Travel Influencers Brandon and William Bring the World to You Through Floppy Hat Adventures
Today we’d like to introduce you to William Bessette and Brandon Washington.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
I met William almost ten years ago in Portland, Oregon, and after just three dates we became official as a couple. After five years together and an epic proposal in Bangkok, Thailand (which you can watch on Floppy Hat Adventures’ YouTube page), in 2017 William and I sold everything down to two backpacks and began our lives together as digital nomads. Now, here we are about to mark a decade together and we’ve visited fifty countries, started four distinct businesses (two in the United States and two in Costa Rica) we operate remotely, and live the dream in the South Caribbean, where we have bought land and are building a luxury vacation rental. We’re still nomads at heart but we have also become global citizens and have chosen Costa Rica as our adopted home.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
Before I met William, I had a regular nine-to-five job. When William initially proposed selling everything and moving abroad, it was a challenge for me to put myself in that mindset. Once I did, however, the transition came easy. Today, living life on the road does not come without its challenges, and starting businesses from scratch is never easy. Spending all day every day together can also be a challenge. In fact, William and I have a tradition where we split a few times a year for a week or two to have some “us” time. It’s a healthy tradition and reminds us how important we are to each other while we are away. Still, one of the biggest challenges is just existing in the world together as an interracial gay couple. In some countries, for example, people didn’t really welcome me as an African American man. In fact, people went out of their way to make me feel unwelcomed by only speaking to William at restaurants, or staring at me with their faces scrunched as if they were disgusted by the site of me. Other times while checking into hotels, they would give us rooms with two beds even though we asked for one. While most people just assume we are “two guys traveling,” being an interracial gay couple on the road does not come without its challenges. We overcome them simply by projecting our love and light. We let nothing dim it.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
William and I have built two successful companies in the United States. One is The Brilliam Group, where we do web design and digital marketing. What sets us apart? Low pricing, transparency, and flexibility. We construct beautiful websites and digital marketing campaigns that produce results and don’t leave clients asking where their money went. We’ve also developed an influencer marketing and travel blog called Floppy Hat Adventures. It started as a simple social media page to share our travels with friends and family and since then we have amassed over twenty thousand followers across all of our channels. We work with hotels and tour companies to promote their products and services, share travel hacks, tips, and tricks, and give away free hotel and resort stays worldwide to our loyal audience. People who like or follow our Floppy Hat Adventures pages are automatically entered to win monthly drawings we run for comped lodging across twenty-two different countries. Companies that work with us can be assured their tours or accommodations will reach a highly engaged audience and produce verifiable results. And now, we are building a luxury vacation rental called The Oasis at Puket and booking engine called Puerto Viejo Luxury Rentals. These are our two newest businesses, incorporated in Costa Rica. Our rental will be one of the nicest in the area and our booking engine will provide access to only the most luxurious properties and amenities in the area.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
It’s important to ensure – no matter what you do – that you pick something you are passionate about. The last thing anyone wants is to be stuck doing something for hours a day, every day, for the rest of their life, and not enjoy doing it. And while it is easy to say “follow your passions,” if you are truly dedicated to succeeding in doing what you love, and actively manifest that dedication, you can turn your passion into something that supports your lifestyle.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
I don’t think success has a monetary value. Success can be defined as doing something that both supports your lifestyle and makes you happy. Certainly, financial success is important. We all have to live in the world, after all, but it should not be the only indicator of success that you measure your life by.
What’s next for you?
William and I are currently focused on building our luxury vacation rental and booking engine. But we are also focused on expanding Floppy Hat Adventures to include adventure tours. We are currently selling a service vacation to Guatemala, where participants will spend eight days working with impoverished families in Guatemala and sightseeing around the country. We would love to run multiple boutique adventure tours around the world every year. We’ve also put a lot of work into establishing new partnerships with tour companies and hotels and are stepping up the number of free stays we give away to our audience. Simply head on over to the Floppy Hat Adventures website or social media channels to learn more about the amazing opportunities we provide through our blog.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
We can be reached through our website or social media channels. I can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, check us out on Facebook at:
On Instagram at:
On LinkedIn at:
On Twitter at:
And on our website: floppyhatadventures.com