Monday, July 16, 2012

Cultural Travel Guide, the new venture

I am so excited to let you know about my new project, Cultural Travel Guide!

In this new project I explore the cultural destinations of the world and help you plan your trip so that you can make the most of art, culture, history and entertainment!

Of course, design will always be a part of my life, and one of the key aspect of my travels!

So follow my articles at Cultural Travel Guide or check me out in my other channels:

  • Cultural Travel Guide on Facebook
  • @TravelCultural on Twitter
  • Cultural Travel Guide YouTube Channel
  • Cultural Travel Guide on Google+
  • Cultural Travel Guide on Pinterest
  • Cultural Travel Guide on Flickr
  • I'll see you around!
  • Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Goodbye and see you soon!

    Hello, Everybody!

    It's been two years since my last post, I'm sorry to say... Work really took its toll and it was not possible for me to carry on with my blog, even though I didn't close it down because I was hopeful I would post again.

    With a little sadness this post is to let you know that I don't intend to post again in this blog.

    I am working in some other projects which I'll reveal in due time and I hope you all come and join me there!

    I do thank from the bottom of my heart everybody who commented and emailed me, for giving me a chance to make a tiny difference and to help you with my articles.

    I am proud of what I wrote and proud of my little personal project, I learned so much and enjoyed it thoroughly.

    See you soon!

    Friday, April 03, 2009

    Relieve stress

    Last week I spoke about the two lessons I've learned during last year and 2009. Today I'll speak of the second lesson.

    Lesson 2: When things change more often than expected, don't sweat it. Adapt.

    Did I say I like planning? I do. But... too much planning can be a waste of time and effort.

    Sometimes things just aren't in your hands. You depend on other people, other areas in the company and I think we've pretty much concluded that the only thing you can control is your reaction to situations.

    Things change continously and the time lapse between changes is so short that there really is no time to plan again.

    What to do?

    Stop resisting, go with the flow. Adapt. New circumstances are thrown to you? Re-adjust yourself to respond effectively.

    No stress, no worry, no resistance to what is, because it already is!
    No complaining, no badbauthing, no resentments.

    Regroup, adjust and act.

    I wonder what lesson 3 will be...

    Friday, March 27, 2009

    Micromanaging or are you burning yourself out?

    2008 and 2009 so far have taught me two very important lessons. I will cover both in two separate installments.

    Lesson 1: Micromanagement

    First, let’s define what micromanagement is, according to

       /ˈmaɪkroʊˌmænɪdʒ/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [mahy-kroh-man-ij] Show IPA
    –verb (used with object), -aged, -ag⋅ing.
    to manage or control with excessive attention to minor details.

    I like planning. In fact, I love planning. An old boss of mine used to say that the Japanese spend 70% of the time planning. True? I’ve no idea, but I have seen better and more effective results when I plan whatever I’m going to do.

    Planning then starts to become addictive and soon you find yourself trying to plan not only your work, but the work of the people you work with.

    You want to cover all the bases. You hide your “control-thirst” behind an attitude of “I want to help, I want to teach, to lead”. And in the end you realize there just isn’t enough time to control every variable and more importantly, there isn’t enough time, energy or patience to “control” people.

    You are going crazy trying to take care of all the details, people start to hate you because you want them to do things your way, the results are not good and the stress levels rise rapidly.

    A crisis is reached.
    You reach a crisis.
    The smell of smoke coming from your brain.
    The realization of the time spent away from family, friends and hobbies.
    The thought: Was it worth it?

    No, it’s not. It doesn’t matter If you made a lot of money.

    My advice?

    Chill. Forget about control. Make peace with the fact that it’s not realistic to control everything. In fact, it’s not necessary. Trust in the people you work with (See the podcasts about delegation at

    Prioritize. How? One really good way is using Pareto’s Law (also known as the 80-20 rule), which states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. So choose the 20% of activities that have the 80% of impact in your operation, and focus on that.

    Pareto’s Law is just one way, but research more.

    Even if your team don’t deliver, it’s not the end of the world. Re-focus on that 20%. Avoid anger and regroup.

    Meet me here next time to review lesson 2!
    All the best!

