The Year Was 2010. My trip to South America came at the perfect time in my life. 2010 was a tumultuous year. I was going through a spiritual transition, learning more about myself, getting closer to God and growing more comfortable and confident in the skin I was in. Then, April 11, 2010. My brother died. My older brother, my only brother, who was loved by so many, that most of them couldn’t even get into the church during the memorial service.
To many, that time would have been the end. But, to me, it was the beginning. I began my personal transition into freedom. I slowly shed those layers of inhibition and listened to that inner voice that was whispering my true calling. On December 17, I quit my job with no back-up plan and set forward on my journey to entrepreneurship.
Hello, Buenos Aires. I boarded my flight to South America on December 18. The timing was perfect. I was literally leaving one “world” and entering into another. The weather was balmy, an extreme change from the 10 and 15 degree weather I just left eight hours prior. I landed in Sao Paulo, Brazil and drove to Santiago, Chile to board my ship. We toured Montevideo, Uruguay, and it was beautiful. However; it wasn’t until we reached Buenos Aires, Argentina, that my spirit felt alive.
The hustle and bustle of the city, the food, culture and style felt very familiar. The language was different, but the beautiful thing about taking four years of Spanish in high school is that no matter how long ago it was, picking Spanish back up is just like riding a bike again. We toured La Recoleta Cemetery, the final resting place of the former first lady of Argentina until her death in 1946, Eva Peron. We even walked through the city’s leather district. Buenos Aires is known for a few things, and the quality leather is one of them. You will find everything from fine jackets, purses, and boots, anything leather you can think of.
The people in this beautiful city know how to enjoy life. They take siestas during the day and shut down for months at a time during the summer. You can’t talk about Buenos Aires without talking about the tango. Buenos Aires is the birthplace of the sensual dance. The tango is so infused into Argentina’s culture, that there is a bridge called Puente de la Mujer, according to the architect it was designed in the image of two people doing the tango.
What Comfort Zone? It’s funny how stepping out of your comfort zone can make you comfortable with the decisions you’ve made in your life. Just days before landing in this beautiful city, I left the world of corporate America, 9-5 behind. Going on this trip was the confirmation I needed to let me know there’s much more out there than the world I knew. So many of us spend our life within the four corners of our comfort zone. It really does take being vulnerable to see how brave and daring you really are.
My trip to South America taught me one very important rule: This world is mine. I don’t care if you come from one of the biggest cities in the U.S., you’ll never think and do big things if you operate with a small mind. Seeing another side of the world truly opened me up to that train of thought.
Today, I am an entrepreneur who made the move from Hampton Roads, Virginia, to Atlanta, Georgia. I lived in Virginia for 28 years. I’ve accomplished more in Atlanta in the four years I’ve been here (met a great guy, started my own PR/marketing contracting business, gave birth to twins, got engaged), than I ever did back home. I’ve worked on campaigns for major brands like Coca-Cola and Toyota. I’m so grateful for the exposure.
I’ll leave you with this final word of advice. Travel. See the world. Open your eyes and your soul to new experiences. Immerse yourself into a new culture and become a student of the world. I am grateful for every day I am given. Traveling to another country took me outside of what I knew and taught me that my possibilities are endless. All it take is that first step outside of your comfort zone.