Jeff Boyd fell in love with the Galapagos Islands as a kid and has decided to help people explore the beauty that the region has to offer. In this episode, we go over his inspiration for collaborating with Next Wave Services to create his new website, "The Galapagos Guy".
To learn more about Jeff, his expertise, and his services, check out www.galapagosguy.com
Jeff Boyd (00:02.955)
BC Babbles (00:06.451)
Hello everyone and welcome back to the digital wave writers podcast. I am joined today by an expert adventurer, the Galapagos guy himself. Welcome Jeff Boyd to the show. Thank you for joining me today, Jeff.
Jeff Boyd (00:18.73)
My pleasure, thank you.
BC Babbles (00:20.859)
Now, I gotta be honest, as somebody who used to watch the Jeff Corwin show and who also had an iguana as a pet, not a marine iguana, but a green iguana, I feel like I should make that distinction there. I don't know much about the Galapagos Islands aside from a seemingly beautiful kind of paradise vacation stay. So talk a little bit about your first experience in that region of the world, how it happened, and what kind of kept feeding into your passion about the Galapagos Islands.
Jeff Boyd (00:50.998)
Yeah, good question. So a lot of folks don't know where the Galapagos Islands are to start with. They know it's a place they've heard of. It's beautiful. Charles Darwin, the whole, you know, natural paradise experience. It's off the coast of Ecuador. And so it's actually one of the provinces of Ecuador. And I was a college student in 1995 to date myself. I did a semester in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. As part of that program.
BC Babbles (01:10.847)
Jeff Boyd (01:19.398)
our student group went to the Amazon jungle and the Galapagos Islands. I got deathly ill in the jungle. It was hot and humid. I wanted nothing more to do with that. But the Galapagos was this, as you said, that's just a gorgeous paradise where the animals don't fear humans. The water is crystal clear blue. So you're swimming with fish like you're in an aquarium or at the zoo. And it's just the coolest experience.
BC Babbles (01:26.688)
BC Babbles (01:36.629)
BC Babbles (01:44.679)
Now does that kind of desensitization to humans, does that kind of act as a double edged sword or does it just make it so much more of an immersive experience?
Jeff Boyd (01:55.094)
It makes it more immersive. So the animal life there has not had natural predators. They're very, very remote. There's four currents coming together. It's colder Pacific water. And so there's a lot of species that just never had to evolve to kill another species to survive. There actually is a bird that cannot fly because it doesn't have to. Over time it learned not to. And so you're able to give more...
immersive experiences with the wildlife because they're not afraid and they do a great job of protecting them now the guides are super serious Yeah to follow the park rules You know if you touch an animal they will find you and put you in jail. So it's It's pretty
BC Babbles (02:29.863)
Oh, that's good too, yeah.
BC Babbles (02:39.363)
gonna say I've got a family who recently started spending time in Hawaii and I know there are pretty big rules over in Hawaii for turtles and for touching seals even by accident that they even swim up to you so I was gonna wonder about how it works over there and on the islands.
Jeff Boyd (02:56.17)
Yeah, similar to Hawaii as you mentioned, there's a six foot rule for wildlife. Now when you're in the water and the baby sea lions who are really playful come swimming around you, you know, I've been bumped into once or twice, you know, slightly. They're so fast and agile, they're not going to hug you, but there's occasional slight interaction. On land, yeah, you're very, very cautious to not step over animals, go around them.
BC Babbles (03:02.459)
BC Babbles (03:06.461)
Right, you're right.
Jeff Boyd (03:22.794)
not get too close with your cameras, no flash photography in the space, that kind of stuff.
BC Babbles (03:25.556)
Gotcha, and I was gonna say, I think I saw a TikTok two days ago where, I don't know where they were, but surfers were a couple like a baby seal pup popped onto a board because it was so curious. So like when you're in that situation, not on land, you're kind of at the mercy of, more at the mercy of the elements in a situation like that. How do those regulations work? Clearly you don't wanna push the seal off, it's just a curious baby animal. So how do you figure that moment out if it happens?
