Featured Tastemaker of the Week

Featured Tastemaker

Meet Sarah: Career-Oriented, Experience-Driven World Traveler

Username: @sarahclarks

Location: San Francisco, CA

Interests: Hiking, reading, sailing, traveling

Sarah has nailed the millennial balance act – she’s managed to successfully progress in her career while simultaneously pursuing unique life experiences for her own personal growth. Sarah works as a Product Manager at none other than the vast social network we all know as Facebook. Her role so far has taken her to 15 of Facebook’s offices spanning 7 countries worldwide in just 4 years (Menlo Park, Seattle, Los Angeles, Austin, Atlanta, Boston, New York, Washington DC, London, Singapore, Milan, Taipei, Tokyo, Sydney, and Chicago) – and this is on top of her own personal travels.

However, all of her world exploration has just made her more humble and appreciative of each adventure she’s had. In fact, she claims her most unforgettable experience was one that was closer to home than you’d expect.

“Before joining Facebook, I taught high school special education in Itta Bena. I spent two years in the Mississippi Delta. Sometimes I just have to pinch myself thinking about how different – not necessarily better – my life is now. Mississippi is the most loaded place I’ve ever lived. I go back once a year, every year, to visit the people and landscape that made it all feel like home. I am happiest when I am with my family, traveling, reading, skiing, hiking, sailing, or learning something new.”

Sarah is now an expert at creating one-off, memorable experiences, which is why you can trust her two favorite Decks that cover the best local favorites in Portugal and Barcelona.

‘All of the Port in Portugal’ and ‘Barcelona’ are both a good mix of my kind of travel – some planning and some discovery. Portugal is particularly special since the trip commemorated 10 years of friendship.”

She’s no stranger to sourcing local recommendations either. With Detroit on her upcoming destinations to visit, her go-to Deck at the moment is ‘Places to go in Detroit’ by Steve Hickner.

Like most travelers, Sarah has already planned her future bucket list endeavors for the year. The list covers a variety of ventures – from hiking in Yosemite and Glacier National Park, a tour of Charleston, South Carolina, to the legendary Desert Trip – a festival featuring the greatest Rock artists of our time: Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and Paul McCartney – all in one concert.

Are you jealous yet? We’d be lying if we said we weren’t.

Follow Sarah @sarahclarks on Vurb to discover the best local spots she’s tried and get inspired to take on a new adventure!

Don’t have the app yet? Get Vurb for free on iOS or Android.

Featured Tastemaker of the Week

Featured Tastemaker: Alice Dubois

Meet Alice: 4-Time Expat & Globetrotting Socialite

Username: Alice Dubois (@alice1055)

Location: Paris, France

Interests: Traveling, trying restaurants & bars, visiting exhibitions

Alice is a Paris-based student who’s had stints in arguably some of the world’s most exciting cities – Berlin, New York, Hong Kong, and Mexico City. With such different cultures in each destination, she’s made sure to fully immerse herself in the bustling arts and nightlife scene of each locale.

“I love partying abroad, I think it gives you a good idea of the atmosphere in a place. Some cities like Rome or Vienna are more museum cities and you can feel it while going out. Other cities like Berlin, Shanghai, or NYC are always on the move –  so if you visit twice, the places to go out the second time won’t be the same as the first. In those cities, party organizers like to surprise people, you can find out about a secret party just two hours before.”

Being an expat so many times meant constantly searching for places to go, sights to see, and food to try.

“I love having lists of things I have done or things I would like to do. I wanted to keep track of the nice restaurants I’ve been to or the fun bars I spent a night in so that I could share them with my friends who would visit those cities later on.”

“While I was working for a start up in Hong Kong, I found out about Vurb while searching for trending apps, and I thought it was a brilliant idea. I created a Deck about movies I would like to see and thanks to Vurb, I can immediately know how this movie is rated, when it was out and who is starring in it.”

Alice makes sure to take full advantage of her proximity to other unique destinations whiles she’s abroad. She’s traveled all around South East Asia while living in Hong Kong, backpacked across Mexico, and spent weekends in various European cities.

“I create a Deck for each city I’ve lived in, as well as a Deck for every big city I’ve been to. However, the Mexico one is my favorite. It’s the Deck I have the most cards in since I tested a lot of places in Mexico City. I also included nice restaurants, bars, and hotels I have been to in other surrounding Mexican cities.”

All of her travels have resulted in some pretty incredible adventures as well – from wakeboarding, to zip-lining in canyons, and the ultimate badass move of swimming with whale sharks in Baja California.

