Reality is Stranger than Fiction – How a 10-year-old is rocking my life!
People keep asking me:
“Why did you go back to Bali? We know how you like to explore different places and you have been to Bali so many times and even lived there before?”
But what people don’t know is that Bali has chosen me.
I have mention part of this story before but it is time for an update.
Back in 2010, I started following this incredible family that were traveling the World. They were so inspirational because they basically made me believe you still can have a family, including kids and still be able to explore the different corners of this stunning planet of ours.
“Unstoppable Family” was their name and for years I followed them on social media, read their blogs, spent countless hours checking their videos on YouTube and even read their books.
Fast forward to 2015 – I realized they were living in Bali – a beautiful place I had the privilege to visit first back in 2011, and they would be hosting a mastermind on how to have your digital business & how to brand yourself.
Back then I was in the Middle East and the plan was to go to Australia & New Zealand so I thought… well, it’s on the way and I would love to meet them and attend such mastermind. It all made sense. Plus, there was a bunch of coincidences that happened that made it feel like it was meant to be. It was destiny.
And so I did. I got my flight to Bali and booked my place on the Transformation Mastermind.
The Unstoppable Family, AKA The Swans, organized a competition to the 100+ of us that were going to attend: are you capable to blog and vlog every day for a month?
And that, ladies and gentlemen, were my busiest days here in Footprints in the Clouds, for a month, I blog and video blog EVERYDAY and… sure, I won the competition – you can see those old posts here: Competition Posts
The award was to spend the entire day/night at this awesome yacht with the mastermind keynote speakers and record a rap video – which was honestly one of the funniest experiences I ever had here in Bali. And that’s when I started to get to know Hanalei better.
Hanalei is the daughter of the Unstoppable Family, and she is the incredible kid that has been traveling the world since she was 1 year.
As the time went by, I decided to extend my stay in Bali and one month stay became 2 months, that then became 3 etc, etc, and end up being an 8-month stay.
I started frequenting The Unstoppable House on a weekly basis, spent Christmas with them and later on, I even moved in. My bond with Hanalei and the entire family have grown strong and they became a sort of family to me. Rhonda, Brian, and Hanalei are some of the most incredible people I know and have always had a very special love for them, but was Hanalei that stole my heart since day one.
I often hear people complaining how children should stay at home and how irresponsible is to take kids to travel as it can be very dangerous.
To me, dangerous is not letting children seeing the real world.
Children that travel and are aware of different cultures, races, religions, costumes are the ones that can genuinely make a difference as they are often awakened and kind.
And Hanalei is the best example.
So let me tell you a bit about Hanalei.
She is 10 years old and she is a World Traveler. But she is also an International Speaker, a Fashion Designer, a Model and even an Author.
Hanalei was named after the beautiful Hanalei Bay in Hawaii where her parents live for some time. She was born during the Great Depression of our century, AKA the Great Recession – The Financial Crisis of 2008, and as many families and individuals all around the USA and the World, the Swans lost a lot of their money due to a real estate bad deal. So with a small child – Hanalei was one year old, and after selling their material stuff, they decide to just go and travel the World. They started an online business and they realize they could explore the world and focus on their business which they could run from anywhere with internet connection.
During Hanalei first decade, she has visited and lived in 6 different continents and 36 countries. She has attended schools in countries like Brazil, Panama, Peru, Mexico, and Indonesia. This might sound crazy to you but to her, this is normal as it is all she knows, however, she is aware of how blessed she is for the opportunity to see and explore incredible places and living the most fun experiences.
The fact that she has been able to learn about so many different cultures and befriend people from all walks of life, has definitely been a huge influence on her upbringing.
She is indeed special and I will tell you why. She is incredibly bold, extremely creative, imaginative and innovative. She is a strategic thinker and super smart & curious. On top of that, I have never met a child that is as charismatic, inspiring, enthusiastic and free spirit like Hanalei. Still, her best quality is how extraordinary caring and kind she is!!! Her heart is huge.
With all these qualities, isn’t surprising that at such a young age, Hanalei is taking the World by storm.
Since she was 3 years old, she has been telling her parents that she wanted to be an artist and a fashion designer. And while most parents, teachers and people, in general, ask the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up”, Rhonda and Brian asked Hanalei a different question: “What do you want to be NOW”!
So Hanalei has been creating her own fashion line, which by the way has been extremely successful. She wrote a book, she has also been doing some modeling and on top of that, she has been invited to go on stage all around the World to share her story – she actually has 4 gigs in 4 continents within 2 months.
So when past December I got a call from Rhonda asking me if I would be interested to move back to Bali for a few months to be Hanalei’s mentor and coach, how could I say no???
After all, it was the best news ever: to mentor my mentor’s daughter.
A month later I came to Bali and started by mentoring a bunch of exceptional children at The Unstoppable kids’ mastermind and after that, been focusing every day on Hanalei.
We have our little routine, meeting for brunch every morning, and go through her goals, her creations, and her schedule.
Our days can go from serious fun and glamourous stuff like being behind the scenes while she is recording a podcast; to be an entire day checking her out being a boss and manage a whole team of people during a photo shoot of herself and/or her collection, with models, videographers and photographers, makeup artists and hairdressers running around; to be there with her to celebrate when her collection is ready and see the tailors adding her label on her clothes (and sometimes even modeling her clothes while she is live on some social media) – to have normal days were we just go to the cinema or to her room to have pjs night watching some kickass movie or just lay by the pool talking about cartoons or checking new video clips on YouTube. But independent if we are doing “normal” stuff or I am helping her changing the World, it always feels like I am hanging with my little sister and I am so very proud of her!
She is so inspirational which makes my job pretty easy – we just focus and reach for the stars while having fun because, at the end of the day, Hanalei is just 10 and as much as it feels like she is a mini adult, she is still a child and at the end, her favourite thing still is spending time with her rescued puppies and cat.
“Hanalei Swan” – I am positive that you will be hearing this name a hell of a lot in a near future.
If you would like to get inspired, check her website, her Facebook page, her store and this incredible video on:
As for me, I just can say reality is stranger than fiction… back in 2010 when I was following a toddler traveling the World, never thought that someday I would be coaching her. Or maybe was Law of Attraction making its magic… guess we will never know 😉