It’s not about the destination. It’s all about the journey.

One of many beautiful murals in Barrio Logan.

Things aren’t always what they seem. Or are they?

A couple of weeks ago I accepted an invitation to travel to San Diego, California for an influencer event. I had never been and had really heard great things about this city. Especially about the weather, so I decided to accept. It would also be my first time interacting with the Kia Motors Company and so I told myself that was another great reason to say yes.

Before I knew it the day was here and I was bidding adios to Anjelica and Edgar for a few days. I was excited to be traveling to a new place for the first time. We had recently come home from another exploratory trip over the summer – this one through New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada – and that one had really felt special. We didn’t make it to California that time, but we had stopped at the Grand Canyon and that was pretty magical in it of itself. So, of course, my expectations were quite high.

Both were technically “work trips,” but when you’ve been doing this as long as we have, you learn to just have fun and enjoy yourself on any new adventure.

It’s now been a few days since I returned home to Houston, and it really has taken that amount of time to fully process this trip. It was one of the most memorable ones I have been to in quite a while. That has to do mostly with me, although if I am being completely honest, Kia really did pull out all of the stops to make sure everyone in attendance was really having an amazing time. From the town car that picked me up at the airport to the impeccable digs at the Hard Rock Hotel in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, everything was just so well planned and put together.

I’ll get to more of that in a minute.

For me, this was a trip about reconnecting with myself and with Juan of Words (if that makes sense to anyone outside of this blogging business). You see, in the last couple of years I had grown incredibly busy in many things outside of my blogging duties. I’d taken several high powered, high demand jobs that really required my full and undivided attention, and in doing so in a way I kind of felt like I had lost touch with myself as a writer and as one of the founders behind Juan of Words. I’d often find myself questioning where my passion project stood and if I had veered too far off field that I would now not be able to find my way back?

It was a question that kept me up at night.

The good thing is that despite my creative frustration I was able to move forward and continue producing content I could stand behind and be happy with. That, in large part can be attributed to my wife’s savvy counsel and invaluable patience throughout this whole process. She always knows what to say to get me out of a rut. Anyhow, as the San Diego trip came to an end I couldn’t help but to feel different in some way.

This amazing group of influencers and content creators that Kia brought together reminded me again why I began this journey in the first place. Everyone there besides being super talented and super creative was at their core a true storyteller. That’s why we created Juan of Words all those years ago too. It was as if a switch went off in my head and all of a sudden all of the missing pieces made sense. I guess you could say I found my mojo again in San Diego!

That feeling is quite incredible.

Who knows what it was exactly that struck that chord, but all of a sudden I knew that despite everything that had happened in the last couple of years nothing had really changed in my purpose for Juan of Words. Perhaps it was the powerful sense of pride I felt at Chicano Park; maybe it was the incredibly honest message Kia delivered to us to just be ourselves; or maybe it was just the change of scenery.

Whatever the case, I’m sincerely thankful and humbled for this experience. Now let’s see where Juan of Words will take us next!

Here’s a little glimpse of all the fun and exciting activities we had the opportunity to participate in with Kia while in San Diego:

It’s not about the destination. It’s all about the journey.

An incredible view of the San Diego Bay.

It’s not about the destination. It’s all about the journey.

Everyone on this trip was amazing.

It’s not about the destination. It’s all about the journey.

All the Kia vehicles we got to test drive.

It’s not about the destination. It’s all about the journey.

It was a great experience all around.

It’s not about the destination. It’s all about the journey.

The theme for this event was definitely soul and sound!

It’s not about the destination. It’s all about the journey.

Great band who performed for us at dinner.

It’s not about the destination. It’s all about the journey.

Tasty treats from Kia’s rocking party!

It’s not about the destination. It’s all about the journey.

Just a lowrider cruising down the street.

It’s not about the destination. It’s all about the journey.

Balboa Park.

 It’s not about the destination. It’s all about the journey.

Chicano Park.