David: “There’s an advantage to having to do everything yourself”

Working in a luxury hotel and traveling loads in your time off — it sounds like a lot of people’s idea of a dream life! But for David, it wasn’t quite what he was looking for.

So he left behind the five-star world in search of something more suited to what he wanted. Less than a year later, he’s created it in Mi Paisano Slow Hotels, a groundbreaking project about the best in sustainable accommodation options.

He came and had a drink with us to talk about what it’s like launching your own business from zero — and how it can actually be a great thing to have to do everything on your own.

For someone who doesn’t know anything about your project, how do you explain it?

We do marketing focused exclusively on accommodation options where the owners work at the hotel and use local products. The buildings they’re in are usually old, and always respect the environment they’ve been constructed in.

I worked in luxury hotels, but when I went traveling I went with a different kind of accommodation, one that showed you a little bit of the environment you were in.

I decided to focus on those kinds of hotels, and now I’m trying to see if we can create a collection of them. I also offer marketing and event organization for companies who want to hold events or meetings.

Have you been working on the project for a long time?

Just about a year ago, I left my job and started working on the project. So it’s about 7 months, it’s really new. When I left my job, I knew I wanted to do something like this but I wasn’t sure how to focus it.

I have a web programmer, a designer, and an illustrator too. But the actual project I do myself.

Do you have any trips planned?

Other than work trips, no, because right now I’m really focused on getting this going. I’m just at the beginning.

Still, I’m getting to know lots of areas of Spain, because the collection is mostly in Spain. When I go to visit the hotels, I go as if I were a normal traveler.

That’s not bad!

Yeah, yeah, it’s cool.

What about the part that’s not so cool?

Well, having to do everything yourself can be an advantage, but obviously having to do everything yourself!

Compared to jobs where you work for someone else, the disadvantage is that at the end of the month, you don’t have a fixed income.

But on balance, it’s really great.

Where does the name come from?

“Mi Paisano” is because I’m from Asturias, (and there it’s a word for) the people from the area who try to give suggestions. It’s also a play on words — “país sano” (healthy country). Nobody gets it, but it’s there!

“Slow Hotels” comes from “slow”, which focuses on traveling more slowly, staying for longer, getting to know the destination, and doing it all in a responsible way.

What makes your project special?

It’s the best-rated online collection of accommodation options and has the best reputation.

On top of that, it’s also groundbreaking in Spain. There’s no other collection of sustainable hotels with these characteristics.

What small changes can I make on my next trip to make it more sustainable?

Travel for a longer period of time or don’t visit as many things.

If you can travel using public transportation, trains or something, even better. You can also book these types of accommodation, try the local food, and get interested in the local culture.

That’s all, in the end, you don’t have to do huge things.

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-The Physem Team