We choose the story we want to live
My name is Celinne Da Costa and I am blissfully, head-over-heels, crazy in love with the world.
Born in the heart of Rome, Italy, to a Brazilian mother and an Italian father, I’ve been a child of the world since I was introduced to it.
Since leaving Italy, I’ve gone from living in the quintessential suburban neighborhoods that American dreams are made of, to getting my degree at the University of Pennsylvania, to working a shiny corporate job in New York City.
In 2016, I gave it all up to design a life I yearned for: one that allows me to pursue my passions, rediscover myself, and nurture human connections.
It all began with a social experiment around the world, and has since evolved into a life-changing journey that has proven to me what I always knew in my heart:
We can design the life we want, if we choose to.
Growing up, I never felt like I fit in anywhere.
Since I immigrated to the U.S. as a child, I was sold the idea of the American Dream: work hard, climb the corporate ladder, make lots of money, buy a white-picket fence house in the suburbs, retire and travel when I’m old.
I always felt there was something inherently wrong with me for wanting something different. I wanted to:
see the world.
create my story.
make my own rules.
I silenced my dreams and instead settled for the “responsible” path to adulthood. I attended a prestigious university, got a decently paying advertising job, and started building a stable life full of comfort and routine.
All the while, I struggled with depression, anxiety attacks, and heart-wrenching feelings of incompetence — I was living a placeholder life, and no matter how much I pretended, I instinctively felt that I was meant for more than what society had prescribed me.
I hid from change, so life threw change at me.
By my third year living in New York City, the strong dissatisfaction growing inside me was almost unbearable.
Then, life intervened.
A series of events completely threw me off balance: I didn’t get the promotion I wanted, my ex-boyfriend unexpectedly broke up with me, my beloved grandfather passed away, and my rent skyrocketed. To top it all off, I had a heart-breaking experience volunteering at an orphanage in the slums of one of the unhappiest countries in the world, Cambodia.
After returning from Cambodia, I knew that I had to change my life. I was at the point where nothing was going as I wanted, I lacked purpose, and I had a burning desire for more.
I asked myself — am I going to do something about this?
That’s when I left everything behind, and took a leap of faith.
Six months later, I quit my job, packed a carry-on, and set out on a social experiment to circumnavigate the globe by staying with people with whom I shared a human connection. The challenge was that I’d somehow be personally connected to everyone who hosted me (friends, friends of friends, people I met on the road, etc).
Shortly before leaving New York, I made a promise to myself:
I will NOT spend another minute of my life consciously living in fear.
I spent close to a year putting my fate into the hands of people — mostly strangers — around the world. An astonishing 70+ hosts in 20+ countries across five continents opened their homes to me.
I believe they did this because they recognized in me what they recognized in themselves: a hunger for life, to do more with our days than just work, pay bills, and die.
Regardless of race, culture, or socioeconomic background, every person I encountered along my travels generously shared their stories with me, and as a result, unlocked a love for humanity in me that I didn’t even know existed.
I’m writing my story just as I want it, and my purpose is to help you create yours.
My journey taught me that we all have a story to tell, and that story has the power to change your reality. Why not make it a reality that reflects your dreams?
What is the vision for your life and your business?
What is the legacy you want to leave behind on this planet?
Are you proud of the life you’re building?
If not… what are you going to do about it?
The life you live starts with the story you choose to tell — to yourself and to the world.
As I carve out my own path, unruly and winding as it may be, I hope to lend you some inspiration and guidance to help build yours.