"I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth; then I ask myself the same question."
Coliving in Jávea Beach, Spain
This is my first year as a full-time, traveling entrepreneur. While it's very exciting, it's also draining and I get exhausted quickly. A good friend recommended I check out Sun & Co in Spain. It's a coliving place where a bunch of remote workers and travelers come together to hang out and get work done. Each person is working on his or her own business/job and we plan activities together--from beach days to salsa nights to my very own in-person accountability mastermind session. I spent 2 weeks there and those 2 weeks changed my life.
WHAT I LEARNED: I am much more internally fulfilled and externally productive when I'm around other people on a similar journey. The accountability and community fuel me, which are the exact principles behind my Make Moves Mastermind. It's as true for me and it is for my own clients.
HOW IT INSPIRES ME NOW: I no longer pride myself on being a "solo-traveler" and a "solo-preneur." I am now intentional about building community as a traveling entrepreneur. I met up with some of the people from Sun & Co in Valencia, Spain and Lisbon, Portugal and I'm sure we'll continue meeting up around the world.
Performing at World Bachata Festival
I performed bachata for the first time at the World Bachata Festival. I'd just moved to Kuala Lumpur a week before and I did a goal-setting exercise where I wrote that I'd like to perform bachata or salsa on a live stage one day in the future. Little did I know, I’d have the opportunity only a few days later. When I arrived to the festival, I was invited to participate in a 3-hour bootcamp that included a live performance the same night.
WHAT I LEARNED: Writing down my goals creates real conviction for me to take action. I had zero intentions of performing that day but when the opportunity serendipitously presented itself, I knew that I owed it to myself to take advantage of it.
HOW IT INSPIRES ME NOW: I’m intentional about writing down my goals and reviewing them regularly. This helps me to become aware of both opportunities & progress that I may have overlooked, take action on goals I haven’t yet achieved, recognize when my goals have changed.
Cuban Family Stay
In Viñales, a valley a few hours outside of Havana, I stayed with a local family. On our first day, my host-brother--who's 10 years old--told me about a cool party in the plaza. He told me "everyone" was going to be there. So when his mom told him to stay in because she said he would catch a cold, he didn't listen to her. He went to the party and ended up in bed sick the entire rest of the time I was there. He refused to be in our family photo because he didn't want a photo where he looked like he had a cold.
WHAT I LEARNED: No matter where you go, there's always a kid who gets sick because he doesn't listen to his mom. (Many times, that kid is me.)
HOW IT INSPIRES ME NOW: In a time where we focus so much on differences, I can't help but notice how our human tendencies bring us together. Parent-child relationships, wanting to hang on where "everyone else" is hanging out, only taking photos when you feel attractive are some of the universal mindsets across ages, languages, and cultures.
Rede de Profissionais Negros de São Paulo
I'm honored to have been part of the first black networking event in Sao Paulo, the business capital of Brazil. I almost didn't go to the event because I was nervous about being a foreigner and didn't know anyone there. I hadn't realized that it was the very first meeting of its kind and most attendees didn't know each other. Now, some of my closest Brazilian friends are people I met at this event.
WHAT I LEARNED: The idea that I wouldn't be accepted as a foreigner was my own perception, not reality. This experience also reminded me that communities don't just form on their own--someone has to start and maintain these networks.
HOW IT INSPIRES ME NOW: I've become very passionate about connecting people, building meaningful relationships, and maintaining communities. I've encouraged people I've met who are moving to Sao Paulo to get involved in this group and others! I'm pretty involved in various travel, professional, and entrepreneurship communities both locally and globally.
Tourguiding in Madrid
My favorite part of living in Spain was being able to share my new community with others--visitors from my neighborhood in LA on their first trip out of the country, friends who were in town and were apprehensive about the language barrier, and friends of friends who I didn't meet until they came to live with me for a week or so. Whether it was explaining how to use the metro, translating directions, making lists of daily times that each museum offered free admission, or filling them in on the lesser known locations to get the best panoramic views of the city, I enjoyed turning a foreign city into an inviting experience for people.
WHAT I LEARNED: Sharing experiences with people is a powerful way to connect. Traveling is a great example of that because it allows people to grow together.
HOW IT INSPIRES ME NOW: Getting to know the ins and outs of different cities has always been my hobby. Sharing them with others is what's become a passion. Being able to offer different types of people a local experience and encourage them to try something new for the first time is something I continue to do from various locations. Reach out if you're visiting any of my cities!
Dogsledding in Quebec
Throughout college, I helped promote experiential learning by serving as a Board Member for Wharton Leadership Ventures. Dogsledding in Quebec is one of my favorite ventures that I helped lead. As an LA native terrified of dogs, I chose to join trip as an opportunity to face my fears.
WHAT I LEARNED: The best way to overcome my fears is to face them head-on. Leading others is also a good way to take the focus away from my own worries, because I are more focused on making sure that everyone else is taken care of.
HOW IT INSPIRES ME NOW: I admit to myself when I'm scared of something, and I continue on despite that fear--rather than avoid things that scare me or pretend that fear doesn't exist.
Microfinance in Honduras
The summer after my first year of college--or what I like to call entrance into an extreme world of elitism--I decided to go on a microfinance trip to a rural area in Central America. My honest intentions were to help people "less fortunate than me." It turns out that these were some of the happiest, most generous, less needy people I've ever come in contact with.
WHAT I LEARNED: "Fortune" is subjective, not objective. Everyone has something to offer to others and something they can benefit from receiving someone else.
HOW IT INSPIRES ME NOW: I challenge myself to no longer view myself or anyone else as a victim vs a hero. We are all both and in all situations I need to remember that I have something both to gain and to offer.
Rugby in Hong Kong
In 9th Grade, I was selected to represent my rugby team and my country in an exchange program. For one week, I lived--stayed in their flat, went to school, went to rugby practice, attended church, etc.--with a host family. While everyone back home congratulated me for traveling on my own at such a "young age," it was commonplace for the people I met in Hong Kong.
WHAT I LEARNED: There are people my age (then 15 years old) who have lived all over the world and communicate fluently in more languages than I can count. "Normal" is relative.
HOW IT INSPIRES ME NOW: I get out of my comfort zone. I travel for cultural immersion, to fully integrate myself into new cultures and learn new ways of looking at the world.
Notes along the journey...
© taylordmills 2021