May 11, 2021

Real Talk: Reframing your Mindset Part 1 released!

We are excited to have just released our fifth episode and Part 1 of Real Talk: Reframing your Mindset today. We have been growing steadily and are enjoying hearing your feedback regarding the Chaminger message. It seems things are resonating, but people are feeling a bit shy to admit that they may need to go on this journey to gain self-awareness and self-esteem. We do want to remind people that we have an email chamingerx@chaminger.com or you can contact us privately on all social medias. We read and respond to all inquiries, stories and will always keep your anonymity. Just remember, the first step is acknowledging and identifying the need…let us help you overcome the fear of embracing the journey to #BecomingXceptional.

Look forward to the launch of our new series – Social Wisdom this Wednesday May 12th. You do not want to miss this show, where we explore the benefits of learning from others and their life experiences.

Additionally, we have released multiple new DAILY CC episodes – our vlog that showcases the behind-the-scenes of Chaminger and what it takes to build a brand and podcast from zero! Watch here!

Are you ready to have the real talk with yourself? It is time to listen to someone else continue their self-reflection journey and see if you can relate or do the same things. Check out the audio and transcript of our entire episode below. We appreciate you for starting the journey to #BecomingXceptional with us!


Listen to Real Talk: Reframing your Mindset Part 1

Real Talk Episode #5: Reframing your Mindset Part 1
Real Talk Episode #5: Reframing your Mindset Part 1
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And read along – the transcript:

Fabian: Hola Amigos. My name is Fabian Chagoya.

Alejandro: And I am Alejandro Chagoya. 

Fabian: And we’re the hosts of Real Talk, a show all about the journey of self-improvement and getting to know oneself in which we discuss the harsh truths related to finding success. 

Alejandro, so obviously every episode things are changing, things are progressing. We’re now on our third talk and I would love for you to be sitting on this chair right in front of me or across from me and talking to that microphone over there. But the world doesn’t have that right now.

Alejandro: That’s right, that’s right. It’s too bad, but we make the most of it as it is.  The world is changing and we need to adapt. And frankly, I think based on our life experiences, we’re kind of ideally suited to that.

Fabian: Yes, we are. So before we get into that, cause that’s definitely gonna be one of the topics that we talk about today. How do you think this whole Real Talk thing is going? I mean, it’s something that is not, I would say it doesn’t come natural to you especially. It’s also something so different than what I’ve been doing. There’s some natural soft skills that lend themselves to this sort of thing, but this is a new experience for both of us, more so you. So curious to hear your thoughts on the whole progression of this journey.

Alejandro:  It really is rather fascinating. Looking back on it, I’d say probably in the first recording, our first talk, there’s probably a bit more awkwardness. Now that we’ve been practicing going through this a few times, I think we’re getting out the kinks and I feel like  the words just are flowing a little easier.  Just  a more natural conversation is ongoing, I’d say.

And I think that’s just really a reflection of what we’re aiming for here with this Real Talk. Just a talk between two brothers here, engaging in some honest, sincere conversation on a diversity of topics.

Fabian: Absolutely. I think that is such a perfect summary of how it’s been going and I feel exactly the same way. I also feel like it’s been a great opportunity for us to even connect at a deeper level.  Yes, we have had a relationship, we’ve had a friendship, we’ve had a brotherhood, but how many times do you ever have these kind of deep conversations with someone? It’s rare, so I’ve loved it.

Alejandro: Oh, I agree.

Fabian: Alejandro, let’s get into the, not so fun part of Real Talk, which is kind of like the check-in. How have things been going? Have you been journaling? Have you been self-reflecting? Have you been writing positive self affirmations? How has all that been progressing?

Alejandro: I have been doing a fair bit of self-reflecting. One thing that we discussed in our last session, was the issue about  self-worth. And I was also watching and listening to some videos regarding that, and just taking some time to think. Why exactly do I feel that I don’t have a sense of worth. For example, I was thinking back, one thing that  came to mind during this reflection, I had these aspirations to be noble and heroic. Like some of my childhood heroes of like,  Luke Skywalker, Optimus prime. Then later, I’d say even Jesus to some extent from our background, obviously serving as, inspiration for the kind of person I wanted to be. Maybe St. Francis of Assisi and Saint Nicholas later on as well. 

