Going out west was a big move for me because I was young, and I was finally moving away from my hometown. Vancouver is a great city and the Island is a really nice place to live. People are very nice and relax. It was definitely a very nice place to go for a first trip and surprisingly many people speak French over there. But I still managed to learn some English, and it was the beginning of a long learning process.
After I came back in Quebec, I studied computer science in Montreal and for the first time, I realized that I could make useful stuff on my own and make a difference in the life of people with a few lines of code. That was cool! I didn’t like coding that much, but I liked the idea of creating something new on my own.
So, I continued with this idea in mind and studied engineering at the university for five years where I learned many useful things but the most important was: how to teach myself anything and learn by myself. As opposed to the way we learn at university, so intensively that we barely remember a fraction of what we learn, I think the best way to learn is by teaching ourselves new things every day, constantly and concentrate on things we are passionate about.
If you think you don’t have a good memory, try learning something you really love. Something you are passionate about. Suddenly, you will outperform everybody else!
After university, I decided to leave on a one year trip to South America. For one year, I backpacked in 7 different countries, I met amazing people from all around the world, I volunteered, I learned Spanish and trekked across amazing landscapes, hiked a few mountains, the highest summit I climbed was the Huayna Potosi, at 6000 meters, and I walked through wonderful valleys and deserts.
This trip was a big turning point in my life as it released what I had inside for a long time. As I was traveling, I gained in self-confidence and started thinking about my future and started to draft business ideas. I was analyzing business models of successful hostels I was staying in, coffee shops, yoga retreats, adventure agencies, buses companies, etc. At some point, I was very close to investing everything I had to buy a land and launch a camping camp in Brazil, but it was too complicated for a foreigner with very limited resources. So I came back home after one year of traveling, a little after I was horse riding by the Pacific Ocean in Chile ;)
Less than six months after I came back, the stock market was going through the worst crash in a lifetime. Isn’t it crazy how events align in life with amazing timing? I took the leap and invested all I had left in the stock market. I didn’t know anything about investing, but I trained myself 12 hours a day, reading everything about it with the only idea in mind of finding great companies at discounted prices
It worked great for a while, but easy money never last. I became, what you should never be, greedy! I invested in Chinese companies and I found out pretty soon that abroad companies don’t always follow the same accounting regulations as Western and European countries.