Woman Wednesday: Marae

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.         


Q and A with Marae, Cuba 

“Impossible, after all, is only an opinion.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about travel and connections. I believe travel has the potential to make this world a better place by teaching us about acceptance, diversity, strength, and values. It also teaches us self discipline and self-worth. My life has been changed with every trip I’ve taken, and it is my biggest dream to help women discover the travelpreneur lifestyle so they, too, can reap the benefits of a life lived in their own terms while discovering the world. At first, I traveled for fun; vacations, adventures, etc. But then, I realized every place I went to had the possibility to gift me with unexpected lessons and surprises if I dug a little deeper. Unable to stay longer because of work or school restrictions, I started looking into ways I could stay in places longer, travel a bit slower, and develop deeper connections.

 

 

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Now, I get to book travel for others and myself and make commissions on all of it. I also get to coach others on how to become digital nomads, and this has given a deeper purpose to my life than I ever could have imagined. Seeing others transition into this seemingly impossible lifestyle is my biggest joy. Every time I see someone making a living while traveling, my entire being smiles. I am currently working on a group coaching program that will allow more entrepreneurs to venture into this digital nomad lifestyle. I am also working on expanding my blog/social media channel and on learning how to be a mom for my first baby coming this June!

 

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was born in Cuba. I was not able to travel, let alone so much as speak my mind until I left my island country at the age of 12. My father escaped the country by swimming the Guantanamo Bay to seek asylum at the US base, and I knew from a young age that fighting from your dreams demanded doing things that people thought impossible. At the age of 16, I earned a scholarship to go study in Germany for a year, and since I had never traveled much before, and I did not know when I was going to do it again, I used all my allowance money to travel around Europe on cheap airlines and buses and staying in the cheapest hostels. That year, I visited 17 different countries and cities, and my life forever changed. I remember being mesmerized at how a place so “small” could be so diverse. I fell in love with travel and I decided I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing it. 

 

 

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Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: After I graduated from college, I got a grown-up job. I was making good money and had everything you’re supposed to wish for. I was selling commercials for ABC and Fox and I was living “the American dream” but life felt empty because I did not have more than 2 weeks a year to do what I loved most: travel. I quit everything and became a server at seasonal resorts and parks so I could live in different places every 6 months, and I would work vigorously for 5-6 months and then travel the rest of the year. When I found out people could make a living online, I tried many things. I looked into teaching online, started my own digital marketing agency, looked into drop shipping, worked as an online influencer, started a blog, and even worked for a couple of startups. None of it worked out perfectly, but it all gave me the skills necessary to be where I am at today.

 

 

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Through all the jobs and businesses I started, there was only one constant: I was on my way to figuring out a way to make a living while I traveled the world. This was my goal, and I was determined to make it happen, no matter how long it took or how hard it was. After I became a full time “digital nomad” working solely from my computer, I had months where I did not know how I was going to eat, yet I kept going. Months where I did not see any progress in any of my endeavors, days where no money was coming in, and many times where I even applied to on-site jobs as a back up because I was so afraid to fail…. But every time I got the jobs, I kept reminding myself that if I took the job, I would go back to the thing I was trying to run away from…a life in one place that did not allow me to be fully mobile to do what I love doing the most, TRAVEL.
Today, I am so thankful I stuck by my dreams and did not give up on this dream because not only am I able to make a living online, and not only do I travel full time, but I get paid WHILE I travel, and TO travel. This is what I’ve dreamed of all my life and I only got here through perseverance and determination. Not everything works for everyone, but there is ALWAYS a solution if you don’t give up.

 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism to me means possibilities. It means bridging the gap, filling in the blank, and opening the doors to opportunities. For everyone. It means standing up for what you know is right, and never taking no for an answer; impossible, after all, is only an opinion.

 

 

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I’d love to connect with you!

You can find me @bravefreetravel on Instagram or facebook.com/bravefreetravel and check out my site/blog here.

 

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Comment below! 🙂

Woman Wednesday: Stacy

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.     


 

Q and A with World Traveler Stacy (traveler of over 40 countries), The Sunshine State of Florida

“My favorite quote is “There’s a sunrise and sunset in every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss any of them.”

 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’m passionate about seeing as much as possible of the Earth and sharing it with others. I love exploring new places, seeing nature, and being in a new culture. Sunrises and sunsets are my absolute favorite! My favorite quote is “There’s a sunrise and sunset in every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss any of them.”

