“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,” says 27-year-old old former Belgian model Jonathan Kubben Quinonez. He has been traveling through Latin-America since March, and his Instagram-account, @momimfine, is his way of telling his mom not to worry about his safety. In no time, he gathered more than 115,000 followers who apparently like to watch him reassure his mother that everything is gonna be all right.
Jonathan started his trip in Cuba and since then has moved through Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia and Panama. Wherever he goes, he posts pictures of himself, and there is one thing all those pictures have in common: a sign saying “Mom I’m Fine,” even when he’s skydiving or sitting next to a crocodile.
So far, Jonathan has only posted 27 pictures, and his mom absolutely loves it. “My heart skips a beat with every new picture,” she tells the Flemish newspaper De Standaard. “Jonathan has a Belgian father, but has a Mexican heart, like I do. We express our feelings exuberantly.” In addition to exchanging pictures, they also try to have their daily WhatsApp voice conversation.
Because Jonathan started capturing worldwide media attention recently, he hopes to be able to extend his travels, he tells Resource Travel. But first, he has to finish Latin America.
Where did the idea to publicly reassure your mother come from?
Well, the very first country I went to was Cuba. And in Cuba, it was really hard to get in touch with my friends and family, because WiFi is blocked in a lot of places. And when I finally was able to connect, the time difference made it very complicated to get in touch with my mom. Furthermore, telecommunication was extremely expensive over there. So I decided to take a picture, because a picture speaks a thousand words.
You seem to have gathered quite some followers… Did you expect that?
To be honest… I was wishing it… But not this much… Of course not… Even when I thinking about goals, for example to come across credible towards sponsors, I never thought I would gather more than 100,000 in two months and with only twentysomething posts…
Obviously a lot of people are amused by your pictures. What are some of the greatest reactions you received so far?
I receive a lot of really nice reactions. Some people ask me to wear something they made in my pictures. Not for commercial purposes, just because it would make them happy. Sometimes people also recognize me in the streets and ask for a picture.
But the funniest reaction I got, was from my mom. She asked me, even though I am doing all this, “are you sure you are fine?” I think that’s pretty hilarious.
How long will you continue to travel, and what awaits afterwards?
My goal is to finish Latin America. Right now, I am in Peru, and I still have to do Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil.
Meanwhile, I have received some propositions to work. Companies have invited me to Australia or New York. So, if it is possible, I really would like to continue traveling. But I want to continue traveling in my way: saying my friends that I am fine, telling my mom that I am fine… You know, just continuing the things I am doing now, because I am really happy doing it.
And, actually, I would like to go just about anywhere, even to the countries that no one is talking about. I’m sure there are also a lot of adrenaline packed experiences out there that my mom would love to know that I am fine while partaking in them.