Jeff Boyd (03:57.61)
Yeah, good question. So, you know, there's no surfing there, but you do kayaking. And so I guess a seal could, you know, a baby sea lion could jump onto the kayak, but more common the sea lions will jump onto the back of the yacht. And so you'll be standing there in the back of the boat and the sea lion just plops right up on the platform and rides along with you for an hour and then jumps off. And so it becomes part of your group on the boat, which is really, really cool.
BC Babbles (04:03.321)
BC Babbles (04:11.901)
BC Babbles (04:25.771)
That's so interesting. I think when most people see videos of seals or sea lions hopping onto boats, it's because they're running away from orcas or something like that. But if they have known predators over there on the islands, they're just, yo, what's up? What does this thing do, basically? That's so cool.
Jeff Boyd (04:40.834)
We're totally chill. Yep. The older sea lions just sunbathe all day. They live a dog's life in the Galapagos. They're on the beach just hanging out, jump on the boat, go for a free ride. They're not scared of humans because we don't bother them and it's all kosher.
BC Babbles (04:50.333)
BC Babbles (04:58.575)
Must be nice, man. So you visit there when you're still in school. Yeah, yeah, talk about those.
Jeff Boyd (04:59.958)
Now there are some bigger animals.
Jeff Boyd (05:06.862)
There are times where we're swimming near hammerhead sharks. Most of those are mid-sized kind of babies that you're going to be closer to. A lot of these adults tend to hide and they're out fishing or hunting for their children. So it's the younger animals that are more playful and more approachable. But you can come across some larger sharks. But the guys and the captain of the boat know where you can and cannot snorkel safely with different animals, right?
BC Babbles (05:12.371)
BC Babbles (05:35.144)
Jeff Boyd (05:35.286)
Danes with sharks, but you're not allowed to get off the boat at that point. But we do see them alongside the boat sometimes. The captain will say, hey, go to the back deck. There's a, you know, a white shark in the water and two whales off to the left. So, yeah, you check them out for a distance.
BC Babbles (05:40.991)
BC Babbles (05:49.447)
Right. And not to spend too much time on the zoology of it all, but is there any kind of misconception among which shark species have the worse temperaments? I was under the belief that tiger sharks were kind of more had a worse off, but I'm kind of recently hearing that hammerhead sharks are not as docile as maybe previously assumed. Is that true?
Jeff Boyd (06:16.778)
I don't know. I must admit to not being an expert in the zoology or the marine biology, I'm much more of a logistician and an adventurer. But my impression is that the hammerhead sharks have always been very amenable to humans in the Galapagos at least. There's never been an issue with the hammerhead.
BC Babbles (06:21.227)
BC Babbles (06:27.144)
BC Babbles (06:34.875)
Gotcha. I may have seen just a few flukes then. So you visit the region for the first time when you're very young. As you say, you almost die or you got close. But you kept that love for it. So talk about how you took that earlier set of experiences and now you've built it into this career where you helped facilitate, as you said, you're very focused on logistics. You've
helping people facilitate these well-rounded trips into that region. So talk about how that business came to be and officially delving into the travel content world.
Jeff Boyd (07:16.886)
Yeah, good question. So my current job title would be a travel designer or travel planner and I help people figure out how to have a great trip to South America. Because I've worked there and been there so many times, which is really how I got into this, all my previous jobs in my career have been business development, sales in Latin America, back and forth, living there. And in my free time, I would explore on the weekends. So if I was in Peru, I'd go to Machu Picchu. And then I also took volunteer groups.
BC Babbles (07:37.948)
Jeff Boyd (07:45.602)
for one or two jobs. I've taken 10 groups to Machu Picchu myself. And so about nine years ago, I was a client of a small travel design shop called Untamed Path Adventures, helping my old boss plan a 50th extravaganza to Chile to go whitewater rafting. After that trip, I was like, I need to spend more time in nature and really love the travel aspect and helping other people explore places that I've been to and love.
