1316,1 | We’re Erasmus

Our lives are not measured by money, stuff or tangible objects we own. Our lives, more specifically what we are really made of are moments, experiences; the people you meet along the way is what really make you realize how wealthy you are. I was concerned about this fact when I came back home for Christmas leaving my second home for a weeks.

For the last three months I have been living in Vesalius, a quite old, grey but cozy dorm in the city of Gent, Belgium. First days were hard, yes I had to start again. New people, new atmosphere. Everything was still undiscovered, completely unknown. This is the “confortable zone” many people is talking about, moving off what you are used to starting from zero somewhere else doing whatever different. There I realized that all I had at home was nothing compared to what I was about to get there, and now I know it happened. The same people and atmosphere I was afraid off at the beginning made me change the way I see things now. They made me appreciate the little things of my day-to-day, they made me realize how important is to have goals, to see things clear, to not regret about nothing and above all, enjoy every second of your short live.

Once an Erasmus, always an Erasmus.

Now I am a little bit richer although I spent most of my savings there, richer because I earned 50 new friends from over 18 countries, 18 homes to stay and 1 family I belong to. This is what Erasmus is supposed to be, further than partying, studying and lazy days. To get new friends and meet people around the world is what keeps you moving forward, the thing that makes you feel completed when you get home for Christmas knowing that no-one else will live the things you did and secrets will be secrets forever. Priceless.

All I can say now is thanks, I’m feeling so thankful for the people I met there: Latvians, Czech, Germans, Spanish, Scottish, Romanians, French, Mexicans (Mexican), Polish, Russian, Italians, Portuguese, Dutchs, Slovenians, Greeks  and our lovely hosts, the Belgians. Thank you to make from this six months the most unforgettable experience we could ever had. This story is not ended yet nor will never end. 31st of January is going to arrive and there will be people who will leave again, heading out to home, saying bye forever; there will be others that will stay for another semester; but what I am really sure about is that what we lived together will stay forever at the bottom of our hearts. We belong to each others, we are Erasmus.

BatKit and Make-A-Wish Foundation in action

Some days ago I noticed about how Make-A-Wish America together with SF community make reality Mile’s wish, a 5-years-old kid who after being diagnosed at 20 months-old with Leukemia, has beat cancer and is now in remission. This make me realize that superheroes are not just in comics or movies, they don’t wear Kevlar suits nor are made of stone, but they are at street level, they are just ordinary people who withstand the unbelievable because they have illusion, they are not waiting anything from anyone and go ahead because they believe. Stay strong! #faithinhumanityrestored (for a while)


To know more …

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in the United States that arranges experiences or also called wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. In order to qualify for a wish, the child must be between the ages of 2 and a half and 18 at the time of the referral. It is the child’s physician that ultimately decides if a child is eligible.

The organization grants wishes through its 62 chapters located throughout the country and also operates in 47 countries around the world through 36 affiliate offices.

Do what you love and do it often | The Holstee Manifesto

This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often. If you don’t like your job, quit. If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love. Stop over analyzing, life is simple. All emotions are beautiful. When you eat, appreciate every last bite. Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and people, we are united in our differences. Ask the next person you see what their passion is, and share your inspiring dream with them. Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself. Some opportunities only come once, seize them. Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them so go out and start creating. Life is short. Live your dream and share your passion.

I’ve been planning something huge for next week’s post, we are about to reach an awesome number of visitors and we want to celebrate with all of you so all I can share with you today is The Holstee Manifesto, a call to action to live a life full of intention, creativity, passion and community.

Tip from SavvySeniorsWok.com:

Behind the Holstee Manifesto is a business launched in the heat of the recession in May 2009. Brothers Mike and Dave and their partner, Fabian, knew they wanted to create more than a business – the trio wanted to create a lifestyle. So the first thing Holstee’s three founders did was sit together and write down exactly what was on their minds. They wanted to create a company that breathes passion into the world everyday. it was to be a reminder of what we live for. The result became known as the Holstee Manifesto and, through all avenues of social media, the manifesto has been viewed over 80.000.000 times to date!

Starting in the summer of 2009, they dove head first into the world of design and production. After six months an a huge learning curve, Holstee launched its first line of Recycled Tees made of 100% recycled plastic bottles that were milled, cut and sewn within 150 miles of each other in North Carolina. Starting with this first round, 10% of all sales were lent to entrepreneurs in extreme poverty through non-profit micro-lending organizations like Kiva.org – a tradition they are proud to still embrace.

