Zach Horvath Common Vandal LIVE A GREAT STORY


Let’s chat about the rollercoaster of life and how amazing it is to be on the ride

Nicaragua on a Whim, Pt 1 : "Rich in Airline Miles"

Nicaragua on a Whim, Pt 1 : "Rich in Airline Miles"

“Oh fancy seeing you here” is a line that probably gets said at Whole Foods at least eleven hundred times a day. If you know, you know. If not, whenever you visit Austin you’ll quickly find out.

Sarah and I had run into each other probablyyyyy the last seven days in a row through a combination of Whole Foods, Barton Springs, ATX Sprint Squad and just Austin spring time-ing 💦☀️🌱

“I know right?! But it’s not going to happen for too much longer. My flight leaves in two weeks!”

“Ahhh ya ya! So exciting. You’re headed to Spain right?”

“Yeah I’m starting in Northern Spain near Basque country and then we’ll see what happens. I think I’ll be there for about two months and then not quite sure what’s next. Aren’t you going to be somewhere over there in the summer?”

I love travel convos, especially real travel convos. There’s vacation convos, basically just quick trips for people to escape their day to day life, and there’s travel convos, which are v different things. One is cool-ish, the other is super cool ✈️✈️✈️

“Mhmmm I’ll be in Budapest in August / September. My sister and I rented a big Airbnb and started inviting people so now there’s about 8 people flowing through over the course of the month. I know that’s near the end of your trip but if it works, swing through!”

It’s crazy to be able to say that 1) we’re renting an airbnb in Budapest for a month 2) we invited homies AND THEY’RE ACTUALLY COMING… super cool. In fact, we’re almost over our limit and it’s still like 4 months away which means inevitably we’ll get some stragglers who will have to sleep on the floor. If that’s you, you’re still welcome!!

“Ahhh ok ok! Yeah I’m still not sure about my plan but will definitely let you know. What else do you have going on besides B.S. all summer?”

“Welllllll I actually just booked a trip for Nicaragua…. for next Friday!”

Side note, that’s the first time I’ve correctly spelled Nicaragua. In the past couple days I’ve misspelled it every time and also keep confusing it with Guatemala and Honduras 🤦🏻‍♂️

“What no way!”

“Yeah it’s wild, definitely the most spontaneous trip I’ve ever taken, and especially the most spontaneous international trip. I literally just booked it like 30 minutes ago.

“Haha love it. What’s the idea behind it??”

“Are you checking out? I’ll join in you in line haha” because we were just standing half way between checking out, the entrance and the water cooler definitely in the flow of afternoon Whole Food-ers.

“So it kind of all started because my buddy Jimmy fell into a travel-crush. This Australian friend of a friend came through town and, as it goes with travelers, he fell for her despite (or because) she’s only quickly swinging through Austin for a quick stop en route to a Latin America walkabout.”

“Ohhhh ya I totally get it.”

“Yeah yeah exactly. So she left and no he’s heartbroken and wants to visit her down somewhere like Costa Rica, Guatemala, Tulum or somewhere else down there.”

As the convo keeps moving and the story deepens I can tell fellow WF-ers waiting in line with us are tuning in! Travel, love interests, spontaneous trips and tons of excitement means they’re all ears (and a bit of eye contact)

“So simultaneously I met this girl and it just clicked and it’s flowinggggg.”

“Ooooooh that’s exciting!”

“Mhmmm it’s a great feeling. The cool thing is that she happens to be in between jobs, like corporate/adult/full time jobs, so it’s kind of a rare window soooo what else is there to do besides visit another country??”

It sounds so crazy even to myself as I’m telling the story so I can understand why our fellow checkout liners are entertained.

I mean, this just happened, both today and in the last week.

M and I just met LAST MONDAY which is for all practical purposes yesterday. We hit the ground running and it was an absolutely amazing week, from our first date to coincidentally running into each other two days in a row, then she came to Eat Dinner, Save the World and hung with the fam and then Barton Springs and an epic show at Stubb’s.

Interspersed in all of the activities were incredible conversations about life, pursuit, love languages, job vs entrepreneurship… so it totally makes sense to take a trip, right?

“So I’m sitting with Jimmy by the pool and he’s telling me how he wants to visit this girl and I’m simultaneously doing my own scheming on how to loop M and I into the mix. I’m running the idea all the way through as he’s messaging A to figure out her route because it’s a bit tricky.”

Slowly we’re moving through the line and it’s a bummer that people are checking out and will miss the final parts of the story!

“So we’re sitting there by the pool soaking up the absolutely gorgeous ATX springtime sun and I propose a plan to Jimmy.”

At this point in my journey I pretty much pour all my money back into LIVE A GREAT STORY so I kind of don’t really have any money. I like living like a broke vagabond, prolonging climbing the ladder for as long as possible because once you go up, it’s hard to go back down, and once I climb up, I want to stay up forever.

And regardless, the top of the ladder doesn’t feel any better, it’s just filled with some more conveniences. The variables are a bit nicer but the essence is the same. It’s the road, not the destination, and I’m loving tf out of the current road.

“‘Alright Jimmy I have plan. Here’s how I can make this work : I kind of don’t have the cashflow to make this work right now since I just got back from Bali. But what I do have is airline miles. Enough for all of us. So I’m going to buy all our flights.

“Haha what?! You bought everyone’s flight??”

“Exactly. I have kind of a crazy miles situation so I just bought all of our flights.”


“Yeah it’s insane. I told Jimmy my plan, he agreed to pay me back for the flight. He messaged A and she said Nicaragua was the spot. I then called M and immediately she was down. In a matter of minutes all four of us were in for a spontaneous next-week trip to Nica. That fast.”

“Haha that’s craziness.”

“You’re telling me! This is by far the craziest spur the moment thing I’ve done. And get this… M has never been out of the country! She just agreed to leave the country for the first time ever NEXT WEEK trip on Nicaragua with a guy she just met a week ago.”

About this time we were up to check out so we did the thing, beep swipe click.

“Well thanks for sharing that story, super cool. Excited for your adventures. Look forward to keeping in touch and hopefully meeting up in Budapest!”

We hug and split ways. Walking away I open my coconut water shaking my head, still blown away by the situation… I still can’t believe that we’re headed to Nicaragua next Friday.

“This is a hell of a story…”

How to Visit Bali for Cheapppp

How to Visit Bali for Cheapppp