"Help and collaborate with others every chance you get." [Interview 03 - Andrea]
I came across Andrea Valeria on Instagram one day and lit up as I watched/read her vibrant posts. “She totally gets it,” I thought. She’s a purpose-driven, entrepreneurial nomad who encourages people to create their ideal lifestyles and she certainly lives life in color.
Andrea is a vlogger who overdoses in travel, and vlogs about her nomadic journey & the stories of other people doing what they love. Her approach to digital nomadism has landed her on Forbes & Expedia! (You can find her vlogs under "it's a Travel O.D.") She's also sharing all her vlogging secrets and giving back to her travel community in her newly published book 'So You Want to Vlog?' Yep, a rockstar indeed. Check out a few of her gems below:
LN: If you had 1 minute to tell your story -- what led you to this point and where you're headed from here -- how would you tell it?
AV: My love of talking to cameras got me a job as a TV News Reporter. Since that was an environment where I had zero creative freedom, I knew I had to step away to start doing what I love. It also helped me realize I liked sharing stories, shooting and editing videos, which is why I started vlogging.
Some time later, I decided I enjoy having no ties to places, which is why I became a nomad. Now, I overdose in travel and tell my story and that of others I meet on the road who have cool travel-related projects.
What's next? You can ask me today and I'll tell you something completely different from what I'll tell you in 2 months. So, I guess just follow me on Instagram to see what I'm up to next? Haha!
Did you have any fear(s) before taking your first solo trip abroad? How'd you overcome it?
I left home (Panama City, Panama) at age 17 to go to college in the US, and I never returned. That could be considered my first solo trip abroad. I didn't quite have to "overcome" any fears, because I guess the excitement has always been greater than the fears. I adore traveling solo now. I get a kick out of that feeling of independence, and the challenge of having to figure it all out on your own.
What are the most rewarding things for you about being a location independent content creator/entrepreneur? What about the most challenging?
Every single day that I get to do what I love is a complete treat, and I stop every 2 seconds to acknowledge how lucky & thankful I am. Getting the chance to meet other inspiring people is absolutely the most rewarding, because it's what motivates me to hustle harder. I don't think I'd be able to do that as easily if I didn't move around as much as I do.
In terms of challenges... having the discipline to work in a setting that people considered a vacation/touristic destination... and especially when you have no bosses or deadlines. If you're not focused, you can lose track and start having more fun than you should. Don't get me wrong... I always make sure I have downtime, but it's about holding yourself accountable and MAKING the time to get stuff done!
What's the single most important mindset shift that allowed to make a living by tapping into your passion for travel? If you could offer one tip for someone who wants to do the same, what would it be?
I vlog about travel-related topics. When I realized what people actually wanted from me is when I started discovering the real potential. As much as we're tempted to share the pretty stuff on social media or brag about our current location with a "my view is better than yours" caption, that's not helpful, inspiring or entertaining. That's just noise.
When I noticed I could make an impact on others by sharing what's really going on behind the scenes, offering tips and teaming up with others to do that is when I've been getting recognized. So, my tip is to not make it all about yourself, and always find how you can help others. Traveling provides me with the inspiration to keep learning, growing and in turn... sharing that with others. So, simply put -- help others and collaborate with them every chance you get.
Oh, and more practically and realistically speaking.... 4 words for ya': multiple sources of revenue!