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Rising Stars: Meet Danny Navarro

Today we’d like to introduce you to Danny Navarro.

Hi Danny, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start, maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I grew up in Miami, a city filled with cultures from around the world that I was always curious to travel to. However, we grew up in poverty, and my parents were undocumented. There was no way to travel abroad except by myself to Colombia as a kid. I had my first taste of international travel when I went to India during college, an eye-opening two-week experience that challenged not only my ideas but my taste buds too! Yet, I wouldn’t travel internationally again for another six years, when I first traveled with my then-girlfriend Laurie to my friend’s wedding in Bangkok, Thailand. We traveled through Vienna and Tokyo as well. When I proposed to Laurie two years later, I promised her that we would travel the world. Sure enough, we agreed to go to Bali for our honeymoon. Rather than travel economy again (as we did for our Bangkok flight), we began our travel-hacking journey. We reorganized our finances, signed up for the necessary credit cards, and ensured that we paid our bills every single month. Our commitment to travel-hack our honeymoon allowed us to only pay $5,000 out-of-pocket for a trip valued at over $20,000, or basically, we saved 75% off on our honeymoon!

Our honeymoon experience inspired us to create LatinosWithPassports, our Instagram account where we share our best practices to manage one’s finances and travel-hack our trips. We want to share our experiences of budgeting and travel hacking to ensure that others with a passion for traveling can do so without breaking your wallet. We look forward to helping our community achieve their travel dreams and build generational wealth.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Nada es facil en esta vida. Nothing is easy in this life. I do wish I had gone to mental health therapy long before I actually did. I didn’t realize just how much childhood trauma I had to process and discuss so that I could further grow as an individual. I now advocate for our people to get help and find someone to talk through your feelings – gotta take care of you first! Y pues viajando por el mundo was one of the ways I began to heal and grow as an individual and later as a partner/spouse to my wife.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a civic engagement professional with ten years of experience working in political campaigns, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies running elections in the United States. My travels have allowed me to better understand the benefits and drawbacks of democracy for minority populations across the world. I strongly believe democratic governments can work, but a society has to ensure that the government it establishes remains accountable to its people, and that the society itself embraces pluralism and cultural diversity to ensure the long-term health.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
Stop giving yourself excuses not to travel the world. For myself, I wished I didn’t hold myself back because of money (my university would have paid my study abroad), or not knowing the language (my English and Spanish would have carried me), or fear of not liking the food (oyeme I wish I would have embraced din sum and sushi long ago). However, the biggest excuse I was giving myself for not traveling was the guilt of privilege that I could while my parents couldn’t. This guilt took a long time to shed, but once I did, I was able to discover a whole new world, while healing my soul along the way. Mi gente, vamos viajando, because the world needs to see us Latinos thriving in this world!

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