For those who have been following along on the hippie van journey the past two and a half years, you may have noticed a slight decrease in posts as of late. As some of you will have seen via social media updates, the past few months I have been pursuing an idea for a platform to change the way the World explores – Crumbs; crowdsourcing self-guided adventures.
Getting a startup off the ground is quite the endeavor and is more time consuming than a fulltime job. That being said, as I have tried to convey with hippie van man, there is nothing more important in life than following your dreams and passions.
Over the past two and a half years I drove from Toronto, Canada all the way down to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I never really had a plan per say – to reach X destination or to travel for X amount of time. The general idea was to head south, go with the flow and see where the journey would take me.
I met an abundance of amazing people, saw incredible things, had a plethora of fun and stimulation experiences and lived out the vanlife dream. As I mentioned in my post when passions fade sometimes we need to reevaluate/reinvent our dreams to continue to feed off the power of passion.
I never envisioned creating a startup, however the past few months I somehow found myself building a team of passionately curious adventurers who believed in my vision for a platform to make exploration more accessible and social.
In pursuit of this new vision I applied for Startup Chile – an accelerator program that helps startups with seed funding, mentorship, networking and development. Over 600 startups applied and although we made it to the second and final round of admissions, we unfortunately didn’t make the final cut.
That being said, the entire process of applying was quite a learning experience and helped us to develop and advance the concept quite a bit. Like they say, everything happens for a reason.
In 2008 I met a girl name Annie on my first ever backpacking trip, while I was in Barcelona, Spain. We kept in touch over the years and at the start of my hippie van adventure I stayed with and her family in Mexico, City. We again stayed in touch over the interwebs and in October I met up with her in Buenos Aires, Argentina where she was doing a semester abroad for her masters.
Long story short, there seemed to be a reason we kept crossing paths. Annie finished her semester in Argentina and flew back to Mexico at the end of November. When I got the news that we hadn’t been accepted to Startup Chile, I was bummed. However this also meant that I was not going to be tied to living in Chile for 6+ months and I knew exactly where I was meant to be.
I put the hippie van on a ship heading from Argentina to Vera Cruz, Mexico and booked a flight to Mexico City flying in Christmas day. I flew in and completely surprised Annie. The hippie van should be arriving in Mexico in about a month.
In only a few days since arriving in Mexico, I am happier than ever and multiple opportunities have presented themselves in regards to Crumbs. I’m geographically closer to my family in Canada and filled with passion, motivation and energy heading into the New Year.
The moral of the story? When you follow your heart and are true to your passions, you can accomplish great things. Everything happens for a reason so don’t let the downers be the be-all and end-all. When you surround yourself with the right people and excrete good energies, love and abundance is sure to find you.
Although much of my energy and focus will be on Crumbs moving forward, I intend to continue to keep the hippie van community up and running, with new content and stories. I want to thank everyone who has supported so far and wish you all the best moving into 2016. As always, follow your dreams and feed off your passion.
Paz Y Amor! Aaron Neilson-Belman aka The Hippie Van Man.