One thing that always resonated strongly with me was, uh, like with fairytales and historically the concept of chivalry of Knights. It was always something that motivated me to be the best person that I could be. But at the same time, there was this sort of negative aspect, this idea of death before dishonor. That I couldn’t do anything that would disgrace me or my family, my country. And so that kind of tied into the whole fear of failure and that I felt that if I failed, I was basically letting everyone down, including myself and that was completely unacceptable. As a result, came about this idea that it would be preferable to die than to just, uh, fail. If you have that mentality then failure is not an option and you can never accept. Thinking back about it now, that was an incredibly toxic sort of, uh, viewpoint.

There’s a lot of historical connections, you could say, around the world about the sole concept of honor. But I mean, just, it was obviously something problematic and I was kind of troubled to really think about that just the other day. Then I was trying then to think about the positive aspects like we were just talking about with the self-affirmations. And thinking, okay, well, what are my strengths? What are positive aspects about me?  I mean, I think about them, but then I’m kind of quick to dismiss them, to set them aside. Oh, I, so I have these traits, but they don’t really matter. And I think part of the thing we were talking about was try to reassess oneself, try then to sell yourself. Not only to other people, but I guess in a way to yourself.

Fabian: That was excellent that you shared so much because that’s the whole point of the exercise. It’s really just to start getting almost, like some people would call it, the juices flowing, but it’s really to start viewing yourself from a different perspective. You start realizing that you had this one narrative about yourself all these years, months, decades, whatever it was.  You thought yourself in such a way and viewed yourself in such a light and then all of a sudden it’s like a curtain was removed or lifted and then all of a sudden the light changed and you’re like, wait a second, hold on. 

And I feel like that is so valuable to see and experience, because for example, you said that why were you so harsh on yourself? Why did you have to burden all the responsibility? And you know, why, if you had a failure, did that mean that the entire family had an issue? And I almost wanted to jump in right there. And I was like, were you raised by Asian parents? Sounded like a situation where you’re like-

Alejandro: No, I mean, I always, I between chivalry and like Japanese Bushido, there’s some overlap. So certainly I think there, I kind of adopted that. I guess you could say.

Fabian: Well, I love it. I mean, those are great things to strive for. They’re great morals, they’re great codes and ethics to live by. There’s nothing wrong with them, but there’s also realizing that we live in a different era and a different world and adapting to it and just embracing it.

 There’s definitely a lot that could be said from everything you shared, but I love the fact that you just shared it because that is the most important step of this.  Just embracing and acknowledging and identifying the things that are going on in your life or the things that have happened in your past. Because until you do that, you can never move on, overcome, or accept. So I commend you for starting that process. How did it feel? I know you talked about it a little bit, but I just want you to reiterate on it, like writing positive self-affirmations about yourself. 

This is something you had never done much before or ever, right? So, how did that piece feel, writing those things? Was it  almost like, yeah right, I’m not really these things. Or did you write things that you hoped you want to be, or did you just write things that you thought I might be? Tell us a little bit more about that.

Alejandro: I would say it started off feeling like, okay, well, this is what people say about me, that these are positive traits. At first, it’s like, okay, well, and you’re kind of just going through the motions.  Then as you go along, you’re like thinking, you know, there’s something to this here, this is true.

Then you’re starting to feel a little better slowly, slowly about yourself. You know,  there are some good things about me and maybe I should take them more to heart. I shouldn’t really dwell on this notion that I’m not good enough for myself or for other people, I don’t live up to these aspirations that I have for myself. That I’ve kind of settled in a mediocrity, as I see it at times. 

One thing that I know I’m very good at actually is that I always trying to encourage other people and boost them up, but I can’t seem to do the same for myself and that’s really something I need to work on.

Fabian: I think there’s a lot to be said there. You said you can easily boost other people up and that’s because you can see the good in people and that’s a skillset, it really is.  You were able to analyze, pause and be like, Oh, Hey, you have this, you have this, you might have some flaws, but these are the good things in you. And you tell them because you know it’s going to impact them in a positive light. Fact. 

So when you talk to yourself, do you talk to see yourself as if you were talking to one of these coworkers, to a friend, to a family, to a stranger? Or do you talk to yourself as if you know yourself, you’re talking to yourself as Alejandro and you’re giving yourself the harshest criticism ever, which one? Stranger or the known person? 

