Why I celebrated my 21 birth day two years later!

I love traveling. I do not understand people who do not like to travel. Maybe people who don’t like traveling do not understand people like me. However, I personally believe a person learns a lot when they travel. You get to experience a different environment and your mind functions differently because you are in a new place. Traveling changes your frame of reference—the way you see and understand the world.

Why did I choose to spend my summer traveling to different states that catches my interests? It all began when I could not travel on my 21st birthday. I mean, I was broke!

My birthday is on July 27, one of the best months in the year (my opinion of course). When I turned 21, I had just launched my speaking business and I spent the rest of my birthday working with my business partner to launch my website: WilsonKubwayo.com

I said to myself, next year I will celebrate my 21 birthday. I was so convinced. I finished my senior year of college and I graduated. Well, most college graduates have one thing in common right after graduation: loans, time and skills. Notice how “money” is not in the category for most recent college graduates. I watched myself turn 22 and I still was not able to celebrate. I did not give up on my goal…it just needed to be updated.

The following year, I worked my best and saved some funds for the next summer…and I worked hard. I did my best in everything that I was doing: speaking, working, graduate school and volunteering. I watched my birthday take place year after year. When you do that, it does not take a decade to finally realize that you have become a few years older.

We are in 2017 now, and a child who was born in 2000 is going to be 18 years old in a few months. Time goes fast, wouldn’t you agree? This summer, I knew it was that time of my life to travel and celebrate all my accomplishments. To acknowledge my successes and failures.

 

States I traveled to this summer:

  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia
  • Texas
  • North Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Louisiana
  • Arizona
  • Nevada
  • And next…California!

Sharing everything I did this summer would not be fair. I made mistakes, I experienced growth and I had fun. A lot of fun. But let me share some of the highlights.

 

New York: The Rockefeller Center

In May 2017, I began my summer with a trip to New York. That was an honor. Thanks to TheRefugeeCenter.org for inviting me to their board meeting that took place at the old Rockefeller home, The Pocantico Center. The board meeting was legit, but let’s talk about their home in Tarrytown!

The place was so clean and nice. Getting a tour to where the Rockefeller family used to live was awesome. I mean, the house not only had a swimming pool inside, but a tennis court too? Of course, that is one of the few. This was my second time going to New York City, the city that does not sleep! I love New York.

 

Philaldephia, the brotherly love city!

Philly was live. Hanging out with my brothers over there was a highlight. So much fun, I can’t wait to go there again. But I also spoke at a conference that was super amazing. It was hosted by 1LifeLivedFully. I would recommend anyone to attend one of their conferences. Life changing!

 

Texas: Triple duty!

First duty: I was invited to speak at a Burundi’s independence event hosted by Reunion 257 that took place in Dallas, Texas.

Second duty: As Digital Strategy Manager for The Refugee Center Online, I also took business cards, flyers and other postcards to hand out at the event while I was working in Texas.

Third duty: After Dallas, I stayed in Houston for a few more days while working with a non-profit organization to write and put together their business plan. I also had free time to eat out, go to the beach and my time there was well spent.

 

Virginia: Charvi, the new born

I became an uncle! While I was in Houston, Texas, working and enjoying my time I was notified that I became an uncle. As a gift to my niece, I purchased a plane ticket from Houston to Virginia to go see my niece. I am glad I did, I believe in keeping my family close.

 

Minnesota: I am cheating because Minneapolis is my second home 

Why is Minnesota included? Because I recently had the opportunity of a lifetime.

I cannot fully explain how it happened. But I recently had the opportunity to be one of the guests of the Pohlad’s family at the Minnesota Twins game. I did not get to meet them, but a friend who knows a friend who knows one of the family members made it all come alive. I sat in their family seats. These seats are not even on the list to be purchased. They are exclusive only for the Twins owner’s family and their guests.

To be one of the guests came with the Champions Dinner, valet parking, and you get to see the players right in front of you. These are the best seats in the whole stadium! I had the chance to get one of the baseballs that was used during the game. It was my first time watching a professional baseball game and I will never forget such experience! Of course, I signed the “Thank You” card.

 

New Orleans: The French Quarter

This was the highlight of my summer. I spent my birthday in New Orleans! This was the goal and I am glad I accomplished it. I did not sleep at all because staying in downtown New Orleans was major. I experienced its addicting culture and despite all the fun I was having, this is where it really hit me.

As I was walking by the French Quarter, Downtown New Orleans, and I almost stepped onto a person laying on the side of the road half naked. I looked around and there were four others laying on the side of the road. It seemed as if they have been laying there for a long time. I thought they were dead bodies…I was scared.

New Orleans was great but it woke me up. Some people are living in what I can call a refugee camp, based on my experiences. America is not all flashy lights and high skyscrapers. Some people are at a real disadvantage and that can only be seen and understood by a few.

I also went to Mobile, Alabama and I learned so much more. Let me just conclude that I learned so much this summer that really taught me to value what I have. To be thankful to God for the life I have. To be open minded on what’s taking place on the other side of my surroundings.

 

Ending the summer with the California Love

I am happy to be working with a wonderful organization that uses technology to help refugees and immigrants build new lives in America, TheRefugeeCenter.org

The Refugee Center online is hosting a Hackathon event at UC Berkeley in Oakland, California on September 30. I am super excited to be speaking at this great cause and participate in the event on so many different levels.

 

San Francisco vs. Los Angeles: What’s your pick?

Not only do I look forward to spending a weekend in San Francisco, I am ecstatic to spend a full week and weekend in Los Angeles. Truth be told, I have always wanted to visit California. People in San Francisco say they are now ruling the West Coast. People in Los Angeles say they are the West Coast. What do I say? Keep the argument heated, I’m already on fire to experience the great West Coast.

Harness your will to make ends meet. I do not write this to share so much of my personal life or how good it has been. I share this to inspire the reader to take ownership of your goal and try your very best to make it come true. I know there are roadblocks along the way. but I know that success is impossible if you fail to try.

The journey is long, but never grow weary to discovering what you are worth and what you can do. I hope this inspires you to take ownership of your life and go after that crazy goal that you have. Give it try!

“If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm.”

Born in the small African country, Burundi, Wilson Kubwayo is now an inspirational speaker and talks to diverse audiences about his theme, “Climbing the Walls of Greatness: How to live life to your fullest potential.”

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