See you later

About a year ago I was so excited to accept my job as front office manager at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina. I wrote about my dreams of San Diego and them coming true before my very eyes. 

The experiences I’ve had as an operations manager with Hyatt have been extraordinary, bestowing upon me a wealth of experience and knowledge. Moving to San Diego has taught me a lot about life. I’ve learned that time is precious and a thief. I’ve learned that working to live is more important than living to work. I’ve learned that my 20s are going to go by way too fast, and I should enjoy them. The fast-track mentality, which was engrained in my head from my New York, is overrated. You cannot focus too hard on the destination, because the journey is what makes getting to that destination worth it. Last, but certainly not least, is that success is based upon happiness. True happiness is the pinnacle of life. Money, titles, assets and all those tangible things are important, but to reach a point where you wake up everyday and love where you are and are proud of how you got there is how one should gauge “success.”

This afternoon I was officially accepted to the Master of Science in Real Estate Development program at New York University.

The decision to pursue this was an arduous one, which I have previously wrote about. I battled with the ROI in furthering my education versus the management fast track. The thought of more debt, considering that I’m still digging myself out of undergrad, was daunting, but then I realized you can never have too much knowledge. I’ve read countless contradicting articles regarding grad school. Some say it’s a poor investment while others praise it. At the end of the day we are all different, so to say a decision such as this is either good or bad is pointless. My biggest battle was the feeling that I was taking a step back. I’ve been told my pride will be my downfall, so I had to let that mentality go because in reality bettering yourself is always progress. 

With that being said I have left my position with Hyatt for the time being to pursue this next journey — another tough decision, but one that was necessary and done with a lot of professional and personal support.  In the meantime I’ve decided to relax in my little beach house in San Diego for the summer, travel a bit and enjoy life as a 24-year-old before heading back home to the greatest city in the world.

I’m hoping to take this education and develop smarter hotels — properties that take into account the back of house as much as the front. Hotels that people love to stay in and love to work in. Hotels that I will be proud to leave my mark on.

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the HOTELS community, especially Jeff Weinstein, for giving me the opportunity to share my stories, thoughts and ideas with the hospitality world. To everyone who has reached out to me during these past two-plus years, I cannot thank you enough for the priceless comments, advice and feedback.

Consider this a “see you later,” because I promise you will be hearing more from me in the future.

Now, I’m not a big quote guy, but I want to leave you with some awesome words: 

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

– Christopher McCandless

All the best,

Joe Hayes