Alejandro: It is definitely the latter, the known person. Hmm.

Fabian: Exactly, that’s what most people do. You have to talk to yourself as if you’re your number one fan. If you’re the most loyal fan boy to whatever it is, like how many people actually do that? Right.

Alejandro: That’s true. Sadly. True. Yeah.

Fabian: Anytime someone gives you a compliment, no matter what it is, yo man, like you got nice shoes, you got a nice shirt, you got whatever.  Write that down in your positive self-affirmations. You write that down because you might not necessarily believe it, but someone else did. When you write it down, what happens is you start thinking about it. Why did someone say that? Why would someone say that? What were their intentions? Did they have intentions? Do I actually do that?

Self-reflecting journaling, writing the positive self-affirmations, never stopped doing that, keep doing that. It’s the start, it’s basically brainwashing your own mind to believe those things about yourself. You know, you are amazing, you are good, you’re strong, you’re better than you think you are and it’s constantly thinking that.  Anytime someone compliments you, write it down, think about it, believe it, really believe it.

But let’s talk about finding your passion. So the reason why this was such a good transition was because believing these things about yourself is key. So I want to talk about this because I feel like it’s something that most people struggle with when they try to find their passion. They’re like what can I do? I found this one job, I’m good at it, this is it. I found my peak. Like, there’s nothing else I could possibly do. I will never be as good at anything else. That’s not true. You have to learn how to interview and you have to learn how to resume. So I recommend that everyone should pause, like maybe once a year and just write a refresh resume. And what I mean by that is it’s really just self reflecting to find your strengths. 

At your current job, did you have any projects that you saved, that all your coworkers just dropped the ball and you were the reason that they succeeded or things like that? And then you started realizing, Oh, wait, I did this, I accomplished this, I was the reason this happened and all of a sudden your confidence starts building. You start thinking about, what else? Maybe 10 years ago, I worked this job and I did this. Maybe five years ago, I worked this other job and I did this. Or I’ve been at the same company for seven years and I’ve done so many things and I’ve gotten a promotion every year. You start reflecting and looking back and all of a sudden things start changing. 

Let’s just say, um, your entire team, I’ll just relate it to like a sales job. My entire team was always demotivated sales, whenever they would work a certain location in Seattle. Whenever they worked with me, we always had, let’s say, 300% more sales than when anyone else worked there. So I was literally the reason why people were having more success because I was telling them, Hey, yeah, this place sucks, but you get one sale here. Now you get another 10 anywhere else, you’re making money.

Reframing their mindset and you start putting that as an accomplishment, it changes things. And you all of a sudden start realizing your strengths, your benefits, your Whoa, that was me. Other people felt the same way about me. And that is why I say it’s so strong to self-reflect and almost like rewrite your resume every so often, even if it’s just mentally, because you start realizing that you are way better at so many things than you think. 

Then you take those pieces that you accomplished on your resume, and you learn how to talk about them in your interview. Because as long as you can talk about anything that’s in your resume, plus more in your interview, you could literally even make up shit and people will believe it. It’s just, you have to be able to talk about it with conviction.  At the end of the day, I wouldn’t recommend making it up, but it’s just really reframing-

Alejandro: Oh, of course not. No, we certainly would never recommend that.

Fabian: It’s reframing how you see your work experience. You know, like, Hey, I was the reason why everyone on my team became punctual or whatever. So curious to hear your thoughts on the resume part and then we’ll talk about the interview piece.

Alejandro: I agree. I think you raise an excellent point with the resume. Like you said, we tend to often, um, not take into consideration a lot of the skills that we have. Of course, the harder stuff, as well as the soft skills, things that we think we don’t give enough credence, enough importance to that are actually rather quite valuable.

The whole changing, maybe the atmosphere of the work environment and making people more productive, encouraging them to be more punctual. So these are all, very important points. And like you said, taking the time to reflect on that for your resume because otherwise, you’re very likely to just leave it as a sort of stagnant document that you update every so often. By taking the time to update it, not only are you updating it for a more pragmatic purpose, but also for a personal one as well. You’re, you’re taking a stock in inventory of yourself and basically reassessing how you’re going about.  Then you can see how you’ve improved, what you can change, what you can focus on to maybe improve upon, to develop. So I think that’s actually a very solid point that you made here.

