“Do what you love and love what you do, even if what you’re doing isn’t what you love to do.” – William Whittle, Co-Founder Biking Buenos Aires
Graduating from a University in the US in 2008 was not what you call, “great timing.” With my home country nearing a recession, pessimism ran rampant and career paths for the freshly graduated were thinning out. Luckily, I had my sights on escape rather than settle. On September 11, 2008, I landed for the first time in Buenos Aires, Argentina, excited to visit and stay with my college roommates who were already fully immersed in this vibrant city. Little did I know at the time that this foreign land would quickly capture me in its golden handcuffs for the next decade.
Carrying a business degree into Argentina gave me the edge I needed to start a project of my own in order to kick-start my professional career. With influence from business gurus like Gary Vaynerchuk and Tim Ferris, I understood the value of starting a business in Buenos Aires founded on doing what I love most. Even if I did not earn a single dollar (or peso), at least I can say that I enjoyed the experience. It wasn’t long before the answer was slapping me in the face with a fat smile that ran ear to ear, passing traffic on my bmx bike as I cruised down Avenida Santa Fe.
Biking Buenos Aires was born out of a one bedroom apartment in the neighborhood of Palermo that I shared with my then girlfriend and her sister. Fortunately, they were open to the idea of sharing the small space with me and 7 cruiser bikes (all different colors so you could choose your favorite). I never take for granted all of the many incredible people who joined me on this journey who, like me, were inspired to create meaningful experiences for those visiting the city. Eight years down the road, I am extremely proud to say that we have established ourselves as a must-do activity in one of the most visited cities in the world, with tens of thousands of satisfied guests, all sharing that same fat smile that I could not hide on day one.
Of course with smiles, comes frowns, and with the ups, we eventually saw downs. At first glance, running a bike tour company in the ever-exciting city of Buenos Aires seems like a dream come true. In general, you would be absolutely correct, but unless you get into the gritty details of “tramites” and governmental bureaucracies of Argentina, you might not notice all of the tribulations found underneath the surface of the iceberg. If there is any one virtue that I can take away from this journey, it is the art of patience and genuine enthusiasm needed to overcome each challenge along the way. Even if whatever you are currently doing is not what you love to do, finding a way to overcome those times with that same smile that lit the fire from the beginning is a huge secret to carry on with little stress. No matter how many times it takes to get that one thing done, enthusiasm should always outshine “annoying” obstacles. Hopefully you can find it from the gratitude for having an opportunity in the first place, remembering that with each new challenge lies an opportunity to learn valuable lessons and apply creative solutions.
Fortunately for me, I fell in love immediately with my home away from home. My love eventually grew into pride as I was eager to show off Buenos Aires to anybody who knew how to ride a bike. Beyond entrepreneurial experience, Argentina and its people have taught me so many valuable life lessons. Understanding everything they have accomplished, lost, shared, inspired, changed, and reflect from their culture, has given me tremendous respect for them and I wouldn’t change a single detail about this beautiful country, not even their “tramites.” If you’re curious to find out what I’m referring to, I suggest you join us on one of our many excellent bike tours of Buenos Aires to find out 🙂