📷 Photo courtesy of Jason Beukema
Hi Jason! Who are you and what do you do?
I own a couple of travel companies focused on creating unforgettable experiences that connect communities to their passions in unique and exciting ways. Under the Whet Travel umbrella, we specialize in chartering cruise ships for large-scale music and themed experiences on major cruise lines. We have executed 28 full ships to date and send up to 15,000 people on cruises each year.
I currently live in Miami, have lived across the United States, Australia, Bali, Ecuador and I’m from and attended college in Michigan at Central Michigan University (fire up, Chips!) I’ve also been to 50 states and 78 countries and have sailed on 156 cruises.
What neighborhood(s) are you reppin’?
Buena Vista / Design District.
What brings you most alive about the 305?
My favorite things about the 305 are the intersections of cultures and the weather this time of year.
What’s your favorite Miami memory?
Sailing away from the Port of Miami on Groove Cruise’s 10th anniversary in 2013 with 2,500 captains. That milestone was hard to imagine and now, this January, will be 20 years and nearly 5,000 people. 🤯
If you could eat only one meal from a local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?
La Sandwicherie, but I will need truckloads of their sauce.
Outside of the obvious stop above, where else would you go on your perfect Miami day?
The majority of my day/morning would be at the beach. Then, I’d go to Upper Buena Vista for lunch and shopping and finish my day at The Standard to have dinner and watch the sunset. To top it off, I’d go to Superblue to see their amazing exhibits.
What’s your favorite local social media account and why?
My favorite social media account has to be OnlyInDade. People living in Dade take ‘Florida Man’ to a whole new level.
How does Miami help you do what you do or influence your work?
It helps immensely. It’s the cruise line capital of the world — watching the ships come in and out of port, smelling the ocean air, and feeling the ocean breeze alongside the Latin vibes influences my creations and inspires me endlessly. There is nowhere in the world like Miami.
If there was one thing you could change, address, etc. about Miami, what would it be?
Trash. Especially on the beaches and islands — it’s ridiculous! I’ve done beach cleanups and organized kids to pick up trash through Whet Foundation and it’s like an endless source of trash every weekend (albeit from tourists, but from locals too). My aunt told me once that if I don’t pick up a piece of trash when I walk past it, then I’m part of the problem. Sometimes I’ll have my hands full of trash walking down the beach.
What are you looking forward to between now and the end of the year?
Shopping for the eight theme parties we host on Groove Cruise! We want to go all out for its 20th anniversary, which sails from Miami on January 24. Miami has some solid costume shops, especially around Halloween!
That’s a wrap on this week’s Locals to Know. Know someone who ought to be featured or would like to be featured yourself? Reach out by sending an email to [email protected] with the subject line “TNT Locals to Know 2023.” If chosen, you might just see yourself or a friend in a future newsletter.