Fabian: It was one of the things that I preach about this, but it just happened recently to me.  When I left my last job, I did that and I’m like. It gave me such a confidence boost,  I went from like, let’s say  80% confidence. It was insane because I’m like, Oh my God, I accomplished this. I was put into this absurd scenario in my job that I had no right being.  People that have 30 years of experience don’t have the balls to do this and I was thrown into that. And I not only surpassed it and I sold like a University in Colorado something that I had no rights selling them, without any support. And like, you’re like, Whoa, I’m apparently pretty good at my stuff. 

When you pause and self reflect like that, you can kind of see yourself almost in a more unbiased light, because it’s facts. Especially when you start writing it down and you have to be concise and just be like, Hey, this is who I am.

So that goes to where I was saying, like learning how to interview. An interview is just selling yourself. People use interview, but if you could just replace the word interview with, Hey, we’re going to bring you into a 30 minute or 45 minute or one hour talk where you just have to sell yourself. That’s what it really should be called, cause that’s what it is. It’s selling yourself. Like if I asked you to sell Star Wars, if I asked you to sell a book, if I asked you to sell your suit, your headset, your computer, whatever you have. You might be able to do it, you might not, but you have to sell yourself. That’s what an interview is. 

So it’s why I tell everyone that they should dabble a little bit in sales and learning public speaking and body language, because you do that and you have such a leg up on everyone else.  

Everything in life at the end of the day is a transaction. It’s a negotiation, it’s a sale. Like even, almost just crossing the street and I just walk straight ahead. People have to move out of my way, I don’t move. You know, like that’s just, stuff like that is already even a sale and a negotiation.  It’s just the way you walk, the way you look, the way you’re marching ahead. Like there’s so much that goes into every single interaction and it’s kind of crazy. It can lead you down a dark path, which I wouldn’t recommend for most people to go down right away. But at the end of the day, if you really want to learn about public speaking and humans and everything, read a few sales books or just Google some articles about basic sales skills or stuff like that. You’re going to be impressed with what you learn. 

So that’s why I wanted to talk about that because you do that resume experience or exercise, and you start self-reflecting on yourself. And now you have to take those moments, those experiences and you have to apply them to a resume, or sorry to an interview. How do you sell yourself? Like how do you make yourself sound good? How do you believe it? You really have to believe it and you start repeating it. Especially, let’s say, if you had a few not so good interviews. By your fifth, sixth, seventh, you have the same story, you’ve refined it, you’ve come up with who you are.

Like for example, most interviewers suck. Their boss just said, Hey, you have to interview someone. So what are they going to do? They’re going to just be like, Hey man, where are you from? What do you do? What’s your story?  And that’s how they interview. They don’t know better. So what do you do? You start telling your stories. So getting good at telling your story, which is one of the things that we’re doing and analyzing right now, is so critical. Getting to the key moment, sharing the things that peak their interest. If you know that they’re a company that sells a certain product. Or this guy maybe you already had his name, you could research him on LinkedIn or Facebook or whatever and it says that he’s a fan of this football team. You’re like, Hey, you know, and I just so happened to be at the Super Bowl last year and this and this and this, and then now, whatever.

Or for example, you just throw out certain things that your boss can connect with. Like when I got my last sales job, University of Washington, Mexican-German, grandma from Oaxaca. All those things gave me so many more opportunities to connect. Obviously he hit every single one of them, which is literally a miracle, but you think about stuff like that and you’re like, Whoa. 

Sharing those things are selling yourself. And if I was in your scenario and looking for a new job now, I’d be like, I’ve lived in six countries. I moved every two to three years. I am an expert at change and adaptability. I am good at learning new languages and picking up new skills and all these things. And all of a sudden people are like, oh my goodness. We want people that can learn quickly, that can adapt quickly, that can change quickly. That if we want all of a sudden sell a new product or change our entire business focus, you could learn and you could do it without any problem, because you’ve done it before.

You’re like, all my coworkers looked up to me. I trained my coworkers, I did this, I covered for my boss, I saved my boss. All of a sudden it’s like, you’re altruistic. You see what I mean? You learn how to storytell, you learn all these things. And as you can tell, cause I’m talking very quickly, I’m very passionate about this because it’s literally sales, but it’s selling yourself. It’s knowing how to present all the facts about you. Which is why I say journal because you start writing these things and you’re like, how do I spin this one sentence about me into a sale?  If I was a product, how would I sell myself to someone who wanted to buy it?

