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The Lessons Accumulated from My Journeys: What's better than an MBA? The Man who Travelled the World


Life is a journey filled with countless experiences, and each adventure we embark upon offers valuable lessons that shape us into who we are.

One such transformative encounter occurred in 2004 when I met Silvo De Silvo, an Italian living in America, during my travels in Mongolia. Little did I know that this meeting would not only inspire me but also shed light on the profound wisdom gained from our journeys in life.

Picture taken in 2004 with Silvo on the right with my low resolution Casio Pocket Camera

Silvo's Story: Intrigued by Silvo's decision to travel far from home, I couldn't resist the urge to inquire about his motivation. Silvo graciously shared his tale, recounting a pivotal moment in his life where he faced a choice between pursuing an MBA or embarking on a journey around the world. He explained that while an MBA would provide him with recognition on paper, he yearned for genuine experiences that could only be gained through travel.

Red Wine and Cultural Exploration:

During his global escapades, Silvo, who was involved in the red wine business, delved into various communities' buying habits and celebrations surrounding red wine. This immersive exploration allowed him to witness firsthand how different cultures embrace and cherish this age-old beverage.

By keenly observing the entire process, from vineyards to consumption, Silvo gained invaluable insights into the diverse ways in which people connect with red wine.

Picture taken in 2004 with the acquaintances in the first leg of the journey. Silvo pictured here in the center.

The Power of Experiential Learning:

Silvo's decision to prioritize experiential learning over formal education showcases the power of hands-on experiences. While an MBA might have provided him with theoretical knowledge, his journey around the world gifted him with a comprehensive understanding of the red wine industry from a global perspective.

Silvo immersed himself in different cultures, interacted with people from various walks of life, and witnessed firsthand the impact of red wine on communities. This accumulation of real-world experience bestowed upon him a unique and genuine expertise that cannot be replicated within the confines of a classroom.

Picture taken in 2004 with Silvo in our first ever decent dining place in Mongolia. It's a restaurant in Mongolia.

Turning Experience into Opportunity:

Armed with his newfound wisdom, Silvo possessed a rare advantage when it came to career opportunities. By accumulating knowledge about different aspects of the red wine industry during his travels, he could present himself as a highly qualified candidate in the business development departments of American red wine exporters.

Silvo's firsthand experiences and deep understanding of diverse cultural practices surrounding red wine gave him a competitive edge, setting him apart from other candidates who lacked his level of immersion and authenticity.

From left to right: Myself, Silvo, Mongolian Family of three and Byoung from Korea, posing in front of their house. 2004


Silvo's journey around the world exemplifies the transformative power of travel and the accumulation of life's lessons. By choosing experience over a conventional path, he gained profound insights into the red wine industry from a global perspective. This firsthand understanding became a priceless asset, opening doors for him in the business world and positioning him as a worthy candidate for the business development department of American red wine exporters.

From left to right: Myself, Silvo,our Driver, Byoung, posing in front of their house. 2004


Our journeys through life are not merely physical voyages but also opportunities for personal growth and learning. Silvo's story serves as a reminder that by embracing new experiences, immersing ourselves in different cultures, and seeking genuine encounters, we accumulate invaluable lessons that shape our perspectives and enhance our abilities. The path less traveled often leads to unforeseen opportunities and a deeper understanding of the world around us.

So, let us cherish our journeys and remain open to the wisdom they bestow upon us, as we continue to accumulate life's invaluable lessons.


In one of my training, I shared the story of Silvo De Silvo, who was given a choice of taking an MBA vs traveling around the world, took the later. What he gained was experience and exposure that cannot be replicated. With the new found 'wealth', he will be able to go to any employer to state his value proposition as a business development manager for any company who has sights on a global market.


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