Amazed and inspired by the community of individuals who have embraced the Holstee Manifesto as their own, the founders have created this My Life project to capture, celebrate and share the stories that speak to the truth that life is indeed about the people you meet and the things you create with them.

If you loved this video you’ll enjoy all the material Holstee has on their site.

BE CREATIVE! BE INSPIRED! GET TUNED & SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!

Live unbound

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When I started this blog in the very first I was willing to begin something which could inspire and motivate others to create new things, to feel comfortable and capable to do everything they want, so posts during the first year were all about innovation, entrepreneurship, technology, motivation, etc.

But something changed my mind recently.

I’m still a huge fan of motivation blogs and I’m completely in entrepreneurship field, but now I become a little more concerned about the feeling of freedom, spread the liberty: to live unbound.

There’s something inside of us. Blind to the forces that restrict our potential, it gives us the gift of unlimited ability. We use it to rise above ourselves. To reach the unreachable. But for most people it’s unattainable. Bound by fear. Trapped inside the walls they build. Asleep but never dead. We fight to awaken it. We fight to live unbound. Unbound from our debilitating thoughts- I can’t, it’s too risky, I’m afraid, that’s impossible. We do have weaknesses, fears and doubts; bu they’re overpowered by psychological strength, by the most powerful directing force of our future – our belief. Fueled by this confidence we redefine our limitations. We live unbound from the status quo. From the guidelines that suffocate our imagination. Instead, we follow our intuition, even when it guides us off the well paved path, into the unknown. Despite its uncertainty, we have learned to love this place. It gives us answers. It’s where we belong. Rooted from a desire to feel alive, to escape, to experience, to succeed, to discover what we’re truly capable of. We live unbound. 

I discovered LIVE UNBOUND a little ago, maybe a couple of months ago, when I realised it was the most inspirational site ever (beside #BRANDYOURWAY). I’ve visited several sites before such as INFINITY LIST but the design and creativity of LIVE UNBOUND completely impressed me. There’s a lot of strength on it, a lot of will to live, to try out and this is what I really appreciate when I look through Internet. It’s pretty hard to find a site that really make you fall in love with it but I claim I found it.

Furthermore, LIVE UNBOUND means to me something more than just a website, represents the way of life I advocate every day, a way of life that completely define you and you define the way you act. Something fueled by the feeling of freedom, ambition and respect. You must feel free to do what you love, but you also need a portion of ambition to fight for it, then immediately you’ll reach respect. This is my point of view of everything I do day after day: if you really want something go for it. Don’t be afraid about what others are gonna say, just go and achieve it, fight for it, be better than anyone else. Only when you have what you want stope, enjoy and listen what others say about you.

A love story

It’s been a long time without updating #brandyourway (actually it’s been the whole summer) but the fact is that this one it has been the summer of my life. As usual, when September arrives it seems as summertime is over and everything changes to worse. People get bored, annoyed, tired and everything becomes grey, brown or black. Days are shorter and colder and everyone stay at home. But this time will be different for me, everything has changed.

It all began in February when I decided to try something new, being 19 I was feeling the need to live new experiences, live unbound, so I applied for the Erasmus Program. Just a couple of weeks later I received and email confirming I’d been accepted at HoGent (University College Gent) in Belgium for a semester so I became really excited due to I’d be my very first time living abroad and living on my way, branding my way.

Days were passing away and I was waiting for September in order to leave to Belgium and start something new from 0. But something special happened in May. I met someone special, incredibly kind; such a really lovely person. Days gone by and she completely blowed my mind. The guy who was looking for leaving his town was now praying for never leave and spend the rest of his life next to her. This summer every day has been and adventure, every moment unforgettable and every night incredibly magical. And although September has already arrived, everything looks equal and anything has changed.

I’m leaving next Monday at 9am from BCN Airport and it’s gonna be pretty hard not to be next to the person you love but if can’t even imagine a future without her. I’ll be there for four months, from September to January, I’m gonna come back home once a month and I’m gonna spend the Xmas Holidays here too, next to the ones I love the most.

I’ve promised myself that from now to the future it’s gonna be summer every day, I am not going to be bored anymore, not grey, brown or black days anymore, just enjoy every moment no mattering the place nor the time because now I have all I could wish: YOU ♥

Introducing Airbnb

Some weeks ago, about june 15th, I’ve been introduced to a new way of home renting, this is Airbnb.