What are your thoughts about all that?

Alejandro: I mean, you really know your stuff, Fab. Uh,  this is all so true. I mean, like you said, it’s really just a transaction of selling yourself to the best of your ability. To convince that you are the right person for the job.

It’s really such an important skill. And the fact that it also has this personal application here of bolstering yourself, essentially. To feel good about yourself, about your accomplishments and not to be down in the dumps. That’s really invaluable if you really think about it.

I mean, maybe it sounds corny, but these are all the things that, that come to mind and just from our talk and I think this has a lot of worth.

Fabian: I do appreciate you saying those kinds of words. It’s something I’m so passionate about, obviously selling and sales. It was one of the best things that happened to me. It brought me to this almost dark spot as well. Like I need to do self-improvement to get better, to convince people, to be believable. But it makes you grow so fast because you start doing so much self-reflection, if you want to be good.  

I want to talk about doing all the self-reflection and finding your passion also leads to the discussion about what are your interests and what are your passions? What are the things that you’re into? And one of those things that I know that we both are, but I can just recently relate to, is that fantasy and sci-fi had an explosion recently. But back in the day, it was kind of like up and coming.

Just today, I finished the second season of Star Wars, The Mandalorian. And it was a pleasure, it was an absolute joy being able to watch that and have that experience.  I mean, Star Wars has had it up and up and downs, but it’s one of the OGs. It’s one of the originals from back in the day.  It’s kind of cool to see the progression and all that stuff, but it has also created this environment of expectation, fan service, newcomers and how easily accessible it is. Access, the question of access. And also the question of crazy fans.  Luckily, I mean, I was in a family that our parents were into it, you and my sister were extremely into it and I was pretty into it. But it got to a point where  I was never at the same level you guys were. 

I know there’s people that are like obsessed over Oh, this comic book said this and this book said this and Oh my God, this is not true to this, um, commercial in this third world country that they aired. And I’m like, I don’t care about that stuff. 

For example, when I was introducing Stephani to it, I told her don’t necessarily pay attention to all the names. Just pay attention to the overall plots. And as you get more familiarized with it, you can focus on the names and the specifics. There was a line that I made fun of watching with her and was like, Hey, go visit this Jedi in the forest planet of Corvus to meet with the Jedi, Ahsoka Tano and in the city of Aktor in and the darkness of Choloo or something like that, it was like four crazy names. And if you think about that sentence anywhere else, you’d be like, what? I have no idea what’s happening, but it’s a fantasy world, a sci-fi world, and it’s cool to see. 

But overall I loved the experience. It was great for a newcomer and it was one of my passions. What I’m interested in. It was one of the things that reminded me a lot of my childhood, which was the key. I know I said a lot of things right now. But it’s the key that I want to talk about is, it really brought back a lot of nostalgia as well. And nostalgia is powerful, nostalgia is so powerful and I’m like, Oh, it felt good to see that.

So I’m kind of curious to hear all your thoughts on that. If you’ve seen it, how you felt about like the topic about newcomers, fan boys, fan service, fantasy, how hard it’s to get into and nostalgia, let me know.

Alejandro: Sure thing. Right. So starting right off the bat there with that line you mentioned, I mean, I personally always have really appreciated verisimilitude, basically the whole world building aspect of something that seems seamlessly integrated with the world. So, I mean, we have all these names and that, for maybe a newcomer, might seem a little daunting to get involved into. But like you said, for someone who’s then a little more invested and has come to appreciate it a little more then you can feel like you can connect to it. That it’s a real world thing, uh, real-world in a sense that it fits with the setting. Not that it’s something that doesn’t mesh. If it sticks out like a sore thumb, because it feels like it wouldn’t work in the setting that it’s in. Then obviously  it removes you from the work that you’re watching, you’re reading, you’re experiencing. And I think that’s something that’s really important to having a proper enjoyment of it. 