BC Babbles (08:04.415)
Jeff Boyd (08:16.338)
And so I actually emailed a couple of the names of that company and said, Hey, will you hire me? I'm ready to quit my job and move to Columbia, South America and be your guy there. And they said, no, we can't really hire you, but we're looking to sell the business and you'd be a great person to buy it. And so I ended up buying the company, which I still own and run eight, nine years later, called Untamed Path Adventures, which just plans trips in South America, including the Galapagos. And then decided this year to
BC Babbles (08:18.025)
BC Babbles (08:27.764)
BC Babbles (08:38.793)
Jeff Boyd (08:45.102)
kind of create a new brand called the Galapagos guy, just focused on the Galapagos underneath that business. So that's how it came together. There's a lot of time in the region, a lot of love, and got hooked.
BC Babbles (08:49.716)
BC Babbles (08:53.803)
BC Babbles (08:59.307)
So it's kind of the perfect expression for someone with your kind of experience, basically.
Jeff Boyd (09:03.926)
It really is. You had to go from bigger companies, more normal type jobs to this sort of a change. It was a big jump, but at the same time, it's a perfect fit. It's a reason I really do love and love to send people to.
BC Babbles (09:22.367)
So when you, so delving into the travel sphere, obviously that's a strong and kind of saturated industry in and of itself. So when it came to developing, you know, kind of a central hub for people to learn about you, your experience, what you offer, and how people can, what people can expect working with you when they take these trips, what was important to you in regards to how you wanted to make sure that you as
Galapagos guy, the idea of this business was established digitally.
Jeff Boyd (09:57.29)
Yeah, good question, Brendan. So the Galapagos guy is a brand. You know, our idea was let's communicate the idea that I'm not just a resource for information on the Galapagos, but rather the guy you hire to plan your trip to go there. You know, a lot of other sites you go to, they're very informative or educational, but you think, am I really hiring in this company or they just give me free information?
So I wanted to give enough information to be a teaser to interested in Hooked, but also to show my expertise, but then to cause the viewer to want to contact me about planning a trip.
BC Babbles (10:37.363)
Right. So logistically, how does that look when someone reaches out to you, they've spoken with you, gotten that teaser and they're like, okay, let's pull the trigger on this. So what does that look like from there? Like, what is the planning look like for these adventures?
Jeff Boyd (10:55.37)
Yeah. So most people who go to the Galapagos have heard of it, they know of it, and they want to go there, right? They're not just Googling favorite trips this summer. They're Googling Galapagos Islands trips. And so when they see my site, hopefully they get inspired enough to say, wow, this guy knows what he's talking about. Let's give him a call. And then normally it takes a few phone calls, a couple emails for more seriously interested people to one, convey my experience, expertise and the process.
BC Babbles (11:05.695)
Jeff Boyd (11:26.134)
Booking a trip to the Galapagos requires some time. It's not just like going to a Disney World where you gotta buy a ticket tomorrow and show up. You gotta find the right boat that has availability for you and your group. If your group is more than four or six people, you gotta book a year in advance. And there's a lot of details involved. You gotta fly to Quito, and also fly from Quito to the Galapagos. There are park fees to pay, there are other...
BC Babbles (11:33.322)
BC Babbles (11:41.867)
Jeff Boyd (11:51.734)
logistical pieces that are not as easy to figure out and just show up. It's hard to show up there and say, here I am, show me the islands. Um, it's not the best way to do it. You could do it. It's not going to be as enjoyable as booking it properly through the right channels.
BC Babbles (12:00.406)
BC Babbles (12:06.511)
Right, exactly. So we understand that building a website like this is a process, right? So talk to me about as this was being developed, what were for you the important elements to have as this platform for you was being built? What were the important key bits about your message, your mission and about how this development process happened? What did you need from that?
process to make sure that this was the right avenue for you.
