After I left my job on September 5th I went backpacking for couple of months to Brasil, USA, Thailand, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia. I came back from that long trip with the decision of not looking for another job, but to start what I have kept in mind for years, a tour company in my beloved country, Ecuador.
One of the first days of my arrival I went on a dinner with one of my best friends for a chat, we both wanted to start something, he was working but he was willing to quit. I talked to him about my project of the tour company and he said he liked the idea and was willing to join. That night started our partnership.
December was a month for planning. I had already selected the name according to the concept I had in mind for the Company. The first name I had in mind was “Trip to Ecuador”. My idea for this was offering personalized tours according to every group. Whether if it was daytrips or several day trips, customize every detail with them before they come. For example, if they like fishing, include fishing on the trip, if they like adventure or hiking add it too, if they are more into churches and religion, put an emphasis into those places. Even in just a single day trip, try to get everything they ask and want. One of our differences is that we didn’t want to offer “tourist trips”, more real and local experiences. Taking travelers besides the highlights, also to non-touristic places where they won’t see any tourists at all, just locals. That includes the food too. I realized “Trip to Ecuador” was a name already taken, then, talking to a friend, Isa Cervantes, we came up with a new name. The concept of this business is that travelers can come back to their country and won’t say “I had A trip to Ecuador” but “I had MY TRIP TO ECUADOR”, so the perfect name was that, and I kept it: My trip to Ecuador.
In January we rented an office! For getting the official permit we needed at least a 30m2 office. We got one in the main street of Urdesa neighborhood, excellent location and very nice office. Pipe, my business partner was still working by that month, so we had weekends to go shopping for desks, chairs, computers, etc. We wanted to be “Best Place to work” so we bought a fridge for water, sodas and beer, we bought a TV, one puff. We also got a meeting table and a board for the wall. We painted the office in a sunday, Pipe, his parents and me. We were so happy for our new company.
Monday Feb 3rd 2014 was the first day we used the office for work. We went in the morning for an “encebollado”(a local fish soup that we have for breakfast) because one of the policies of the company was that: “Mondays of encebollado” and the other policy was “Fridays of beer”, that consisted in always drinking at least beer on fridays before we leave the office (I have to admit that some fridays was definitely way more than just one). Well, coming back to where I was, It was Monday around 9am when we entered to the office, I sat on my spot, and look around, I was so happy, so proud, it was my dream come true, finally I was running a tour company, finally I was going to be able to do what I wanted, meet people from around the world, and show them this beautiful paradise that we have as a country. I turned on my computer, smiled, and start working.