Ex-Monkey Justin Drape & Michael Canning Launch New Travel Community Site ‘Exceptional Alien’

Ex-Monkey Justin Drape &  Michael Canning Launch New Travel Community Site ‘Exceptional Alien’
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

A “travel community for creators by creators” set up by two of Australia’s most awarded advertising entrepreneurs has been turbo-charged at launch by pent-up travel demand among consumers grounded by the pandemic.

Called ‘Exceptional Alien’ ( exceptionalalien.com ) – a name inspired by the US government term for work visas in the arts, science, business, sport and entrepreneurial ventures – the platform began life as a way to share the travel experiences of creative friends, and is fast growing into a global online community sharing travel inspiration and actionable information.

Co-founded by Justin Drape – who co-founded renowned creative advertising agency The Monkeys, which sold to Accenture in 2017 – and Michael Canning, one of the most internationally-awarded creative directors – Exceptional Alien has been quietly building a borderless community of celebrated creators for the past 18 months, who share their travel gems from places that inspire them.

A community that now features world champion surfer Mick Fanning, award-winning screenwriter Adele Lim (Crazy Rich Asians, Raya the Last Dragon), Maurice Terzini (Icebergs, CicciaBella), Paola Antonelli (MOMA) and chef of the moment, Josh Niland (St Peter’s Fish Butchery, Charcoal Fish).

“Exceptional Alien shares travel through the lens of the world’s most exceptional creators,” said Drape.

“Thanks to the generosity of our growing global community, people can now experience trusted gems in places around the world. The community is now taking on a life of its own.”

And while launching a travel platform in the midst of pandemic might seem counter-intuitive, Exceptional Alien’s founders say the uptake of, and interest in their platform has only intensified thanks to COVID travel restrictions.

Canning said: “If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that people’s desire to explore and connect is an innate human need. We are grateful to have the opportunity to travel as part of our creative careers, and have always felt there must be a better way to learn about new places, their culture and most rewarding experiences from a trusted global community.”

Travel Playbooks Inspired by the venture’s brand line ‘creativity takes you places’, Drape and Canning plan to create a single destination that curates global travel through a creative lens – offering unique travel guides suitable for life in 2021 and beyond (‘Travel Playbooks’).

“The creative community in any town knows where to find the most inspiring galleries, hole-in-the-wall eateries, events and unique experiences,” said Drape.

“So we want to share this knowledge and foster meaningful cultural exchange.”

Featured Image L-R: Justin Drape, Michael Canning.

Image Credit: Derek Henderson

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