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In Fall of 2021, I took a multi-day road trip with my twenty-five-year-old daughter, and we got onto the topic of Two Degrees, the company that we formed and the prototype app that we built in 2021.  She’s an Alpha tester for 2D, a self-taught developer and a traveler. She had been thinking about the application and all the ways to improve the experience, many of them focused on improving the experience for travelers (a passion of hers). And she started asking questions about diversity and inclusion and how that factors into our work. 

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about privilege, more so in the last handful of years than ever before. As a white male from a middle-class family, college educated and employed in white collar professions, I realize that if I were to put on a cardigan and stand in front of an oversized fireplace with my cocker spaniel, I would be the stereotypical picture of privilege.  And while I didn’t consider myself privileged at the time, I realize now that the fact that I didn’t worry about where my food was coming from, that we took family vacations, and that I didn’t fear for my safety and had the luxury of focusing on school and sports were all parts of the privilege.

Through the evolution of my discussion with my daughter, together we started putting into words my “WHY” about my commitment to the success of Two Degrees. It is about sharing what you have with those around you and, at least in some small way, equalizing the use of the bounty and experiences created by privilege, opportunity and good deal of luck. And it is about creating more opportunities for people to connect, share ideas and learn from each other.  By removing a large portion of the financial burden of travel through sharing, and eliminating the social awkwardness of asking for and accepting  genuine offers to be shared with, dramatically more people have the opportunity to explore the world, share experiences and ideas, and expand the definition of community to your connections around the globe. 

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

Mark Twain

Having traveled a fair bit, I am a firm believer in Mr. Twain’s words.  And having shared my home and vacation rentals with many others, and had others share with me, I can attest to the fact that these experiences have made me more open-minded, and grateful for the opportunity to learn from others who come from different backgrounds and cultures. I wish that for all of my family, my friends and all of the members of Two Degrees.  That’s my Why.

Share your bounty,