Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Andrea Valeria, one of my favourite vloggers, digital nomads and inspiration to #overdoseintravel. Andrea is Panameña by nationality, and world citizen by heart. On her website itsatravelod.com, she shares thoughtful insight into the pearls and perils of digital nomadism, as well as useful tips to monetise your side hustle. I have lost countless hours glued to her Facebook videos and Instagram stories (she’s got quite the knack for those cheeky captions).
Andrea and her lighthearted musings have been featured on Forbes, Expedia, and just about every other “successful young people travelling the world and getting paid for it” list. If you haven’t seen one of her videos yet, what are you waiting for?
I’ve decided to specifically highlight Andrea’s efforts purely because she was one of the premier faces in the Digital Nomad landscape who inspired me tremendously to overhaul my lifestyle. Through her various social channels, she visually depicts the possibility to get paid to do what you love, no matter how outside the box it may be. She also always seems to be somewhere warm (my kind of lifestyle). Her articles and videos cover subject matter that people actually want to devour (How Not to Kill Your Travel Buddy is one of my favourite vlogs of hers). Andrea kindly agreed to respond to my nosy questions for the purpose of this article and here they are. Warning: prepare for immense inspiration and trip envy.
What’s the strangest thing anyone has said to you while travelling?
Well, I probably get this one quite often: “are you on a permanent vacation?” In my case, I’m definitely not. I work while traveling, which is the perfect way to sprinkle vacation elements into your everyday life.
What has your experience with catcalling been, both at home and away?
I have to say that the most intense catcalling I have ever experienced is in my own hometown, Panama City. Then, it’s totally non-existent in places like Hawaii. The most creative cat-callers I’ve heard have been in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Which is your favourite beach and why?
My favourite beach is Lanikai Beach in Hawaii because it was the first time I saw water that blue. Some years later, I fell in love with the beaches in the Mayan Riviera!
Which city is dearest to you?
Mexico City where I lived for 5 months last year. I was back recently, and it was like reuniting with an old flame… totally exciting all over again. I feel like home there.
Have you ever felt utterly lost in a negative way?
I’m a generally pretty positive person, but I did feel lost for about a year when I was living in a place that didn’t suit me and working a job that wasn’t fulfilling. Thankfully, I changed my ways and started being a nomad – which is the best decision I’ve ever made.
What would you say to someone to inspire them to travel more?
I have never met a single person that has regretted taking a trip. In fact, I recently had dinner with a new friend who said: “I wish I would have started traveling sooner.” It’s one of those life experiences that are bound to enrich you and make you a more well-rounded person. No one digs regrets, so I’d just remind them to make sure to have no regrets when it comes to traveling!
Where in the world do you currently call home (if anywhere)?
Nowhere in my case. I’m 100% doing the nomad thing. I have one suitcase and a carry on. Wherever I unpack is home for the moment.
Who in your life fills you with the most inspiration?
Not a single person, but really anyone who is extremely ambitious and driven. They force me to step up and hustle harder. Also, anyone who is grateful for what they’re achieving – especially if they’re a work in progress. I think it’s beautiful to appreciate every step of the way.
Which hidden gem have you visited that you absolutely recommend?
I’m not even sure if it’s that hidden because there are a lot of Instagram photos taken there… haha. But, “Bacalar, México,” without a doubt. I don’t think I’ve ever seen something that beautiful. (Google it and be ready to be blown away, if you’ve never heard of it).
If the world was your oyster and you could live anywhere, where would you choose?
I have one place in mind, but I also feel like I need to kiss a lot more frogs (AKA live in lots of more places). If I keep traveling for 5 more years, and my heart keeps coming back to that one place, then I’d pick it. If not, I just want to keep being a nomad for as long as my soul desires. Ideally, I want to live in each place for about 3-6 months… we shall see 🙂
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Rosie Bell is an international travel writer, author of the book “Escape To Self”, and content editor for Club Elsewhere. Follow her on Instagram @TheBeachBell.