Startup Stories: On a Wing and a Shot of Tequila!…

Startup Stories: On a Wing and a Shot of Tequila-Travelling through Mexico
Its funny how ideas come about sometimes, it can all be started from a life changing experience set in motion years before hand… Wooden Bet On It has a bit of history like that.

Chugging along in the world of Information Technology (IT), finally finding my passion in IT Training helping people with what I liked to call the “Light Bulb Effect”, when I would be teaching a concept and it would suddenly make sense to the student, you can almost see the light switching on in their head, I loved that, but didn’t love IT, it was about supporting the family, and luckily I was bright enough to just pick the skill set up.

An opportunity arose to fulfil a life long dream, and go to Mexico, this was going to be a life-changer alright, bigger than I could have imagined at the time (and while sitting here writing about it, still amazes me).

Travels, experiences, yes we all had some goodies!

Sitting here on this cold Melbourne winter day, it seems miles away from the tropical heat and sea breeze of the Caribbean…

Whilst so much of my journey around Central America was unusual, and fantastic with eye opening experiences at almost every turn, there are a couple of extra special moments, one of which changed my life forever.

I had been warned by a friend not to walk through the the jungle alone, this was because of ‘Banditos’, not because of what happened to me… occasionally “tourists” went missing doing the same thing.

Strolling along, I heard what I thought was a “Howler Monkey”, I stopped for a moment to look around, nothing more so I continued, only to hear the same noise, except this time clearer, closer and definitely not a Howler Monkey!!… As I bent down in the jungle as if not expecting to see anything, there in front of me was a Jaguar, the deep resonant purr of a jaguar is something you never forget, and there mere feet away, as I was bent down, I was eye level with him. The blood rushed from my head, with one of those “whooshing” feelings that you see in hyped up American movies when someone’s life is passing in front of their eyes. That was exactly how I felt at that moment!

The next few minutes of my life are both an incredibly strong memory, but also weak in the ability to judge how much time went past. Parts of this tale, are better in real life, such as sensing a tree behind me, the thinking “ooh should I climb the tree?”, to the “oooh no that’s a stupid idea, Jaguars love trees!”, it was at this time that a quiet peace came over me and I thought that if I was going to “go” this way, what an awesome way to go! So I relaxed into what was happening, and had thousands of thoughts of people and experiences I have had in my life. If you have ever had this experience before you will know how breath taking it is.

Time was passing, I don’t know how long, but the experience was incredible, during these next few seconds/minutes/longer?… I realised that we were just staring at each other, and I let out a little laugh as I realised his eyes were the exact same colour as mine! I was happy, content, and would stay like that forever if I could. At which point, he growled quietly, turned and walked back into the jungle. Silence.

What happened that day, changed my life, not only because of the dramatic introduction to the nature of Mexico, but because something happened to me… it hit me, how much life is fleeting, how one moment you are there, and how the next you could be eaten by a Jaguar in the jungles of Mexico!! (ok not the normal way to experience this moment).

It had been a life long dream to work in aviation, both as a Flight Attendant and as a Pilot. I decided at the moment, that I was going to leave my really well paying IT job (oooh pay packet how I miss you!!), my awesome boss and co-workers, and see what I could do to start that dream, after all life was for living and following your dreams!

I became a Flight Attendant, loved it! But I needed more, so I finished working for the company and started my Flight Training as a Pilot, that was 3 1/2 years ago, and although a pay packet would be amazing right now, I wouldn’t change that for the world.

It has now taken me back to the country of my birth, and my home city of Melbourne from years in New Zealand, and the opportunity to really try and kick off my little business Wooden Bet On It!

It’s hard yacka, but this is what it’s all about!!… with passion and drive, everything can be achieved. Currently 14 days out from the end of my crowd-funding campaign, its looking a little dicey right now, with 16% currently pledged, that is $300 a day till the end that needs to be raised, here’s hoping that by sharing this story (which btw is told much better, with more dramatic flare in real life, sitting around a warm cafe or bar!)… that I will be able to achieve this awesome way to support my family, while still being able to continue striving for my dreams. With your help I can!

The campaign is at: go have a look, make a pledge if you have a spare buck or five, would love you to join in on the journey!

Oh and just cause I think its awesome, one of my PR buddies wrote this up for me, I love it!


Oh yes and one last thing today, if anyone is confused, Eva Palacios was my travelling name, Mexicans had a hard time with “MacFarlane”, Eva is my name in Mexico, and one day a guy I was travelling with told a ticket office that it was my name, it stuck.

This a tattoo after my experience, it is the “Hecho en Mexico” logo.”Made in Mexico!

It’s hard to share that story, but I hope you enjoyed it and maybe took away a little inspiration?

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