“Lately, I have done several amazing and unforgettable things like skydiving (but it was the scariest thing I have done so far and I am not sure I would do it again). Now that I am back in Paris, I would say discovering new places in the city of love (restaurants, bars & nightclubs) would be my priority, but I am not going to stop traveling. Right now, I would like Copenhagen and Northern Italy (Lake Como & Cinque Terre) to be my next destinations.”

As such a seasoned traveler, we had to ask her what her best travel advice would be.

“I think that having recommendations from local people is the best way to discover a city or a region, so I try to gather as much local information as I can in all the places I go to.”

“I went Barcelona this weekend and I looked at Places to Go in Barcelona by Ramon Martos Calvo (@ramon_martos) to find out trendy places to try. I like that it also has central options for healthy food.”

We’re excited to see what local hangouts she’ll dig up in her next adventures!

Follow Alice @alice1055 as she adventures around the world and check out her other useful travel Decks!

Don’t have the app yet? Get Vurb for free on iOS or Android.

Featured Tastemaker of the Week

Featured Tastemaker

Meet Mikhail: Music Enthusiast & Foodie With Flair

Name: Mikhail Metrikin (@mikhailmetrikin)

Location: Seattle, WA

Interests: Live music, creating consumer experiences, road trips, smoky spirits (liquor, not ghosts)

Mikhail is an expert when it comes indulging the senses. He’s a self-professed music lover, a foodie with a flair for big flavor, and an expert at entertaining the unbeaten path in his travels abroad.

“I worked in Digital Music for a number of years and have been a music geek since I was a teen. Live music is my biggest splurge category and I’ve started to combine my love of travel and music through destination shows. When it comes to food, my favorite experiences tend to take place on patios, decks, verandas, balconies, and terraces. I also love smoky cocktails – If it tastes like a campfire in your mouth, I’ll probably dig it.”

With such an eclectic taste, you could definitely call him an expert in eating well and finding fun in whatever city he’s dropped into.

“I’ve had stints in Seattle, Chicago, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, and San Diego. For these cities, I can craft the perfect winning weekend itinerary.”

Which is why you know you can trust his Deck “My Favorite Seattle Eats”, a list that should be checked out by any visitor making a trip to Seattle, and locals themselves.

“I believe Seattle can be thoroughly experienced and discovered through its food. There are holes in the wall (Salumi, Marination Ma Kai) where the food itself tells a story. There are restaurants where the quintessential Seattle chefs, who are part of the very fabric of this city, truly shine (Revel, Dahlia Lounge). My personal favorites are the places with a deck on the lake (Westward, Little Water Cantina) and where the food becomes a complement to the views and moments that make Seattle so special.”

He also recommends checking out the Deck “LA Favorites” by Marina (@marina_n), a fellow Vurbie.

“One of my goals is to rediscover the constantly evolving food scene in LA (where I used to live). Marina is quite the foodie so I’m excited to check out these restaurants.”

So what’s next for this Seattle-ite? Mikhail broke down his bucket list for us and we can’t wait to follow his adventures. This year he plans to cross off N/Naka and Ink in LA off his foodie list, road trip to Olympic National Park in Washington and Crater Lake in Oregon, attend a Tame Impala destination concert in Berkeley, and make a trip down under to Australia.

But we’re sure that list will continue to grow each day.

“Over the past year, I visited my 30th country (India) and 21st state (Montana). I’m passionate about traveling abroad, but seeing the rest of the world has also made me realize how diverse and beautiful the U.S. truly is. My goal is to see all 50 states.”

Follow Mikhail @mikhailmetrikin as he eats his way around the world and check out his other Decks!

Don’t have the app yet? Get Vurb for free on iOS or Android.

Featured Tastemaker of the Week


Meet Laura: Globetrotting Musician & Lifestyle Blogger

Username: @missbutlin

Location: Jersey Channel Islands

Interests: Beauty, Photography, Food, Travel

Laura’s open-mindedness and ambitious spirit has landed her around the world through her many different ventures. She’s currently a Jersey-based musician who recently released her debut album, “Modern Playground Love”. Besides being a talented songstress, she’s also the co-founder of lifestyle blog “The Life of C and H”.

“I would say the main focuses in my life are music, beauty, traveling and food – I love hosting dinner parties and in the summer, BBQs. I enjoy the simple pleasures that life can bring, and being able to document all my new findings and journeys I take on my blog makes me really happy.”

Which brings us to her favorite Deck ‘NYC l Eats’ – a running record of the must-visit places she comes across when exploring.

