Today we’d like to introduce you to Kaylee Boyle.
Kaylee, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have been told, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never work a day in your life.” Although I can thank Mark Twain for saying those famous words, I can also thank my parents for having adopted that philosophy, embedding it into my head from a young age and demonstrating the beautiful combination of hard work and passion. This is where the idea of Gusto Mexico came to life, combining my passion for life with travel, culture, food and drink, and meeting and interacting with like-minded people.
My adventures in Mexico began when I was barely a month old when my dad opened a restaurant in Cabo San Lucas. I grew up playing in the warm sand and being lulled to sleep by the sounds of the surf and the melodies of the mariachi bands. Since my childhood in Mexico, I have chased every opportunity to learn about people and places around the world. I am lucky to say that my experiences have expanded into all 50 states, over 60 countries and all seven continents!
On the professional side, I got a Master’s Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management and have worked for prominent California luxury resorts and other high-end travel and adventure companies throughout Latin America. Yoga and surfing have become a huge part of my personal happiness and spiritual wellbeing, so it was natural that I would want to incorporate those into my business, becoming a certified teacher and coach in both respectfully.
I have come full circle from my childhood in Mexico to operating a business that introduces others to the pleasures of the country, utilizing my professional experiences to create unique getaway packages to some of Mexico’s most charming towns. It’s a wonderland for the senses and my purpose, passion and pleasure is to share it in special ways with others!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Although my company is still relatively new (we just hit our one year mark!), there have definitely been challenges along the way. One of the hardest things for me was actually getting started. I had waited for years to start my own business, allowing fear to hold me back – fear of making a mistake, fear of looking foolish, fear of making the wrong decision, fear of the company not being good enough. I spent too much time trying to neutralize my fear, which actually kept me exactly where I was in the first place!
After years of working in the industry and fine-tuning my idea, I slowly began to realize that it wasn’t fear that was holding me back, it was waiting to stop feeling afraid that was holding me back. One of the most underrated secrets I learned from this was to start before you’re ready. Starting before I thought I was ready forced me to step up and pull the trigger. I realized I didn’t have to make the company perfect, I just had to get it going.
As I begin to plan and finalize more and more experiences for the company, sometimes I feel weighed down by the ever-growing list of things I have to do, but I always come back to the fact that with every little thing I check off my list – replying to emails, posting one social media post, finalizing an excursion – that this is real-life progress and everything little step counts towards my bigger goals.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Gusto Mexico story. Tell us more about the business.
Gusto Mexico offers experiences that are handcrafted from the ground up to offer vibrant cultural experiences like no other. Everything from exploring local culture, trying incredible food and meeting fun like-minded people from around the world is offered. The adventures always take place in beautiful, hand-picked destinations throughout all of Mexico! We believe in living a happy and vibrant life through experiential travel for adventurers.
Each experience is uniquely designed to bring a small group of individuals together in beautiful natural settings. Our mission is to have the time of our lives while reviving the senses and tuning into ourselves. The main thing that sets us apart is that each trip is designed with the five senses in mind: Tasty local cuisine, inspiring destinations, fun and lively rhythms of music, the feel of complete relaxation and rejuvenation, a playful and open environment, cultural and self-exploration among other things!
One of the things I am most proud of as a company is that once I trained myself to get over my irrational fears, I didn’t play it safe. I realized that growth would never come if I didn’t step out of my comfort zone. Owning my own business became more important than my insecurities. As I challenged myself more to make my goals a reality, I grew as a person and saw that I was able to rise to the occasion, overcome hurdles and obstacles, and actually succeed in accomplishing something new and challenging.
What role has luck (good luck or bad luck) played in your life and business?
I think luck has played a roll in the fact that I have been fortunate to grow up traveling and with entrepreneurial parents. It has also been determination and hard work that have combined with luck, as well as support from those I surround myself with. The amount of people that have been on my side has been truly incredible. My family has shown huge support throughout this process. My brother designed the entire website and assisted me with marketing campaigns, logos, branding, social media, literally everything! He was the one who sat with me for hours over beers and blank papers, brainstorming and coming up with ideas of how to make my dream a reality. I will probably forever be indebted to all the work he has done for me.
My parents have also helped in countless ways, also spending nights brainstorming, spreading the word to their friends, letting me use their personal and professional resources, etc. Various family members have shown support by booking trips with me (which is great when you have a huge Italian family!). My boyfriend is always there to lend a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on when I am feeling overwhelmed. My friends have shown support by helping spread the word, booking trips and sharing social media posts. Although I am very independent, I never would have been able to be as successful as I am without the amazing people I surround myself with.
- Tulum // $1,525 – $1,850
- Sayulita // $800 – $1,250
- Ensenada // Starting at $700
- Website: www.gustomexico.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org