As for newcomers, I also watched and really enjoyed “The Mandalorian”. I felt it wasn’t incredibly friendly to newcomers. In that, uh, we are basically being reintegrated into the Star Wars setting there. Uh, with a Space Western, as it is, the series. And which, in a way, ties back to it to Star Wars as all time roots.

I mean, Star Wars at its core, is a space opera, a space fantasy, or science fantasy, but very much focuses more on that space Western aspect. And obviously we’re not going to deal really with spoilers here. But yes, I really enjoyed it. 

I felt like one serious problem Star Wars has always had, is that there is this tendency to sort of rehash and retread a lot of pre-existing things. And there’s this desperate need to try to go into new territory. And I felt like “The Mandalorian” was a solid middle ground of taking a lot of the old concepts and story ideas and bringing new blood into it. Fresh, fresh ideas and moving onward from what we had, taking the new and the old, and making something wonderful. And I think that’s really something important. Because like you said, there’s this problem often that we go back to nostalgia and we focus on things that we enjoyed, but sometimes then we don’t really capture the essence of it. We get a sort of bare bones, a caricature, a mimicry of what it was to try to recapture that feeling, but it then falls shorts. And I think we, we managed to break new ground and I think that was really important.

 As you were saying that nostalgia is really powerful. For example, just breaking slightly from topic, in my studies there, in my degree, we talked briefly about politics and politics as marketing and how they tied together. And one concept that was brought up was about the love mark. Which was basically of making an emotional connection with something so that you become so invested in it that you would pursue it to whatever end. Because that was basically part of your identity. 

For people like you and me, for example, I know that things like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Disney, Nintendo have their imprint on me, I can fully acknowledge that. There’s a very strong pull of that nostalgia, that love mark. You wants to then, uh, get invested in it. But then of course, then there’s the counterpart that you maybe dwell too much in a nostalgia. And you also wanted to have room to grow, to move on from that.

Fabian: So you almost feel like nostalgia, while it has its benefits, especially in the marketing sense. Cause there’s people that are so attached to it, like they need it, they chase it like if their life depends on it. But it also comes to a point where it doesn’t let people grow, it doesn’t let people expand. And it almost is a mockery because it’s like, Hey guys, we know you don’t need us to improve. 

Let’s say, let’s just talk in sales sense. Okay, we have this product that we’re going to bring back, let’s just talk beanie babies. Beanie babies are back and they’re exactly the same as they were 25, 20 years ago, no improvements. There’s going to be a lot of people that buy them purely for the nostalgia aspect alone, but could they have been improved with the modern day technologies and things of today? It still embraced that, the nostalgia aspect, but be a better version of what they were 20 years ago. Do you feel like there’s that line where so many companies and people, in general, just rely on nostalgia almost as a crutch rather than using it as a tool. What are your thoughts of that?

Alejandro: Oh, definitely. Yes. I definitely feel that there’s this tendency of two extremes. On one hand, like you said, we go to the full throwback. It’s like, Oh, we know you love this, so we’re going to basically just repackage it in a new form. Or as-is, because if you don’t, you’re basically committing some sort of heresy and it’s not the same anymore, so that’s a failure. Or you got the complete opposites, like we have to diverge, we need to create something new, this was how it was in the past. So now we have to kill the past and we need to move forward to something completely different to give a whole new experience.

Fabian: It’s so interesting hearing your take on it because I feel like these are things that are in all aspects of life. They’re in business, personal life, sales, series.  Nostalgia is such a thing, but I just find it so fascinating to hear that you called them like these love marks things, where like you chase after them, you need them, you want them. 

I think those are a key thing that you need to look into when you start really doing a deep dive into yourself of finding your passion. Or what are the things you really appreciate, because these things had an impact and influence on you. And they cannot be ignored. You don’t need to be, like, a Lord of the Rings scholar and study the New Zealand geography and topography. But you need to be like, this was something that I grew up with, that I appreciated, that I love. I need to at least take it into consideration whenever I make a decision, because it had a significant impact on my life.

So obviously our small talk segment became long talk, but there was a lot of great conversation and so many important pieces to really focus on there. And I’m sure so many of you can relate. We definitely want to hear if any of that resonated with you. Do you guys appreciate that segment? Do you want us to get more into just the Real Talk piece faster? Let us know.

