Mickey Mestel is an unusual product of the American Midwest. Growing up in Colorado during the 60’s and 70’s, he always felt there was something more, something else out there, but never was able to pinpoint just exactly what that something was. A rebellious youth turned in desperation to a higher education, and after graduating from Kent State University, he forsook the snow and cold of the mid-west for the more gentile clime of northern California. That and the lure of Silicon Valley to fuel the passion for computers he developed whilst at university.
Mickey prospered in computers, but still felt there was something missing, something undefined, some void that yearned to be examined and hopefully filled. His first full time employer out of university made the unbeknownst to them mistake of sending him overseas for work, and the seed was planted, the proverbial brick had hit him in the face: there was a whole world out there to discover, and damned if it didn’t need discovering!
Just short of his 30th birthday, he quit his job, sold everything he owned, and traveled the world for 4 years. Coming back from something so extreme, reentering normal life was a task, but when it was done two things were needed: a re-entry into the world of computers, and continual travel. He went on to become among the top of the database computing industry at the time, and eventually founded a computer company with two friends during the dot com era that survived the crash by being purchased by a larger company.
From there, Mickey continues to travel, looking deep into the cultures he becomes, to whatever small degree, a part of as he travels to these remote destinations. Having been through the Suguta Valley in northern Kenya 4 times now, he is one of a handful of people on the planet who have been there more than once, let alone been there at all. Being able to look as an outsider has given him the ability to look at his own culture as an outsider as well, with the thankful understanding that just because he is from there, doesn’t in any way make it better than any other, simply different.