Traveling is a wonderful thing. It gives us the necessary context to understand the challenges,beauties and actions that the world needs. In a sense, we only understand the deepness of our humanity when experiencing other realities or as Timothy Leary so valiantly stated:
“Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…”
… and isn’t travelling nothing more than a trip??? A trip into another’s person point of view, reality, food, activities and culture. Timothy Leary might have been talking about dropping acid but he hit the right spot when daring us to trip.
That “dare to trip” mentality is what inspired me 12 months ago to go to Barcelona. After having to drop out from college to work, and eventually dropping in to earn my degree I realized I wanted a new challenge… and to visit Europe :). To achieve my goal I started a process which I candidly refer to as “the suck”. The lovely soul chattering process of scouting for opportunities, applying, get rejected and repeat. I’m pretty sure I’ve had more “No’s” and doors slammed on me than a Jehova Witness. Friends I feel your pain.
1. You can let apathy sink in and self-destruct. (Not recommendable)
2. You can get mad.
3. You can get better.
As a professional mistaker (yup, that is a word according to wiktionary so shh), I realized that I could keep on stacking “No’s” or start refining my value proposition a.k.a. myself. Fast forward a couple hundred “No’s” and at 4:00 A.M on a Sunday I received a “Yes”. It was a wonderful apprenticeship opportunity to work in a Swiss Startup based in Barcelona. Our offices were located at the Gothic Quarter in BCN, a hip vintage neighborhood full of shops, restaurants, bars and lovely parks on every alley. I was stargazed.
Also before Barcelona I was a virgin at meeting different cultures. It was the first time I experienced a truly multicultural environment. Every time I went out I met people from all around the world. Cuba, Estonia, Uruguay, England, Canada, Argentina, and the list goes on. I experienced a wealth of points of views, activities, culture and food. It was all double-rainbows until someone, anyone, eventually asked me where I was from.
To summarize, it went like this:
-Where are you from?
-I’m from Nicaragua, Central America
-Central America? Like Iowa?
Ok sure, it didn’t always go that way but half of the time the people I met (a varied bunch) didn’t know what Central America was and the other half just knew that Costa Rica was in there. It was ok, no hard feelings. Costa Rica has been a top tourist destination for quite some time and a very popular destination for backpackers. But what if I told you that I’m from a hidden gem in Central America? A place where you can boogeyboard down an active volcano, take a dip on rainbow waterfalls and eat/party like a king with 20 euros?
I know backpackers are just starting to discover Nicaragua and Central America itself so I took the concept of discovering places with personality — - my favorite hobby in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, and transformed it into an mobile app that enable millennial tourists to find the most amazing experiences near them on the jungles of Central America. Honestly, no one cares if you know the best pizza place in New York, but every wanderlust-consumed traveller wants to have a beer while watching howler monkeys chill on a Monet-like sunset.
Those are once in a lifetime experiences and I humbly believe that is the aim of technology… to connect us with our own humanity. Now if you excuse me, I need to catch a sunset… :).
This article was originally posted on Medium.