Jeff Boyd (12:39.198)
Yes, I'd worked with Bryan before on a previous website, actually two other websites. I had a good rapport with him. I like his style and I knew that we could initially kind of brainstorm some ideas. I'm not a tech savvy guy. I don't know a thing about website development. I know the glopagos, but not websites. So, Bryan and his team, including yourself, your expertise was super helpful even from the first moment of talking about a logo.
and kind of the overall feel of the site and what I wanted to convey. I wanted to be elegant. I wanted to bend more towards the luxury market.
BC Babbles (13:17.799)
Jeff Boyd (13:18.146)
And I wanted it to be clear and concise without being too much information. And so Bryan was really helpful saying, you know, I think you need to say a few things like this, or that's too much wording. How can we abbreviate this section? These pictures look good together. We need a video here. And so getting his input and then throughout the process, having that being refined and discussed, you know, it took a lot of time, but it was well worth it. The final product, I think speaks for itself now.
BC Babbles (13:47.975)
Yeah, the site is beautiful and I love your logo. I think that's a great design for you.
Jeff Boyd (13:54.326)
Thank you. I want to be kind of playful, serious, you know?
BC Babbles (13:55.787)
So if you were to come across somebody else with, yeah, agreed, agreed. So if you were to come across anyone else with similar business ambitions, they've been to a place in the world that they've fallen in love with, they've grown up learning the culture and they wanna help people learn more about it and facilitate their experiences with it. What would your tips be? Like things to keep in mind as they approach developing that concept into a business.
Jeff Boyd (14:25.706)
Yeah, great question. So one, I would say have a second source of revenue or income at the same time, because starting that kind of a small business takes time and it's not a big moneymaker. This is a lifestyle business as they call it. I may get a couple of free trips here and there, this kind of trips and that's awesome, but it's not a hugely wildly successful financial enterprise. I do it much more out of passion and interest in...
BC Babbles (14:35.539)
BC Babbles (14:41.392)
BC Babbles (14:54.644)
Jeff Boyd (14:55.35)
the region helping people. So I do a couple other things on the side as well and kind of keep a busier life that way and have more income. But I would also say to people, definitely think about...
Jeff Boyd (15:10.094)
how much time you can give to it and be prepared to be working nights and weekends and random times. Cause someone calls me tonight at 8 p.m. for a trip. I'm taking that phone call cause that's my bread and butter, right? And so.
BC Babbles (15:19.093)
BC Babbles (15:24.115)
Jeff Boyd (15:25.534)
Just kind of a small business mentality is the one thing. On the flip side of that, I would say, make sure you really know your geography and what you're selling. I really believe that I only wanna sell places that I know well. I wouldn't wanna sell your trip to Vietnam tomorrow.
BC Babbles (15:35.976)
BC Babbles (15:41.662)
Jeff Boyd (15:42.634)
Yeah, I've been there. I liked Vietnam.
BC Babbles (15:44.011)
So what would you, oh, yeah. Oh, that's great. And I personally have not found myself traveling enough. I need to find opportunities to explore the world a bit more. So I might give you a call at some point in the future.
Jeff Boyd (15:55.899)
Nice, I'm glad to hear that.
BC Babbles (15:58.259)
So for anyone who has, like me, only ever watched the Jeff Corwin show and knows very, very little about the Galapagos, but would like to, if they come across you through this episode and they want to learn more, how many ways in which can they reach out to you? Where can they see you?
Jeff Boyd (16:14.87)
They can reach out to me through email, phone call. I would say text, but I'm much more of an emailer, you know, preferably. I'm on WhatsApp, which is a very common, you know, texting platform that most of the world uses religiously. I think in the States it's not nearly as common, but that's what I'm traveling. I'm always on my WhatsApp, checking that for messages, and it's easy to stay in touch with voice notes and everything else, but I'm very connected. Just prefer email and phone calls.
BC Babbles (16:45.683)
All right, I'll make sure everyone is aware of your website in the description for this episode. I appreciate you joining me on and I would love to have a conversation with you in the future, 100%.
Jeff Boyd (16:56.738)
Thank you, Brandon, much appreciated.
BC Babbles (16:59.227)
All right, I'm going to stop the recording real quick. Give it just a second to upload.