My name is Laz Mendez; and this is my travel memoir LIFE ON STANDBY! I travel around-the-world and connect with hospitable people from different cultures to see each destination in a local perspective discovering “The 4 P’s of Traveling™” (PEOPLE- PLACES- PLATES- PARTIES)

Life On Standby is about more than just getting to see new places and things, it’s about making special connections with people and learning all about their culture, lives, and philosophies. I believe that “hospitality exchange” is a great form of traveling and that life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them.

Travel has changed my life and being a traveler is more than a hobby for me, it’s who I am! I’ve been doing this for about 4 years (2008 – 2012) on a shoestring budget, flown over 250,000 miles “STANDBY” and have NOT paid retail price for a flight yet.

Living an unconventional life with a new obsession to experience the world, my mission is to seek different cultures by the help of hospitable strangers, share my adventures, and inspire other to travel. Follow me as I will take you on my wandering, eventful, and spontaneous voyage discovering (The 4 P’s of Traveling.)

The 4 P’s

The 4 P’s of Traveling is a formula that I’ve created and everywhere that I travel to; I seek for the 4 P’s (People, Places, Plates, and Parties)

  • People: Everyone! Interesting characters from all walks of life with amazing stories and great hospitality to show me their city or country in a local’s prospective.
  • Places: Everywhere! I might do something touristic at times but my journey is often ‘off the beaten path’ which leads me to explore the hidden gems of all of the different places that I go to in the world.
  • Plates: Anything! From a fancy dinner, hole in the wall mom and pop shop, street food, a traditional culture home cooked meal with a huge family or Bar-B-Q with locals.
  • Parties:  Anywhere! Whether it’s a social gathering of any kind, house party, or nightclub I’m there! Also any weird events like the “Silent Rave” in NYC.


My Story

I was born to Cuban Immigrant parents in Hollywood, FL, raised in section 8 housing. My first time on a plane and out of the state of Florida was when I was 22 yrs. old; I immediately caught the travel bug and wanted to travel more. Not having any money or resources I got a job in late 2008 working for an Airline which allowed me to fly “STAND-BY”.

Having made this opportunity for myself I wish that I had friends all around the world and that’s when I stumbled upon CouchSurfing which put me in contact with some of the most incredible people from all over the globe.

My first adventure using the hospitality website was to Bogota, Colombia where I stayed with a complete stranger. This experience opened my mind and heart to how wonderful people are, and how exciting it is to be immersed in different cultures.


Interesting Facts About Me:

– Favorite city I’ve visited: Chicago

– Favorite Country: Thailand

– Favorite Food: Cuban Cuisine

– Favorite Beach: Halona Beach Cove, Oahu Hawaii

– Best Night club I’ve ever been to: Pacha Night Club in Barcelona, Spain

– Favorite drink: Reinventing The Arnold Palmer Drink

– I love Burgers must always try one everywhere I travel,
once I spent $41 for a burger!

– At 22 I became a mentor (Big Brother) for a non –profit organization
Big Brother Big Sister