20something profile: Quinn & Jonathon
This post was written by Quinn, who moved to Nicaragua with her boyfriend Jonathon to start their own business:
Jonathon and I met through work. I worked for an international antique car show, and he worked for the international shipping company which shipped the cars from all over the world to our event each year. We were friends from the moment we met, but then went on a business trip together and hit it off. We’ve been together ever since!
Only a few months after we got together, we began asking each other what our ideal lives were. We both agreed that we wanted travel the world, be our own boss, and live overseas. After lots of brainstorming, we decided that our ideal business to start would be one that integrates giving back into the finances from the very beginning.
We also knew that we needed to dedicate all of our time to create this business, but we didn’t want to borrow money from family or take out a loan. Therefore, in order to save our money through the startup phase of the company where we wouldn’t be making money, we decided that living somewhere with a lower cost of living than California would give us the best opportunity to do what we wanted.
So we took a map of the entire world and ultimately chose Nicaragua. Within a month of making the decision to move and pursue this dream of living overseas and starting our own business, we quit our jobs, packed one backpack of clothes, said goodbye to family and friends, and hopped on a plane to Nicaragua.
Since we moved here, we’ve been traveling all over the country to find various handmade products by the people of Nicaragua and ultimately develop a line of products that we can sell overseas. Buying and selling products from these local artisans will not only help their local economy, but will also expose people overseas to the beauty of an unfamiliar culture.
Our experiences in Nicaragua have made each of us grow more than we ever could have imagined in just 7 months. We have grown as entrepreneurs, as we have built something out of nothing, and that experience in itself is a growing experience filled with the highest of highs and lowest of lows. It’s scary, exciting, challenging, and the most rewarding experience we’ve ever gone through.
Living in Nicaragua has been a whole other experience that has pushed us to new boundaries and made us grow in many different ways as well. We are comfortable here in a third world country, smile at everyone we see, speak Spanish everyday with ease, have made close friends with many locals, and proudly call this place home.
We have also been pushed out of our comfort zones many times, and every time we are, we grow more. We are smarter, less judgmental, more trusting, and we truly appreciate the beauty of this very different country and its culture.
Our favorite part about all of the things we’ve learned here in Nicaragua is that we have learned everything from firsthand experience. Learning from experience through travel has giving us a burning desire to continue traveling and learning about different cultures for ourselves. It’s our favorite way to educate ourselves, as it gives us different perspectives and opens our eyes to so much more.
We have created our ideal life independently by stepping out of the traditional path (the “box”) and following our dreams. We want to inspire other young people to do the same — to show them that there are other ways to live their lives, that they can achieve everything they’ve ever wanted to and that they don’t have to wait until they’re older to make it happen.
Living out of the box makes you live a life where you’re constantly thinking outside of the box, but that initial step out of the box is the hardest. Once you do it though, you’ll never be the same.