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Daily Inspiration: Meet Matej Padela

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matej Padela. 

Hi Matej, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
Me, my wife Lenka and our 2 kids moved from the Czech Republic to Michigan at the end of 2015 for my work. Originally, we planned to stay in the US only for 2-3 years and then move back. It has been already over 6 years and we are still here. We love our home country but we also fell in love with Michigan and its nature. During pandemic, we started thinking about getting a cabin up north to get away with our kids where we could relax and spend quality family time. We were looking for a few months but could not find anything what would meet our criteria. And when we found something, we liked, we lost it as the real market was crazy. However later on then we came across a cabin in Atlanta, MI. We bought the house and then found out that the community in Atlanta is full of great and kind people. 

Our cabin is about 3 hours from where we live and therefore, unfortunately, we cannot go there every week. 

Views from the cabin and sunrises over the lake make this place a sanctuary where we can relax and forget about daily stress. Therefore, we decided to share it with other people who would appreciate it the same way as we do and we started renting the cabin out during the time when we cannot go there. 

So far, we have hosted only a few families but it always makes us happy when we hear they had a great time at our place. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Our road to where we are right now definitely has not been smooth but we are not the type of people who would complain. We love dealing with all the bumps ahead of us and our favorite motto is “We don’t grow when things are easy, we grow when we face challenges.” Only moving from Europe to the US with 2 little kids was a challenge on its own and it is difficult to pass such experience on. 

Regarding our cabin itself, the first obstacles we had to deal with was the crazy real estate market where there were buyers who just come with pile of cash and would beat us right away. This happened to us a few times with other properties we liked. 

Fortunately, when we put an offer on the cabin in Atlanta, we realized it was a nice older couple who wanted to sell the house to good hands. Once they accepted our offer, they kept their word, although there were other cash offers. 

Once we got the keys, the real challenges started… waiting for furniture for months, looking for contractors who are available and mainly reliable (we were so shocked learning that most of them just do not show up!), 

Long story short – all things are going slower and are far more expensive than we expected. Nevertheless, it does not stop us from making this place a dream lake house in Northern Michigan where people want to come back again. Slowly we are working on the long list of plans – in June we are adding a brand-new dock, adding some fun stuff for the kids around the house, and later this year finishing the basement to be able to host bigger groups. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I work as a sales team leader covering NA region for a global company supplying plastics and elastomers to various industries. My wife works as an operations manager for a US-based mobile home management corporation. 

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
There is a lot of free but valuable information on Facebook and YouTube – one just needs to put it all together. However, it is necessary not to get lured by all the gurus as they all offer trainings for thousands of dollars. You can learn this business by yourself from all the available resources. Also, we were able to connect through Instagram with a few other hosts who are willing to help and share their knowledge and experience as they have been hosting longer than us. 

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