Airbnb is a privately held company headquartered in SF founded in August 2008 which provides a platform for individuals referred to as “hosts”, generally private parties, to rent unoccupied living space and other short-term lodging to guests.

Users of the site must register and create a personal online profile before using the site. Every property is associated with a host whose profile includes recommendations by other users, reviews by previous guests, as well as a response rating and private messaging system.

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How the founders came up with the idea? 

Shortly after moving to SF in October 2007, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia created the initial concept for AirBed & Breakfast during the Industrial Design Conference. The original site offered short-term living quarters, breakfast and a unique business networking opportunity for attendees who were unable to book a hotel in the saturated market.

At the time, roommates Chesky and Gebbia could not afford the rent for their loft in SF so they made their living room into a bed and breakfast, accommodating three guests on air mattresses and providing homemade breakfast.

In February 2008, Harvard graduate and technical architect, Nathan Bleckarczyk joined as the third co-founder of AirBed & Breakfast. During the company’s initial stages, the founders focused on high-profile events where alternative lodging was scarce.

To help fund the site, the founders created special edition breakfast cereals, with candidates Brack Obama and John McCain as the inspiration for “Obama O’s” and “Cap’n McCains”. In two months, 800 boxes of cereal were sold at $40 each which generated more than $30K for the company’s incubation and attracted Y Combinator’s Paul Graham.

After its graduation, the site expanded to include properties in the market between hotels and CouchSurfing. In January of 2009, Y Combinator invited Gebbia and Blecharcxyk to join the incubator’s winter session for three months of training. With the website already built, they used the $20K Y-Combinator investment to fly to NY to meet users and promote the site. They returned to SF with a profitable business model to present to West Coast investors.

“And this is how business is made  kids”

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So how the hell Airbnb works? Well it’s quite easy, first of all you have to create an account as we said before or you can log in using your Facebook account. Then you will have to list your space by picking a home type, room type, accommodations and city. From this point forward everything you must do is upload some pictures of your space (max. 25) and type about it, as for example location, amenities, etc. You can also call for a professional photographer, totally free. It’s awesome.

As I said at the beginning I’ve been introduced to the platform some weeks ago and I’m really amused about how well it’s working having almost the whole month of July booked as well as August. It’s really useful for those who are having an empty space and want to earn some money from it. I’ll definitely use it to survive in Belgium. What about you?

from Barcelona to the world

It’s been one year today since me and a classmate hit the US for our very first time, doing couchsurfing in LA, Vegas and SF for almost a month (see how we enjoyed the trip). This was definetely the most inspiring trip ever, besides we had the chance to meet some extraordinary people and live once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Now, almost one year and a half later I’m gonna be living abroad again as an Erasmus student. Say hi to Belgium!

For those who may not know about Erasmus programme is a European Union student exchange programme established in 1987 which forms a major part of the EU Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013. Actually, the Erasmus Programme, together with a number of other independent programmes, was incorporated into the Socrates programme established by the European Comission in 1994 and which on ended on 31 December 1999 being replaced with the Socrates II.

There are currently more than 4,000 higher institutions participating in Erasmus across the 33 countries involved in the Erasmus programme and over 2.2 million students have already taken part. But not everybody can participate on it, it must be students who’re studying for a degree or diploma at a tertiary-level institution and must have completede their first year. Otherwise, students who join the Erasmus programme study or do an internship for a period of at least 3 month to an academic year in another European country. The programme guarantees that the period spent abroad is recognised by their university when they come back, as long as they abide by terms previously agreed.

So here I am, few months before leaving my little town and getting ready  to experience Europe on its majesty.

Erasmus makes you believe in your dreams as well as your capabilities to go ahead in your day-to-day no mattering how far you are, the people you meet or the country you live in. 

It’s been almost two months since I applied to go abroad and just about two weeks later college administration announced I’d been accepted. That was huge! I had picked as first option Gent, Belgium, an historical city in the north of Belgium, in the region of Flanders, but unfortunately it was so sought-after and I was supposed to go to Wrexham. Well, it wasn’t the best place to go for me but was something. But I was kind of lucky when just a couple of days later I received an email announcing I’d been accepted to go there, at the center of Europe, just few hours from Paris, London, Brussels or Berlin.

In my opinion, life is about meeting new people, and happiness is nothing but sharing you life with them, and this is the reason of this post. My purpose from now to February is to get you all informed about my experience as an exchange student sharing with you a weekly resume about my dau-to-day there.

It’s time to welcome “#brandyourway Erasmus edition”

Stay tunned!