    Monday, January 19, 2009

    Colombians abroad

    I just love it when this happens, you know? When out of the blue you find something that resonates with you. I love to see Colombians “making it abroad” and not forgetting where they came from. That, and weird coincidences, which deep down you know are no coincidences at all… I wonder…

    Image from

    Last week I was checking my favorite decoration blog on the web Decor8 Blog, which I usually do, and I stumbled upon a post about independent shops online and I started scrolling down looking at the pictures, when I see a sketch of a “Colombiana” soda, which is a brand of soda sold here in Colombia.

    It was a preview from a shop online called LeftyHand. So I followed the link and it turned out that this shop was created by Marcela Restrepo who in her own words is “a Colombian professional illustrator working in Sydney, Australia. Born left-handed, she loves chocolate, The Eames and staring at the window.”

    I loved her work!

    Anyway, I was reading today a brochure for the Lápiz de Acero Award for this year, when lo and behold, what do I see in the middle of it? A mention of a 2004 winner in the category of “Internet”, whose name was… you guessed it, Marcela Restrepo! She won the Lápiz de Acero Award for best website with her website, created, as she says it, “…to bring together talented left-handed artists and designers that are actually spread around the world.”

    Is this what they call the Law of Attraction?

    Well, at least it’s curious!

    Anyway, check her work. It’ll make you feel proud if you’re a Colombian.

    Monday, December 15, 2008

    How to Be a Star at Work: 7 Rules for a Really Big Career

    I read this fabulous article by Cathie Black who is president of Hearst Magazines, which publishes O, The Oprah Magazine. In it she presents seven ways to get ahead in your professional career. I thought it was very timely, so here it is, taken from

    How to Be a Star at Work: 7 Rules for a Really Big Career
    By Cathie Black

    From a lowly sales assistant to head of a magazine empire (...) Cathie Black has boldly gone where no woman has gone before. Here, in a preview of her forthcoming book, Basic Black, she shares her unorthodox (dare we say daredevil) strategies for getting ahead.

    Thousands of years ago, a handful of fortune-tellers roamed ancient China, traveling to the palaces of Mandarins and predicting the future. When they were right, they were showered with riches and praised at lavish banquets. When they were wrong, they were boiled alive.

    Taking a risk is scary when you focus on what can go wrong and exciting when you consider the benefits if all goes well. The trick is to think about risk in the right way and use it to your advantage. Most people see taking risks as opening themselves up to unnecessary, even dangerous, chance. But the truth is, avoiding risk won't keep you safe, nor will it guarantee a smooth ride.

    In fact, the opposite is often true. It's like the monkey parable: A monkey sees a nut in a hole and reaches in to grab it. Once he's closed his fist around it, he can't get his hand back out of the narrow opening. He can't free himself unless he lets go of the nut, but because he's afraid to lose it, he won't let go.

    Trying to avoid risk is like clinging to that nut. You may think you're playing it safe by holding on to what you have, but in reality you're just hindering your own progress.

    Keep reading...

    Thursday, December 04, 2008

    Transmilenio and design during Christmas

    I'd had a crappy day and then just when I was getting home, something brought a smile to my face...

    Yesterday was a long succession of ups and downs, mostly downs, made lots of mistakes, there was a tense atmosphere... at the end of the day I took a Transmilenio bus to go home. 50 minute commute, listening to my iPod, trying not to think too much about the events of the day.

    When suddenly, as the bus was approaching the Portal (Terminal, the last stop) the driver speaks up in this towering voice (which they never do, as you'd know if you live in Bogotá; Transmilenio drivers are not allowed to talk to passengers) and said:

    "Hello, passengers! My name is So and So (I'm so sorry I didn't get his name) and I just want to say to you all that it has been a pleasure driving you tonight and that I do this work with love, because I am here to serve you. I also want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and a wonderful evening!"
    Well, as you can imagine, we were all kind of shocked at first, thinking that maybe this guy was some psycho that was going to kidnap the bus or something. But then the whole bus burst into applause and some people yelled "And to you too!". I did have a funny feeling in my throat, a mixture of sudden happiness and tears.

    And what does this story have to do with design?

    Design as this driver drives. Design because you love it. Be excellent in your endeavors because it will bring you joy, because this is the way you serve the world. And your tool is design. Do you think you can reach such passion?

    All the best!