The Birth of Wanderglade: Disconnect to Reconnect

By Giulio Co


Giulio in the woods

In a world where the average person thumb-scrolls away a full day each week on their phone, we’re witnessing the slow death of genuine human connection. 168 hours a year, gone. Not in pursuit of greatness, not in the service of others, but in a mindless spiral of digital noise. Welcome to the age of perpetual online presence - a modern plague of constant connectivity. It’s in this context that Wanderglade was born – not just as a business, but as a revolt against the status quo.

The Genesis: From Van Life to Digital Detox

Picture this: I’m in the woods of Lake Tahoe, building Vanly, a platform to connect van-lifers with safe parking. It was a crash course in community building, especially for those perpetually on the move. But life, in its infinite wisdom, decided to throw me a curveball.

Vanly Team

I relocated to New York City – the epitome of urban chaos, a place where nature is a potted plant on your fire escape and silence is that split second between honks. I didn’t know a single soul. Zero. Zilch. Nada. In a city of 8 million, I was utterly alone.

This isolation wasn’t just uncomfortable; it was enlightening. I found myself planning escapes to nature not just to breathe air that hadn’t been recycled through eight million pairs of lungs, but to reconnect with the people I’d left behind. “Disconnect to reconnect” wasn’t some marketing slogan dreamed up in a boardroom. It was my lifeline.

The Epiphany: Christmas in the Dolomites

Fast forward to Christmas 2023. I'm back in Italy, orchestrating a family getaway in a wooden cabin in the Dolomites. Planning this trip was like herding cats through a dog show – chaotic, stressful, and seemingly impossible. But wow, was it worth it.

When we arrived at the Airbnb, something caught my eye – or rather, the absence of something did. There was no television. A small sign explained that they had deliberately chosen not to include one. I was pleasantly surprised. This simple decision spoke volumes about the experience they were curating for their guests.

Seeing my family's faces light up, watching connections reform and strengthen in real-time – it was like witnessing a miracle. Without the distraction of a TV, conversations flowed more freely, games were played, and stories were shared. And you know what? They wanted to do it again. That's when it hit me: This isn't just a want; it's a need. A need to disconnect from our digital lives and reconnect with what truly matters.

Xmas with the fam

Unraveling the Digital Knot

Here’s the thing about constant connectivity – it’s a paradox. We’re more connected than ever, yet increasingly isolated. We scroll through carefully curated highlights of others’ lives, comparing them to our unfiltered realities. It’s a recipe for anxiety, FOMO, and a gnawing sense of inadequacy. But step into nature, away from the digital noise, and something magical happens. Time slows down. Conversations deepen. You start to hear the whisper of your own thoughts again, not just the endless chatter of social media. This isn’t some new-age nonsense – it’s about reclaiming our humanity in an age that’s determined to digitize every aspect of our existence.

Enter Wanderglade: The Anti-App App

We're not just another booking platform. We're the antidote to digital dysmorphia - that twisted state where your online self becomes more real than your actual self. We're building more than a product; we're cultivating a community for nature lovers and travelers who are sick of experiencing life through a 6-inch screen.

Wanderglade Search

But here's the kicker – the irony isn't lost on me. I'm building a digital platform to help people escape digital platforms. It's like using water to put out a fire, except in this case, it actually works. Finding time to disconnect while building a tool for disconnection? It's a challenge that would make most people throw in the towel. But not us. We're committed to this mission, no matter how paradoxical it might seem.

The Mission: Redefining Luxury in the Digital Age

Wanderglade isn’t just about booking a cabin in the woods. It’s about rediscovering what it means to be present. It’s about creating spaces where the ping of a notification is replaced by the crackle of a campfire, where likes and shares give way to laughs and stories.

To the skeptics who’ll inevitably emerge once we launch, questioning the need to disconnect in our always-on world, I say this: Think again. Seriously. Your skepticism is the problem we’re solving. If you can’t see the value in putting down your phone and picking up your life, you’re exactly who needs Wanderglade the most.

The Revolution Begins in the Big Apple

We’re starting with New York because if any place needs an escape hatch from the rat race, it’s the city that never sleeps (probably because of all that blue light). But our vision? It’s global. Because the need to disconnect to reconnect isn’t limited by geography.

So here’s my challenge to you: When Wanderglade launches, be the first in line. Not just to book a stay, but to reclaim your time, your relationships, and your sanity. Because in a world that’s always on, the real luxury is turning off.

Disconnect to reconnect. It’s not just a motto; it’s a tech-xorcism. And it starts now.


Founder, Wanderglade.