Founder and CEO
Michael Navarini is a serial internet entrepreneur that has been traveling the world for the last eight years while creating and running various internet businesses from his home base of San Francisco, California. Michael has extensive travel experience in North America, Asia & Europe and has visited over 38 countries. His friends call him the “Travel Veteran” – a nickname that stuck and is now used to brand this travel site!
Michael has always been an enterpriser; he started his first business, “Handy Boys” when he was 7 years old. With the help of his six brothers, he sold peaches and apricots from his family’s northern California ranch to neighbors. The “Handy Boys” also performed yard work for neighbors including ranch work such as pruning fruit trees. As a youngster, he also started a window washing business, and created fictitious companies such as Nuova Tech and made business cards to hand out to friends when he was in middle school. At sixteen he started Shear Guys, a mobile scissor and shear sharpening business hair stylists and barbers.
With his mother as his teacher, Michael was homeschooled along with his brothers for nine years. He attended St Michael’s College Preparatory boarding school in Orange County his Junior and Senior years, where he captained the school’s varsity soccer team as striker both years. He also played center field and pitcher for the varsity baseball team and center for the basketball team. His other passion during his pre-college years included playing violin for various orchestras around California including the San Jose Youth Symphony as 2nd Violin Chair and 2nd Violin Chair for the Livermore-Amador Symphony.
After high-school Michael attended UCLA where he was a member of both the Honors Program and Dean’s Honor List, and graduated in 2006 with degrees in Economics and Political Science. During his time at UCLA, he worked as a Research Assistant helping doctoral students in the Electrical Engineering department’s Wireless Communications Engineering Lab. His senior year, Michael researched the roots of free market economics and argued that the roots of this type of economic thinking went beyond the traditionally credited thinkers of the Enlightenment all the way back to the Scholastics. His thesis, The Church and the Market was published several times by UCLA Academic Publishing and is currently read by undergraduate students taking Economics 107: History of Economic Theory.
After finishing college, Michael briefly pursued a vocation to the priesthood and entered a Norbertine monastery in the mountains of Orange County in Southern California. After several months experiencing the monastic life, Michael discerned a different path and went on to work in Management Consulting for several years at Symantec Corporation in Silicon Valley and Protiviti Consulting Firm in San Francisco’s financial district. Michael delivered on global consulting and advisory projects for clients such as United Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Pioneer Electronics, Fidelity Investments, General Electric, Thompson Financial, SVB Financial Group, New York State DOT, Robert Half International, Nokia-Siemens, KLA-Tencor, Grand Canyon University, Bio-Rad, and other Fortune 500 companies.
Before the economic recession in 2008, Michael was introduced to internet marketing, and has been fully invested in the online media niche ever since, launching various businesses including BananaAds.com (performance advertising agency), Kuyami.com (media buying firm), Namerific.com (domain/branding agency), Insta-Paint.com (on-demand painting site) among others.
Michael currently resides in San Francisco, California.
Where he’s been:
- USA (duh)
- Mexico – 4x
- Canada – 3x
- Brazil – 2x
- Spain – 2x
- Italy – 7x
- Vatican City – 6x
- France – 3x
- United Kingdom
- Czech Republic – 3x
- Germany – 2x
- Sweden – 2x
- Japan – 2x
- South Korea – 2x
- Hong Kong – 12x
- Macau – 3x
- Taiwan – 2x
- The Philippines – 5x
- Malaysia – 3x
- Singapore – 8x
- Thailand – 5x
- Costa Rica
Some interesting and notable things he’s experienced in his travels:
- Seen 3 popes
- Attended Carnaval & went Hang Gliding in Rio de Janeiro
- Zip lining in Costa Rica and Thailand
- Dated the first-daughter of Slovakia
- Partied at Octoberfest in Munich
- Had lunch with a president
- Had breakfast with the Prelate of Opus Dei
- Went snorkeling in Hawaii, Mexico, Philippines, Bali, Thailand, among others
- Ate real Korean BBQ in Korea – yes this is notable!
- Ate sushi in Japan – haha