In the last 7 months, we have traveled to 12 states, another continent, and spent 55+ days on the road. This has been one of the most rewarding parts of the Fellowship. We’ve learned a ton about health, design, entrepreneurship, and technology on the road, but most importantly, we've learned there are five things we can’t live without.
Airbnb. Self-described as a "community marketplace for unique accommodations," Airbnb offers the ability to stay in a fully furnished unit while traveling so you can feel more at home – and in our case, it provides a homebase in which to work. Our hosts provide us with great takeout Thai recommendations, lists of sightseeing essentials, and walls to cover in sticky notes; the essentials. Airbnb is also a model of +1 customer service – they even sent us a piñata when we stayed in Austin!
Notebooks (lots of them). We learn a lot during interviews, observations, conferences, and research. Even though we are all tech savvy, we prefer to take notes and record our thoughts the old-fashioned way, by hand. If we were to be stopped by TSA, you would probably find at least four Moleskines, 2 Field Notes journals, and three or more Everything Little Miss notebooks between the four of us.
Uber & Lyft. Ridesharing services serve two essential purposes for our team. The first, obviously, is getting us around when we don’t have a car, or when we've spent the afternoon conversing at Downeast Cider House (a must-visit in Boston). The second is as a source of user-testing and feedback. We’ve talked to dozens of Lyft and Uber drivers about the health care system and many different iterations of our ideas. We are always learning from these interactions, and they help improve Meerkat Health and will inform any work we do in the future.
Sandra’s Amazing Packing Method. Sandra has a packing method without rival. Using her technique, we somehow squeezed 10 days of business/casual clothes (with multiple pairs of shoes) into one carry-on bag each when we packed for Europe. Best part, they were not wrinkled at all! This method has led to no checked bag fees, no waiting at baggage carousels, and less ironing. Personal record: 10 day trip, 14 minutes of packing. Win. Win. Win.
The Jimmy John's on Market St. Lots of traveling means little time at the grocery store, which means lunch out when we are working at the Loft in Wilmington. What this really means is lots and lots of Jimmy John's and their “freaky fast” delivery. So, if you are ever looking for a gift (for Nick, in particular), look no further than a Jimmy John's gift card.