PERSONAL

Did I Ever Tell You About That Time I Got Stranded in an Island?

I have a confession to make.

Sometimes, when I’m scrolling through my Instagram feed and I see all those gorgeous pics of millennials having money fights in yachts (or what surely looks like it), I secretly daydream of fame + glory.

Sometimes, when I’m filming videos for my blog, I fantasize about having my very own video crew – make-up artist + personal stylist + copy wizard on my team + art director + second camera gal for B-Roll. It would be nice. And easier.

Sometimes, when I’m planning my launches, I imagine what it would be like to do everything I wanna do without having to worry about the freaking budget.

Sometimes… WAIT!

Did I ever tell you about that time I got stranded in an island?

Here’s the story.

I used to be a Program Coordinator for a Central American initiative that gathered the very top leaders in the region under one roof to talk about leadership and giving back. My back in the day gig.

Roatan, Honduras. June 28 2009. I was getting the final details ready for our next leadership seminar so I could finally go snorkeling. At approximately 9AM one hundred soldiers stormed the president’s residence in Tegucigalpa + flew him to San José, Costa Rica. Actions which he immediately called a “coup” upon his arrival there.

Later that day, Roberto Micheletti, the President of Congress and next in the presidential line of succession, declared a “state of exception” suspending civil liberties + various curfews were imposed nationwide.

Our conference was canceled. Obviously. Airports were closed. Mojito pool service was suspended. Sh*t!

Three days in, I’m STILL stranded on this island will all these VIPs, but no seminar. Things start to get scarier, and then… I have this vivid memory of Andres Botran, CEO of Ron Botran*, sitting by my side making phone calls.

* Mind you, Ron Botran is a line of rums from Guatemala distilled by the Industrias Licoreras de Guatemala, the same distillery that produces the world renowned + award-winning Zacapa line of rums. Aka his a freaking big deal.

Andres hangs up the phone, and says, “I got us a plane out of here, but it’s gotta happen within the next 3 hours. All bags stay behind”.

This would be a secret operation since all air travel was banned.

“I’m in”, I said. It seemed like my one opportunity to do something dangerous + adventurous to tell my grandkids. My Mission Impossible moment.

That night I arrived safely in Panamanian soil. Coincidentally it’s also the night David asked me to be his girlfriend.

And that day I learned about the power of being somebody. Someone very important people respect + admire + love. About the power of knowing people, who know people, who know people. About the power of being able to snap fingers + make the unimaginable happen.

And I remember thinking, “I WANT SOME OF THAT!”

One day I want be able to pick up the phone and be like, “Hey sistah, it’s Mayi Carles here. I need a favor. I mean a plane.” Or whatever.

For years, I’ve been scared to reveal this secret. Will people think I’m an ego-maniac? Am I?

Am I ku-ra-zy for wanting to live in a world were problems get solved by people? Not United Nations, not governments, but PEOPLE?

Am I selfish for wanting to live in a world were honest hard work gives you influence? Influence to truly create big tsunamis of change in the world, the good kind?

Am I opportunistic for wanting to live in a world where karma is at stake everyday all day? Karma that gets innocent people out of sticky situations, sometimes in the form of a private jet, why not?

Am I alone? Wouldn’t it be nice to be recognized? To be stopped in the street by complete strangers, “Hey, I saw what you did there. I thought that was pretty cool.” And to use that “celebrity” status to make the world a better place?

Can we talk about it? In the comments? Cuz I don’t want to feel weird about this anymore.

10 Comments

    1. Lol, despite the huge power of this story, I was wondering the same. Oh, ladies! Ops
      I feel exactly the same btw, Mayi. ♡

  1. I think this is great!!! Using presence to help is an amazing goal, and I think you are well on your way there! You have helped so many people already. I know a bad ass business woman like this fellow you mentioned, who at the ring of a phone can have a sea plane arrive and sweep you away from an impending hurricane. Millions in the bank aside, she has stayed heart centered the whole time and She has a philosophy – it’s called the cosmic firehose. She says, we all have a cosmic firehose, but when we figure out how to tap it into the hydrant (be that money, power, influence, skills, whatever) aim your firehose at as many people as possible. Spray that cosmic wonder on everyone you meet to make the world a better place!! So here’s to each of our cosmic firehoses, figuring out how to tap in, and to showering the world with happiness, safety, equality, and everything else needed to make the world better!! (& maybe so glitter and sprinkles too!)

    1. OMG!!! This cosmic firehose analogy. I can so visualize it now. And it makes TOTAL sense. I am so gonna tell David about this at dinner tonight. What a GREAT story/example. Thanks for your comment Kelly. Always makes me smile when you come and visit.

  2. Yes, in answer to your question! YOU are the big name in my world! Your honest hard work influences me! I actually looked up that rum and found a recipe and emailed my sons that we have to make it. haha And your cookbook recipes have made me believe “healthy cooking can still be delicious”. And your T-Rex heart helps me be brave.
    But I’m not a big name, I’m a teeny butterfly flitting around your t-rex jungle. haha 😀 And sometimes you’re a firework saying “Please let me blow up over your house and make sparkles everywhere in your dark sky..” and I wanna never say “No, I’m taking a nap”… I want to forever say “Yes Please! Do that amazing thing that you do so amazingly! I need it!”
    I officially give you the title of “Influencer” because you have influenced me in best ways. Thank you, Mayi!
    (I’m smiling right now! 😀 )

  3. Hi Mayi!
    I don’t think you’re alone, opportunistic, etc…I’d raise my hand if you’ll ask who else feel like these and wanna be like it…you know it’s good to know that you’re thinking this way and sharing it. I’m sure you’re not alone. And hey, you’re like more steps ahead already! Go go go for it!!!

  4. Mayi, what an amazing story and I´m so proud of you, because you say what so many people are afraid to say these days. I love your kind heart and your humanity. Thank you for inspiring my day.

  5. I’m there with you!!! Not selfish, actually I think it’s pretty Christlike, pretty generous, full of charity to be able to use your influence to make good change, to help others, to really make a difference. Isn’t that what this life is all about? At least in my head. In my head it isn’t a out the rat race those around me run or the politics people try to pull me into, it’s about moving closer and closer to the SOURCE of what IS. The blessed place where we can all feel peace, share peace and live peace.

    Amen.

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