“On my recent trip to New York, it was so useful to quickly see which places were nearby that I’ve been longing to visit. Jersey is only 9 by 5 miles so you can imagine there are lots of places I’d like to go and Vurb lets me log the places that interest me as I come across them.”

She has a collection of such Decks featuring different cities around the world – from London to Copenhagen, and more.

“This year I’m really looking forward to more trips. So far I’ve booked Porto Rotondo and Paris, I can’t wait to explore!”

Inspired by her travels abroad, she plans on bringing the different cuisines of the world back to Jersey to share with friends.

“I’ve got an idea in my head of hosting themed dinner parties, picking a different type of cuisine and theming the night around it, but that’s a work in progress.”

“I think in life I just want to say yes to as much as possible, even if something seems challenging at the time, getting out of our comfort zones is good for us. Earlier this year I was the opening performance at the Royal Variety Humanitarian Awards where I performed one of my original tracks off my debut album. It was live streamed by YouTube. That was pretty unforgettable.”

Follow Laura @missbutlin as she adventures around the world and to see her other great Decks!

Don’t have the app yet? Get Vurb for free on iOS or Android.

Featured Tastemaker of the Week

Featured Tastemaker

Meet Aletta: Former Flight Attendant, Current Student & Food Adventuress

Username: @alettabrandle

Location: San Francisco, CA

Interests: Trying new restaurants, road trips, digital marketing

Aletta’s life is an Instagrammer’s dream. Before making the move to San Francisco, Aletta worked as a flight attendant for Air Canada, where she ate her way across the world. From Hawaii to Edinburgh, she ensured she tried something new at every destination. She recounts many adventures with her flight crew, with the most memorable one being the time they got stuck in Mexico due to an aircraft issue.

“It was the most spontaneous trip, the flight got cancelled and we had no clothing for the Mexican heat. They ended up putting us in a beautiful hotel along the beach. My crew and I had such an amazing time and really lived life to the fullest for those 24 hours. Not to mention, it was one of my last flights before I left to start my Masters degree.”

Thanks to all her travels, Aletta has become an expert epicurean in all types of cuisine – making her the ultimate insider on the best eats and drinks.

“I leave no local business untried so I’m the go-to person for recommendations when my friends are looking for something fun to do or yummy to eat! The areas I know well include San Francisco, Toronto, Barbados and Montreal!”

Now as an intern for Yelp, she’s always first in the foodie scene – exploring new trends and openings before most people have discovered them.

“My favorite Decks I have created are NorCal Breweries and North Bay California. Sure, there’s an abundance of great wineries in Northern California, but hey, we need to recognize the good beer, too. Also, keep your eyes peeled for all the cideries popping up in Northern California…they are a huge hit right now!”

On her foodie bucket list this year are more unique local food experiences such as speakeasies and food trucks.

“I can’t tell you where they are, or I’d have to kill you 😛 Also, I have yet to make it to the Fort Mason food truck park and boy, do I love food trucks!”

She also has a separate travel bucket that includes a trip down to Southern California – from Palm Springs, San Diego to Tijuana.

“I love a good road trip and being new to California I want to take advantage of my surroundings (including the proximity to the Mexican border). I’ll make sure to hit up all the “instagrammable” spots along the way.

We can’t wait to see more of her Decks and amazing Instagram shots!

Follow Aletta @alettabrandle to see her other great Decks!

Don’t have the app yet? Get Vurb for free on iOS or Android.

Featured Tastemaker of the Week


Meet Aleksander and Sharyu: Expert Adventurers & Wine Enthusiasts

Usernames: Aleks (@aleksshulman) and Sharyu (@sharyubarapatrey)

Location: San Francisco

Interests: Music, Cooking, Dutch and Wine

Aleks and Sharyu are the ultimate fun-loving couple with an interesting backstory. Aleks is originally from Russia but made the move to Chicago when he was young, and Sharyu was born in India but grew up in Nashville.  Their common interests led them to cross paths in San Francisco where they both currently reside and work in the tech industry – Aleks as a Software Engineer and Sharyu as a Technical Project Manager.

Their commonalities extend past their work. Both love to cook and re-create recipes — with a shared love for mussels and white wine sauce — in addition to photography, hot yoga and hiking. Their most recent adventure was Mount Diablo in the East Bay. The pair also enjoy practicing Dutch, recounting one of their first dates as an inspiration to learn the language.

