World Reimagined

The Power of Human Connection: How Samantha Patil is Transforming the Travel Industry

Samantha Patil

Samantha Patil, co-founder and CEO at Well Traveled, is on a mission to transform the travel industry by creating a members-only social platform built for the modern traveler.

From a young age, Samantha had an entrepreneurial spirit. She knew she was meant to build something much greater than herself, which ultimately manifested through her company, Well Traveled. Through the power of a members-only community, trusted recommendations, and intuitive planning tools, Samantha and Well Traveled are changing the way people discover, plan, and book travel.

We asked Samantha about the hardest and most rewarding parts of her entrepreneurial journey, how she has grown through the years, and what’s next for Well Traveled.

Q: What makes Well Traveled different from other companies in the industry?

A: Like many entrepreneurs, the idea for Well Traveled was born out of a personal pain point. It’s no secret that finding relevant, trustworthy travel recommendations is both frustrating and time consuming. It’s important to note that today’s consumers make decisions based on their friends and social network. The world’s largest travel companies don’t seem to understand this, so I decided to do something about it. Well Traveled is a social platform built for modern travelers, meaning we make it easier for you to find recommendations from other travelers who share your personal tastes, preferences, and budget, with real reviews from fellow foodies, tastemakers, and adventure seekers.

Well Traveled screenshot

Q: Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

A: Yes and no. I love to build things—always have. So you could say I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. And while I don’t think I “always knew” I wanted to be an entrepreneur, I did know I was meant to create. I actually had a number of company ideas prior to starting Well Traveled. Some were interesting; others were terrible. When I came up with the initial concept for Well Traveled, something just clicked. It felt different, and it still does because we're building something really special.

Q: What’s been the hardest and most rewarding part of your entrepreneurial journey?

A: I’d say the hardest part of the entrepreneurial journey is that it can feel isolating at times, especially as a female co-founder team in male dominated industry. I realized early on I needed to find a support network of fellow female founders and I am so grateful for the incredible network of supportive women I have around me.

The most rewarding part is without a doubt the comments we get from our members. Hearing how excited they are about what we’ve built is so motivating. It’s so satisfying to know we’ve created something of value for others and that they feel so passionate about it. It’s validating and inspiring for us as a company and team.

Q: Have you struggled with self doubt as an entrepreneur? How do you navigate this?

A: Of course! I think self doubt is part of being human but I do think it is something women in particular struggle with. If I’m ever feeling anxious or struggling with self doubt, I take a step back and check in with what’s going on inside my head. I reset my thoughts because thoughts turn into beliefs, which turn into feelings, which turn into actions. I remind myself of who I am, why I’m doing what I’m doing and all that I’ve accomplished already. I remember that “everything is figureoutable,” my favorite phrase coined by Marie Forleo. Then I get up and take action, even if it’s something small. Action is the fastest way to clarity. Taking action helps combat indecisiveness and fear. What’s more, I’ve learned the more actions I take, the more confident I am and the more momentum I create.

Samantha Patil atop a mountain

Q: We dare you to brag: What achievements are you most proud of? How do you celebrate successes along the way?

A: If I’m being honest, I am notoriously bad at celebrating wins. It’s something I’m working on. I now go out of my way to celebrate successes big and small. I think having a team has helped with that because it’s something I want to make sure they do as well. On Fridays, we have a team meeting where we each share an “oh sh*t” moment from the week and a win we’re excited about. My hope is that it’s a way for us to own our mistakes and celebrate our wins together.

Q: How have you grown as a leader since starting Well Traveled? What experiences have contributed to this growth?

A: I’m still learning a lot but I’ve always believed part of being a good leader involves hiring smart people and getting out of their way. That can feel uncomfortable. I’m learning to sit in that discomfort, knowing that as our company grows I won’t be able to be as in the weeds as I once was. A big part of my job as a leader is to motivate and inspire our team, remove blockers for them, and set them up for greatness. We’re focused on creating community for our customers. As a leader, it’s also important for me to create a sense of community for our team.

Q: What would you tell your younger self if you were to start your entrepreneurial journey all over again? What’s next for you and for Well Traveled?

A: Trust your gut, believe in your power and remember, everything is figureoutable. My entrepreneurial journey has been exhilarating, frustrating, inspiring, humbling and sometimes all at the same time. I wouldn’t change a thing.

I am so excited about what our team has accomplished in such a short amount of time but I’m even more excited about what’s to come. Our goal is to change the way we discover, plan, and book travel by tapping into the power of community and human connection. And we're just getting started.

Samantha is a member of Dreamers & Doers, a private collective that amplifies the entrepreneurial pursuits of extraordinary women through thought leadership opportunities, authentic connection, and access. Learn more about Dreamers & Doers and subscribe to their monthly The Digest for top entrepreneurial and career resources.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Gesche Haas

Gesche Haas is the Founder/CEO of Dreamers & Doers, a private collective that amplifies the entrepreneurial pursuits of extraordinary women through visibility opportunities, resource exchange, and collective support.

Read Gesche's Bio