It’s no surprise that Boatbound founder and CEO Aaron Hall grew up on the water. The Fresno, California native escaped stifling Central Valley summers to Shaver Lake, where his family owned a cabin, jet skis, and a boat. Hall has had his share of maritime adventures: he’s hooked his sister on a fishing trip, cruised around mangrove islands in the Florida Keys, and navigated the coast of Santa Barbara while strapped to the side of a Hobie Cat. But it wasn’t until 2013 that he turned his passion into Boatbound, a “pier-to-pier” boat rental marketplace that allows owners to list their vessels (which span sailboats, powerboats, and an $8,000-per-day yacht to paddleboards and kayaks) when they’re not being used.
Hall is the kind of traveler who’s always up for an adventure. Work for him, and your first task is to create a ’100 list,’ or bucket list. Each month the company picks one item to cross off as a team. Among swimming with sharks, staying in an overwater bungalow and becoming a grandparent, Hall hopes to get to Australia, a dream foreseeable in the near future as Boatbound expands internationally. For now, he’s preparing for a cross-country road trip with the team in September and ensuring the end of the West Coast season is smooth sailing.
If you’re in San Francisco for America’s Cup, give it a whirl!
Occupation: Founder/CEO of Boatbound.
My next big trip will be driving across the country, meeting many of our boat owners on the way to open our Miami office. I love a good road trip and am excited about having the opportunity to meet our owners in person.
My last trip took me Lake Tahoe, CA.
First international trip—when and where? My first international trip was to San Carlos, Mexico for a semester in college. Definitely wasn’t a bad way to spend a semester, even if my parents were a bit skeptical about how much actual “learning” was going on while I was there.
How has travel impacted your life?
Travel has helped shaped who I am. I have experienced living on both the East Coast (Washington, DC) and on the West Coast (San Francisco) and it’s amazing to me how different the lifestyles are on either coast. In terms of international travel, I always felt like I missed out on traveling around the world after college like many of my friends did. That’s part of the reason I am so excited about Boatbound. We’ve signed up boat owners all over the world and I’m looking forward to getting to travel to meet many of them and make up for what I missed after college.
Favorite alcohol you can’t get in the U.S.: There is this almond tequila liqueur that I always look for in every liquor store ever since I spent a semester in Mexico. I can’t find it anywhere in the U.S., but that doesn’t stop me from trying.
Favorite restaurant: I’m sure most people try to come up with some fancy choice to show they are a true foodie, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say Round Table Pizza. If I am not in California, you’ll find me at an authentic Mexican restaurant (I love a good family owned and operated hole-in-the-wall with traditional meals), with a margarita in hand.
Favorite shopping destination: Any watch store. I’ve got a modest collection of watches (none very expensive) but am always on the hunt for something new.
If you are in San Francisco in the summer, don’t forget to bring a jacket!
Not being afraid to talk to everyone is the best way to connect with locals.
Where do you always take out-of-town friends? Now that Boatbound is up and running, most friends always want to go out on a boat. I’m happy to oblige.
Best memory of a trip with kids—either from your own childhood or with your own kids: Since I don’t have any kids (except a ‘dog-ter,’ Lucy), I’d have to say that one of my favorite travel memories is traveling to Kauai as a kid with my parents and younger sister. Those trips seemed to last forever, and were always so much fun. I’m a big explorer and being on an island with huge trees, caves, waterfalls, canyons, turtles, whales—you name it—was the perfect place to keep my hunger for exploring satisfied.
Most out-of-character travel experience? Something that you would never have done at home: Let’s just say there is a bar in Key West where clothing is optional…
Biggest travel mistake? I’m not big into horses, but one thing on my ’100 list’ (bucket list) was to ride a horse bareback like they do in the movies. So, last Thanksgiving I was in Texas and at a family friend’s farm and thought I’d give it a try. Needless to say, it looked nothing like the movies when, after a slow walk around the corral, the horse bucked me off and I was lying on the ground.
Favorite foreign word or phrase: I love Australian accents and I’ve always wanted to go to Australia, so it would have to been any sort of authentic Australian slang.
Favorite foreign tradition: I’d have to say the coolest thing I’ve been a part of is the Dia de los Muertos. The art, costumes, and celebration are something like I’ve never seen.
Travel has taught me that there are so many different ways to experience life. It has taught me to never stop exploring. Every trip I take only makes me want to travel more.
Photo courtesy of Aaron Hall