S: “Aleks has always been into the Dutch language and culture, and on our first date, he asked me if I would fly all the way to the Netherlands with him to go see this music festival. And, this was the FIRST date.”

A: “Yeah! It’s a really cool outdoor festival called ‘The Flying Dutch’ where 10 of the world’s biggest Dutch DJs perform in different cities in the Netherlands. They’re flown in from show to show via helicopters.”

Although he didn’t manage to convince her that time around, Sharyu has definitely caught his infectious spirit for adventure. On Sharyu’s list of things to do this year is to go skydiving, while Aleks tries for a certification, and they both want to finally attend a music festival together.

S: “Maybe we’ll try Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco first, then who knows – hopefully the Flying Dutch one day!”

When it comes to more local experiences, the couple love exploring neighborhood spots to wine and dine. Being self-proclaimed “expert wine drinkers”, they’ve tested out some fine establishments all over the city, which have ended up in their favorite shared Deck, “Classy Boozing”.

A: “I like that I’m able to collaborate on this with Sharyu. The Deck is like a playlist. When you look through it, it’s like a running history of memories – places we’ve tried and liked.”

So what’s next on their docket?

S+A: “Joining forces to bike across the Golden Gate bridge!”

We imagine there will be a lot more adventures in their future.

Follow Aleks (@aleksshulman) and Sharyu (@sharyubarapetrey) to see their other fun Deck collaborations and get inspired to make your own Date Night Deck!

Don’t have the app yet? Get Vurb for free on iOS or Android.

Featured Tastemaker of the Week


Meet Ruben: An International Futurist in Love with Good Food

Name: Ruben Horbach

Location: London / Amsterdam

Interests: emerging technology, traveling, food

Ruben probably has the coolest job in the world. He currently works as a Senior Innovation Manager in London in addition to being an international freelance futurist where he focuses on how the future of technology impacts our daily lives. Just from a look at his blog you can tell he really knows his stuff.

“I look at everything from Mobile apps, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and the Internet of Things – I’m right in the middle.”

Besides being an expert in emerging technology and its future impacts, Ruben is a self-proclaimed lover of all good food and always on the hunt for new trending places to try.

“My girlfriend and I once cycled through Amsterdam and realized there were so many new hotspots – from fancy artisan coffee corners, to hip restaurants, to fancy boutique shops. We saw an opportunity to include all these places in an app, that we dubbed “Places”. A place where users could save hotspots and follow each other’s lists. Sounds familiar? After some research, I discovered that Vurb just launched a few weeks prior – I never looked back.”

His favorite Deck is “Hidden in Plain Sight – London” an ever-growing account of all the new local joints he’s discovered along the way with his girlfriend and collaborator, Diana (@dianakool).

On his downtime, Ruben also enjoys traveling – recounting his months spent in Southeast Asia as one of the most unforgettable moments of his life.

“The thrill of the unexpected, discovering a new culture, new amazing food, making new friends, climbing an active volcano – wow. And the fact that 10 of my closest friends decided to visit me in Indonesia made it really unforgettable.”

And next on this futurist’s list of places to visit is the United States.

“I want to explore the East Coast of the States and I have a feeling Vurb is going to help me discover hidden places in San Francisco and beyond.”

Follow Ruben @rubenhorbach to see his other “Hidden in Plain Sight” Deck series across Europe

Don’t have the app yet? Get Vurb for free on iOS or Android.

Featured Tastemaker of the Week

ft - katy

Meet Katy: Adventurous Foodie & Skincare Maven

Name: Katy (@katywilson)

Location: Houston, TX

Interests: cooking, traveling, skincare, spending time with my dog

Katy is as spontaneous as they come. She’s stage-dived and crowd-surfed at a concert, travels frequently, and after graduating university, she moved to a new city without knowing anyone to start a new chapter in her life. Now residing in Houston, Texas, she is currently continuing her education in the field of Dermatology.

Her love of trying new things extends to her culinary taste. Katy discovered Vurb thanks to her friend Sage Coralli (@sosage),  and has since created multiple Decks that showcase her love of exploring the many dining options in Texas and beyond.

“I was first introduced to Vurb by Sage. Through her own fashion blog she goes to a lot of new places so I love to see what she saves between both Dallas, Houston, and all over the US. Together we have used Vurb countless of times to help decide where the next dinner spot is going to be, or to find the next hidden gem we are going to check off our list.”

Those new discoveries have all culminated into her go-to Deck, ‘Foodie: Houston’ that has amassed a following of 125 users.

