’s becoming more popular. It’s becoming more of a tourist destination. More so with cruises, but even planes are landing there now. It’s more common than it used to be and it’s very doable. It just takes a long time because if you’re going to cruise there, you got to get down to the tip of South America. Then, you got to spend a week on a boat. It’s timely and costly.
Nate Broughton: 52:06 We’ll have to pack some jackets.
Gabe Douek: 52:07 It gets cold.
Nate Broughton: 52:09 To say the least. Not many jackets in my closet here in San Diego. I heard they were doing where you could take off from Australia and fly down and just look at it, too.
Gabe Douek: 52:17 Yeah, they have a scenic flight. They do one over the North Pole, too, from Norway.
Nate Broughton: 52:20 Really?
Gabe Douek: 52:21 Yeah.
Nate Broughton: 52:22 Okay.
Gabe Douek: 52:23 I don’t know. That doesn’t interest me. If I’m not touching the ground, I don’t need to just sit on a plane to look and pay thousands of dollars for that.
Nate Broughton: 52:31 I think that we’ve established there’s no looking back in your travel. It don’t matter how great the experience was, we’re looking forward. Well, for night three, if that’s where we’re going and I know distance is not matter, but that reminds me of a place I spent eight hours in once and that was Hobart, Tasmania, which is down that way. We’ll take our heavy coats and we’ll go to Hobart. Actually a really cool, it was trendy I think in 2014-15 where the New York Times was repping it. Some guy that was a professional gambler, whose got an amazing story ripping off the casinos and the cow, counting cards … Hundreds of millions of dollars. Whatever … and got banned, I think, but is not in prison, is from there. He’s been buying up land and doing all this humanitarian we’ll call it. A man of the arts.
Nate Broughton: 53:19 He built a museum there on a bluff that’s called the New Museum or something generic, but it’s got vines and a place to barrel wine and make wine. It’s got a brewery and it’s got some of the craziest modern art you have ever seen. There’s a car, I think it’s a Porsche, that they blew up somehow so it looks like a clown car, like a cartoon inflated car. There was water falling from the ceiling in this five story thing, and it would shoot out messages. It was grabbing random sentences or phrases from around the internet. Sometimes it would be vulgar, but the whole point was it was just grabbing things from around the web and spitting it out in water. None of these things that have much conceptual point beyond being conceptual, I guess. I don’t know.
Gabe Douek: 54:06 Cool. I’m in. I’m sold.
Nate Broughton: 54:08 The weirdest thing, too, is there’s a room. I think it’s on the lower level. You get near it, and you’re like man, it kind of smells like shit. It’s because they recreated the human bowel system with machinery. It looks like a science project. They put in food once a day, and once a day it does shoot out human feces onto a plate.
Dana Robinson: 54:29 Amazing.
Nate Broughton: 54:30 There is a line that is a couple hundred people long to walk into this room and look at this thing.
Dana Robinson: 54:35 Yeah, let’s check it out.
Gabe Douek: 54:38 It sounds great. This is becoming a little less enticing.
Nate Broughton: 54:41 Yes, yes, yes. It’s a story I had to tell, but we don’t have to go into the poopy room. We can just go to Hobart.
Gabe Douek: 54:47 It’s not mandatory.
Nate Broughton: 54:47 No. I just poked my head in and was like that smells bad and I’m not waiting in line to go in there and see that. The cool part is it’s got a little harbor there. It’s a small place. We went to a brewery that was open, I think, in the early 1900’s. It looks like Transylvania actually, ironically, up on the hill. You can have some beers there, cruise around to that museum and just hang out outside and look out on the harbor. Cool place. Rare place.
Dana Robinson: 55:14 Sounds like a fun trip.
Gabe Douek: 55:16 It’s going on the list.
Nate Broughton: 55:18 I’m going to cut out the poop story part. [crosstalk 00:55:20] people like all right, Hobart’s cool. Hobart’s cool. All right, so what was it? Where did we start?
Dana Robinson: 55:26 Copenhagen.
Nate Broughton: 55:26 Copenhagen, Antarctica and Tasmania. Okay. Well done, boys.
Dana Robinson: 55:30 Let’s get in a time machine.
Nate Broughton: 55:33 Yeah, let’s do it. Gabe, thanks for taking the time.
Gabe Douek: 55:34 Thanks for having me. It was fun.
Nate Broughton: 55:36 Let’s head down to the airport and use some of those points.
Nate Broughton: 55:42 Thanks again for listening to the Opt Out Life podcast. If you liked this episode, or any of our episodes, we’d love to have you as a subscriber. Click the subscribe button on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcast. Then, head over to OptOutLife.com. There you can enter your email address to get on our email list so you’ll be the first to know about new podcast episodes as they come out, including hand picked highlights, links to resources we mention and top quotes from each episode. Dana and I are also publishing new articles on the site, including How-to guides and blueprints for you to use to find your next side gig or find a creative idea to help you live the Opt Out Life. Opt Out Life email subscribers also will be the first to get access to upcoming video content, which includes a short documentary we shot recently here in San Diego, as well as opportunities to interact with us and our growing community through the Opt Out Life premium membership.
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