Becoming an expert on you. It’s such an important, critical piece. And I know in our last episode we were talking about where we moved next. But before that, I wanted to touch upon the topic of where or what would you consider is home? And when I say that, there’s the issue of what other people define as home, versus what we would define as home as traveling nomads. I want to hear your take on that.

Alejandro: One thing that obviously stands out is the fact that you’re always moving means that you’re not, you don’t have a constant home. As we’ve already discussed previously, the issue of other diplomat and military families would also feel similarly, that you’re always moving there’s no constant home. So one thing that was our forever constant was family. So home was where family was. What can I really say more to that, to add to that? That’s really the crux of the matter. Wherever family was, we were home and we bonded very tightly together. That was something that kept us going throughout all the changes, all the hardships. We were our constant support for each other, through all the difficulties that we faced. And we got really close.

Fabian: That’s a great summary of it. I mean, I think there’s like some quotes that you could probably find online that say that home is where love is or home is where family is. But it really hits the nail on the head when you lived our life of traveling so much. I think there’s a lot to be said about that part, when you travel so much, when you move so much. 

What is your hometown? And technically, I guess you could say it’s where you’re born. Which would be Seattle, Washington for all of us, but like really? Spoilers eventually moved back there, but until then, I would have never considered it my hometown. I couldn’t even remember it because I moved when I was three months old. So how are you supposed to be able to share that piece? How is that your hometown? I didn’t have a hometown. People would ask me, where are you from? I’m like, Oh, I’m from the U.S. And they’re like, well, no, no, no, no. Where were you born? Where did you live in? I’m like, well, I mean, it’s a long story.

Alejandro: I know, right? That’s the thing, whenever I got asked the same question, I’m like, that’s a really difficult question for me. I’m going to have to give you basically a summary of my life story to answer that question.

Fabian: But that’s so cool to say, you have a unique answer to one of the most common questions. It’s almost like any interview, well, where are you from? Or that kind of question. You have a unique answer to that. Have you ever thought about it that way?

Alejandro: That is an excellent point. I hadn’t really considered it from that aspect, but yes, that’s very true. It is very true, indeed.

Fabian: I just think about like celebrity interviews. A reporter comes up to you and is like, where are you from, sir? What’s your name and where are you from? You’re like, well, my name is Fabian Chagoya and I’m from… Well, let’s talk about that. 

I will say that not having a home, other than family, which was great. I mean, we were so close. We knew everything about each other, but there was also some things we didn’t know about each other. But it was hard because at the end of the day. Especially as we start transitioning into these next places that Alejandro will reveal soon, they’re not necessarily the most nice first world places. You start getting even more attached, but you can really even hide anything if you wanted. So it’s just, what you see is what you get. 

And what that means is though, with anything, you need to kind of sometimes almost take a break from something to appreciate it and we didn’t really have that. So we were just constantly always exposed to each other. And while we were in school, we had other friend groups and people, but let’s be real, we didn’t really hang out with them a lot because our parents didn’t want it, bad influences, not so safe countries, et cetera, et cetera. So it almost becomes a point where our family was everything. It’s what we knew, it’s what we learned. You’re reinforcing habits like it’s a self fulfilling prophecy, you’re surrounding yourself only with that circle. 

So we’re all becoming almost like the same person. Yet, at the same time, I almost feel like I didn’t even want to try really befriending people to an extreme. It was like, well, what’s the point? Even though I might’ve never verbally said that, deep down, I knew that my body and psychology was thinking that. It’s like, dude, why are you going to spend time on this random person if one year from now, you’re probably not going to see them again? What is the point? 

Maintaining relationships and friendships. I mean, I’m sure many of you can relate. I can just, as a sales guy and especially now during the pandemic where it’s harder, because proximity is such a key component of relationships and friendships. You lose that aspect and now you have to put in the extra effort. You realize, Oh wait, it takes work. Imagine if we put in the effort to maintain every single relationship from every single friendship that we had growing up in six different countries. Yeah, literally impossible. I can’t even do that, people that live 30 miles away from where I live now, in the same state. 

Curious to hear your thoughts on that piece about the home, because I feel like that also affected my opinion of home. Yeah, it was family, but it was family almost out of necessity.

Alejandro: Right, right. No, It truly is remarkable. I mean, what you just said now are basically the exact same thoughts that I had. I think it just really shows how similar we grew up. Exactly like you were saying, that the whole environment shaping our mindset and all these experiences. I agree, absolutely agree. Basically, it was pretty much the exact same thoughts I had on the matter.