“This is my favorite Deck for when I am looking for a bite for lunch or a place to take my out-of-town friends. It has a lot to offer in restaurant ideas for all over Houston. My Deck was getting so big, I started to create more specific decks for the Houston area. It makes it easy to find exactly where to go to next!”

So what’s next for the adventurous Texan?

“My bucket list is never ending! This year I want to go to unlimited music festivals and concerts. I hope to travel as often as possible, practice more golf and take up yoga.”

We have a feeling there will be more crowd surfing in her near future.

Follow Katy (@katywilson) on Vurb to see her full collection of Decks!

Don’t have the app yet? Get Vurb for free on iOS or Android.

Featured Tastemaker of the Week

featured user

Meet Michelle: Global Adventurer, Teacher & Culinary Expert

Name: Michelle Medina

Location: Miami, FL

Interests: Traveling, Yoga and Teaching

Spirited and ambitious is what you would call Michelle if you just looked at her bucket list. Her list of experiences to check off include traveling to all seven continents by December 2016, visiting the Egyptian pyramids, starting a travel blog, becoming an expat in a new city, and squeezing in the time to read a new book every month.

Michelle manages to live the ultimate balanced lifestyle – working full time as a teacher yet still crossing off a total of 25 countries and 5 continents off her bucket list already. In addition to her travels, she’s lived in 3 diverse sets of countries: the U.S., Italy, and Tanzania – where she spent time living with a Maasai family in a mud hut for two months.

“I think I am an expert traveler and foodie. It’s hard not to be a foodie when you are constantly traveling and experiencing new cultures and dishes.”

So although she’s been all over the world, its still her native city of Los Angeles that keeps drawing her back.

“I believe that LA is one of the few cities out there that actually has a large variety of food from all over the world.”

Her Deck “Los Angeles” is a detailed collection of restaurants and bars featuring a variety of cuisines from around the globe – tried and tested by Michelle herself.

“I am a native Angelino which has given me the opportunity to personally try the restaurants on that Deck. If you are craving anything or if you want to try something exotic and new you could definitely find it in a city like LA. When it comes to foodie cities, LA is on the top of the list.”

And when she manages to take time off to travel to New York, she turns to fellow Vurb Deck Manhattan- Food by Harbir Mahal (@harbs).

“She adds something new every week!”

With a collection of 163 different cards of restaurants – its the perfect Deck for an ambitious foodie.

And if you’re like Michelle and love looking for the best eats all over the world, check out Michelle’s other Decks – which cover places from D.C. to Havana to Florence.

Follow Michelle @mmedina3 on Vurb to see what other places she’ll travel to next!

Don’t have the app yet? Get Vurb for free on iOS or Android.

Featured Tastemaker of the Week

emsee final

Meet Esmée: Dutch Expat, Globetrotter & Graduate Student

Name: Esmée van Veen (@esmee)

Location: London

Interests: Dining out, traveling, environmental science

Being new in town is no easy feat, especially when you’re tackling a city as big as London. But that’s exactly what Esmée has done. Originally from Amsterdam in the Netherlands, she recently made the move to London to realize her dream of doing a postgraduate degree in Environmental Science. After whirlwind travels around the globe in countries as diverse as India to Colombia, she’s now settled down in London and is keeping her next travels a little closer to home.

“I love traveling and try to make a trip to an exotic destination every year (India, Indonesia, Colombia, Ghana…). This year, my boyfriend and I decided to explore Italy (Rome and the south) this April. I can’t wait to enjoy all the amazing food and wines there.”

Being a self-proclaimed foodie, she definitely picked the right destination to indulge in great food.

“I use Vurb for restaurants, bars and lunch/brunch/coffee spots. I love exploring the city based on nice spots as they represent the neighborhood, and of course, because enjoying food or drinks with friends is the best way of spending time.”

And that’s why her ‘LDN Restaurants‘ Deck is her favorite as she feels it represents her love for food. But when she needs inspiration in exploring her new city, she turns to her favorite user Deck ‘Hidden in Plain Sight – London‘ by Ruben (@RubenHorbach).

“It features many places in and around the neighborhood I recently moved to.”

Besides discovering the best in her neighborhood, on Esmée’s bucket list this year is to graduate and become a new London expert.

“But that will take some time as the city is so big!”

However, based on her stellar track record of checking off such diverse global destinations already, we have no doubt she’ll be a London expert in no time.


Check out ‘LDN Restaurants‘ now and follow @esmee on Vurb to get inspired by Esmee’s other awesome Decks!

Don’t have the app yet? Get Vurb for free on iOS or Android.