“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies, and adopting new viewpoints.” -Wilfred Peterson
Moving to Miami, Florida in 2008 was probably the biggest move and sacrifice I have made so far in my life because I had to leave behind my family, friends, and home country where I spent 20 years of my life. Although I was born in USA, my family moved back to Nicaragua when I was very young and I really don’t remember much. But looking back now, I wouldn’t change a thing because it has shaped me into the man I am today and the experience of being abroad definitely changed my perspective and viewpoint on the world. It has been a rollercoaster, from my sister selling her house on a short-sale two weeks after I moved in because she couldn’t afford it anymore after going through a nasty divorce, to waking up at 4:30 a.m. just to catch the 6:30 a.m. train to be able to make it to work by 8:00 a.m.. It has definitely been a life changing experience.
The decision to travel, and move to a different country and environment totally changed my life and I applied the same thought process when I found out about Under30Experiences. At first, I was hesitant to become one of the attendees because of financial reasons. I was just too comfortable playing it safe and didn’t want to break the routine. A week went by and every single day of that week I had this lingering thought “Cesar, you are going to regret it if you don’t go. No money? Find a way, don’t let this stop you from what your heart wants”. So, I took a leap of faith and I said to myself, F*** IT, I’ll figure out someway to make it happen. I did overtime at my corporate job, some writing gigs on the side, and put the rest on my credit card. But all that scrapping by worth it. My decision to travel with Under30Experiences definitely changed my life and I’m not the same guy I was before the trip.
Here are my top 5 benefits I received from traveling with Under30Experiences:
1. Opportunity to give back:
To me, Under30Experiences Nicaragua was a homecoming but in a different way than my past trips. I try to visit my parents in Nicaragua every year and I usually just hang out locally and spend time with them, but this time was different. This trip provided me with the opportunity to travel with 30 other entrepreneurs, learn from them, and at same time show them a small sample of my culture and home country. Not only did I get to spend time with 30 positive, like minded people, but I also got the opportunity to visit a local school, play soccer with kids, teach them some English, learn about microfinance, and visit the US Embassy where we had a brainstorming session about challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurship in Nicaragua.
2. Lifelong friendships:
This is by far the greatest reward I got from attending Under30Experiences. It is absolutely incredible how close we all got and it almost feels magical. From the first moment we met, we just “clicked” and to me, it feels like we are family, supporting and helping each other through out this journey called life. I guess this can only happen when you put positive, ambitious, driven people together in an environment that promotes growth and creativity.
3. Professional and Personal Development:
When you are surrounded by people who are driven and strive for success, you cannot help but feel energized and motivated to follow the same path. Each and every one of the attendees had something unique to offer to the group. The best part about it was that we all embraced each other with open mind, sharing and learning from our own experiences, which ultimately lead to personal and professional growth.
4. Break out of my comfort zone:
“There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them”. These are famous words from the great Bruce Lee and this is how I define comfort zone, nothing more than a plateau, a level you have reached. So what’s the next level? This will be up to you. Traveling with Under30Experiences has totally put me in a different plateau and I feel that it will become my launch pad for great things to come.
How can I not be motivated after spending 5 amazing days with positive, ambitious people who want to better themselves personally and professionally? I cannot help it; it’s viral. Each one of the attendees had that burning desire to better themselves and live a life of “Permanent Beta”. They strove to be a work in progress and always reach toward new heights.
Many times in my life I’ve had that feeling of “I wish I had done that” and let me tell you, it sucks. I’m so happy Under30Experiences is not under that “I wish I had done that” category. All it took was a split second when I decided to “jump”, take a leap of faith, and follow my gut. I don’t know about you, but whenever I listen to my gut, I never regret it. Somehow, It already knows where you’re headed.
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Cesar Romero is Community Manager at Under30CEO. He is also CSO for Moomkin and writer for Cesar’s Journey. Native Nicaraguan in love with running, dancing, and living life in Permanent Beta. Follow him @romero866 for some inspiration and thinking outside the box.