Fabian: So Alejandro, let’s talk about the story again. Let’s get back to that, because I feel like there’s some deep realizations that have been discovered going down that journey. And I know we left people hanging and some people might know, but a lot of people don’t. So where to after Colorado?

Alejandro: All right then, so are you ready for this? What some people can’t believe is that Jamaica has a new bobsled team! Woo! We went to Jamaica. Can you believe it? Yeah. Oh, wow. That was something all right. I remember like you said, dad coming in saying, Hey, you know, we’re moving again and we’re moving to Jamaica. It’s like, wow. Okay. I remember at the time thinking, I think maybe we watched “Cool Runnings” a few too many times. Uh, yeah, it was odd, we did watch it in a couple of times while we were there in Denver, so that was kind of interesting. 

But it was definitely going to be a very, brand new experience because we’d been in the United States and Mexico, but culturally, these were places that were familiar to us and Jamaica was a brand new place. We were heading to the Caribbean. It was a completely, entirely different culture. And it was really going to be our first experience with a fairly dramatic bit of culture shock. Already compared to what we’d already experienced between the United States, Mexico, Germany. This was a brand new experience for the entire family, not just one part of the family. Like, Oh, we’re learning Spanish so it’s going to be an uphill struggle for us. No, this is going to be an entirely new experience for everyone in the family.

Fabian: I’m just curious, before you start going into the depths about Jamaica, because I think there’s a lot to be said about the culture shock. About the fact that you’re moving from mainland U.S., midwest, to the Caribbean. That alone. Luckily, same language. But, how much did you know about Jamaica going into that? I know that’s not something we really talked about a lot, but I know when I tell the story, it was the World Cup earlier that year, or maybe the year before, I forget. I had watched all the teams that played and Jamaica was in that World Cup. I think they were in the same group as Mexico or Germany.

And you see the team and let’s be real. And this is truly not racist, but the entire team is black and I’m just like, Oh my, that’s different. Like, especially in Denver, Colorado at that time. Colorado, I mean, still to this date is not very diverse and back then, it was even worse. You just had your Mexicans and you had your white people and it was pretty much that. There was obviously one or two maybe exceptions, but it was pretty white. 

Now you’re moving to the Caribbean where all of a sudden everyone has a different skin color and all these things. All I knew from Jamaica was really the Disney movie of the Jamaican bobsleds and the World Cup. Everyone that played soccer, they played just like the English British team. Which they went to the wings and they crossed it in, that’s how they played. And that was my knowledge going into this move. So I’m kind of curious what you knew, what your expectations were. Did you have any, or did you just go into it open-minded?

Alejandro: I mean, on one hand, I’m sure there was some semblance of being open-minded about it. Obviously it was going to be a new experience. But I, I do admit I was woefully ignorant overall about Jamaica at the time. 

 I remember, we arrived late at night at the airport and there was, they came and disinfected the entire plane. Which sounds oddly um, reminiscent of current times. We did buy a guide book, at the time. That we were studying up  to learn a bit about the culture and the people and a bit about Jamaica as a country. So we learned a fair bit, but it was obviously a lot to learn. And one thing is of course reading and another is experiencing certainly.

Which by the way, since Jamaica was a former British colony. So there was a lot of British aspects to the country. Which includes, for example, driving on the left side, as opposed to the right side. Which of course would be an interesting challenge for our parents and driving, definitely something to get used to. So there was that.

Obviously we had the heat was certainly remarkable. As you can imagine, the Midwest climate versus the Caribbean, and it was hot all the time. I remember we basically, when returning home from school and work, we would have to have the air condition up and that we found that to just make it tolerable. Wouldn’t you agree, Fabian?

Fabian: Absolutely. I mean, I think just that alone, that story about just arriving and people are coming they’re spraying stuff the airport is small, in comparison to Denver International Airport. The steering wheel is on the right versus the left. It’s super humid. All those pieces alone are already insane. And then you just have water surrounding you, different home styles, all those things alone already. Like, Whoa, what up culture shock. 

I want to hear, like, maybe give us one or two examples of a situation that happened, like outside of school that it was like, Oh my goodness, what is this? 

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