A 27-year-old man living every traveler's dream found the perfect way to assure his worried mother that he is safe while journeying around the world.
Jonathan Kubben Quiñonez recently quit his job as a part-time model and consultant in Brussels so he could become a world traveler, dropping everything and selling all of his possessions, including his car, so he could jet from country to country.
For his first destination, Quiñonez picked Cuba because he wanted to see it "before it changed," he told ABC News. When he got there, he realized that internet access wasn't as readily available as it was in Europe. Quiñonez said it was also difficult to communicate with his mom and friends because of the time difference, and it was too expensive to call.
He knew he needed to find a way to let his anxious Mexican mother in Brussels know he was alright, so he created a sign that says, "Mom, I'm fine," and has been holding it up at every new destination and posting it to Instagram.
"Whatever your age is, if you have a [Latin] mom and a passion for adventure, you will have to find a way to tell her that you are fine," Quiñonez wrote on Instagram. "This is my way."
Quiñonez has been holding the sign up at every destination, and his Instagram account @momimfine has garnered more than 38,000 followers in a little over two months.
So far, Quiñonez has taken Latin America by storm. His travels show him in in idyllic destinations like Cancun, Panama and Colombia. He can be seen skydiving in Playa del Carmen, posing next to an alligator in Crococun, scuba diving near a shipwreck in the Caribbean Sea and dancing in the street in Havana, while a helpful stranger holds the sign in the background.
He landed in Lima, Peru, this morning and plans on visiting Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil before returning to Belgium in July for Tomorrowland, one of the biggest electronic music festivals in the world. His friends in Europe missed him, so they chipped in to buy him a ticket home for the event, he said.
In his latest post, video shows a deer kissing him at the Jaguar Rescue Center in Punta Cocles, Costa Rica, while his trusty sign lays on his lap.
Quiñonez said he never expected his Instagram to gain much popularity and that he didn't even know what Instagram was until he created an account.
"It's all new," he said. "It's crazy."
Despite his tens of thousands of followers, Quiñonez is only following one person: a fellow Mexican-Belgian model he met nine years ago and has had a crush on ever since.
"I just hope she sees the Instagram account and will like it," he said.
Companies have already been approaching Quiñonez to sponsor his Instagram account, but he hasn't yet received any offers he's interested in, he said. Several people have been asking him for travel advice, and he hopes his adventures can help them "dig deep down and do what they like."
"If I can inspire some people, I would be really happy," he said.