This is the story of how two interns of HeySuccess, one from Peru and the other from Greece, found themselves involved in a new journey... and shared 5 days full of adventure.
How everything started?
L: “It’s 7 am in the morning and I’m getting ready for classes. All of a sudden I receive a message from a friend I haven’t talked in a long while. I don’t double think about it, not even check the dates. A few hours later, I’m embarked onto an unexpected journey to meet a friend I have never met and a country I have never been.”
S: “Scrolling through facebook’s main page, I came across one of the most interesting opportunities. HeySuccess was offering a full package of accommodation and tickets to select few for the Leap Summit 2016 in Zagreb (link). The application was simple. Tagging a friend in the comments was all it took. The friend I chose, was definitely not expecting it!“
Few days later, we were amongst the winners! In our surprise, HeySuccess had also decided to cover our flights. This was already getting better and better..!
Meeting each other
Do you know that feeling of anxiousness when you are about to get on a plane? Imagine that sensation, multiplied by the feeling that you will encounter a friend you hold dear, and tons of new ones from all around the world. Not to mention, exploring the capital of a new country! Certainly, we couldn’t wait!
The journey was quite long: one from Spain and the other from Greece to Istanbul and then to Zagreb. Day 04-05: Stefanos was already in Zagreb and Lucia would arrive the next day. After 4 months of working together from a distance, followed by a year of scarce communication, the time had come. The meeting point was the hostel where the accommodation was booked!
While holding our breath for our first “actual” meeting, we met on the 05-05. As this world is changing; nowadays, friendship doesn’t need people to be in the same place, they can be thousands of kilometers afar and even so share a strong connection together. That’s how our first meeting was: as if we would have always know each other and never been far the one to another. As our first “actual” conversation carried on, we shared one same thought: working together was a matter of fate, but being able to see each other was a matter of the right opportunity at the right time.
Having a free day in Zagreb before the main event, without any hesitation, we joined all the pre-conference activities. This gave us the opportunity to explore the city’s history and famous landmarks (thanks to a welcoming Croatian city guide), while simultaneously meeting various people from all over the world. The conference was one day away and we had already met more than 20 significant individuals! Though we were having a great time, we had to go back to the hostel and rest a little earlier than the rest. We had an early wake up call..!
Alarm was set at 4:30am but it wasn’t yet for the conference! As we had carefully planned our schedule, we wanted to take advantage of our free time before the conference which started late in the afternoon. All in all, we were off to explore a famous part of Croatia’s natural landscapes. Our destination was the Plitvice lakes. Every country has a paradise, and those words certainly apply to Plitvice: this wonderful place with 90 waterfalls is unbelievably real. Whilst we had to face a quite difficult weather (heavy rain and cloudy day), we couldn’t enjoy ourselves more. Between epic moments –choosing a wrong route and walking through a flooded path– and a challenging time schedule to keep up –for a journey of 6-8 hours suggested by the park guides, we managed to do such a route in 3-4 hours. After such a day we came back, and quickly got ready for the conference. The preliminary activities were to be started, and we hearts were not quite ready for it.
The main event: Leap Summit 2016
Having already experienced 24 hours full of new activities, the day had finally arrived and we weren’t expecting much of what would follow.
S: “Going through the conference hall was something I won’t forget. Hundreds of young individuals and dozens of sponsors were scattered around. The main plenary was huge and the seats were filled. That’s when I realized that this event was going to leave a lasting impact to everyone attending.”
L: “People coming from and out of the room; students, graduates and professionals walking around the same hall; and there we are… standing in the front door waiting for the beginning of the conference. I didn’t know what to expect, but certainly that was the best part of all: not expecting anything, just let myself be amazed by life experiences”.
In each of the three days, different speakers, panels and workshops took place throughout the day. The speakers came from diverse backgrounds and each one had a different success story. Lots of food for thought and new opportunities to discover as the ideas were spreading on the table. Entrepreneurship/Business, Startups, Tech, Marketing, Leadership, Human Resources were some of the main topics discussed. Though, everything was very interesting, by considering only this part of the conference, it doesn’t really cover why it was such a great one.
Right now you must be wondering what made this event so special for us and why we decided to write this article based on the event. Well, the truth lies in what happened between the sessions. That’s right. When no one was on the podium and everyone was out of the main plenary. That’s when the magic happened. Right outside, at the main hall, where everyone was gathered to take a break, something incredible was going on. Can you guess it? The answer is “Networking”. From making new friends and simply exchanging ideas, to getting job offers and finding business partners. Besides, we shouldn’t forget that most opportunities aren’t advertised.
Every new journey sets your future to a different path. Choosing new experiences just adds up to a new ending, and that always turns out refreshing. We are young and eager for opportunities; indeed, a travel is just the beginning of a new life. If there were a way to summarize this trip, we would describe it as: A journey worth the effort, an effort worth the experience!
Thank you HeySuccess & everyone who made this journey one in its type!