 

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I currently work for a large school district in Florida and love my job.

Being able to work with kids, I’m able to instill my love of travel and inspire them from an early age.

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: We didn’t travel much as a family when I was young because of financial issues. When I was in my early twenties, I began exploring and found my true love for travel. I’ve never looked back! I would say my big trip in my 20s was Ireland. It was my first non-tour or “family” trip and opened my eyes to all the ways of exploring the world.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Women and men being equal to each other. Same rights, same pay, etc.

 

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Having explored more than 40 countries on an educator’s budget, I always look forward to my next solo or group adventure. Check out my blog to join me on a memorable journey as we experience breathtaking views, authentic eats, and inspiring moments. Plus, get the ‘best of’ travel tips without breaking the bank. Transform your wanderlust into reality at sologatortraveler.com.

 

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Let’s connect! 🙂

Click here to check out my travel blog, learn tips and tricks, and follow me on my travels: sologatortraveler.com

Facebook: facebook.com/sologatortraveler

Instagram: instagram.com/sologatortraveler

 

 

 

Stacy & My Lilianas would love to hear from you! Comment below!  

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Woman Wednesday: Justine

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 


 

Q and A with Justine, Somerset County, New Jersey

People always ask me how I can afford to travel as much as I do at this age. Something I’d like others to know is that whatever you want to do is possible if you really want to make it happen. I make traveling and seeing the world a priority. This isn’t to say that I spend an extreme amount of money on it either. I budget it into my expenses just like groceries. I need to see the world. And while I love my job, I always feel a constant urge to know that the world and my life is bigger than sitting at a desk or on a train. It’s always worth it, and it is totally possible!”o

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I love my job and the field I am in! I am a book publicist so basically, I get to tell people how great certain books are and then organize events and book tours for authors. I have always loved books; this is absolutely my dream! I majored in creative writing and English, did a bunch of internships, got my master’s in English literature, and was hired at the last company I interned at! Now, I’m working at a company that works with a lot of books in translation that ranges in genre from thrillers to biographies and art books. I love being able to work on all different types of books and just talk about how amazing books are all day.

 

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Pictured: Justine in her element. As a book publicist, she loves reading books and helping authors.

 

Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: Sometimes you can give something everything you have and work your very hardest and fall short. It doesn’t mean that you failed. So much of adult life is about timing, working hard, and luck. At times, you can go every extra mile, outwork people around you, and still not succeed as quickly or as much as you would like. These shortcomings put things into perspective, and when you can look back on them and actually say, “I gave that everything I had,” then you know you did your very best. Just because the outcome may not be exactly in our favor, we have to take these experiences and use them to make us stronger for the next time. In short, life is not always fair, and you can’t let it break you! Learn from it, and don’t give up! 

 

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Pictured: Justine in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I always liked to keep super busy when I was growing up. I loved shuttling between softball, soccer, basketball, piano, gymnastics, ballet, cross country, track, and any other summer camps or art classes I could weasel my way into. Looking back, I feel so sorry for my parents who had to drive me around everywhere, but I am also so thankful and grateful for them always encouraging me to try everything and practice everything I was doing. I learned about committing to something and following through from a young age, and I also learned how to be part of a team, which is something I think absolutely translates to adult life in work and relationships. Even growing up, I was obsessed with books! I remember being in second grade and spending every free second reading to win more personal pan pizzas from Pizza Hut’s Book It program. While pizza initially stimulated my infatuation with reading, I quickly knew that I just loved books! I still very fondly remember my first author event during a first-grade assembly where a children’s book author, Dan Gutman, came to visit us and gave us each a signed copy of his book. I spent all my allowance buying all his books and thought that him coming to visit us was just about the coolest experience ever. Now, I get to go to author events all the time!

 

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Pictured: Justine at the New Jersey Balloon Festival. 

 

A part of my story that I haven’t mentioned yet is my passion for traveling. I love taking vacations to countries that I haven’t been to yet and going on adventures. I do this at least twice a year. People always ask me how I can afford to do this at this age. Something I’d like others to know is that whatever you want to do is possible if you really want to make it happen. I look online on tons of different websites to find the most affordable flights and places to stay. I use my vacation days around small holidays to make the trips longer. I make traveling and seeing the world a priority. This isn’t to say that I spend an extreme amount of money on it either. I budget it into my expenses just like groceries. I need to see the world. And while I love my job, I always feel a constant urge to know that the world and my life is bigger than sitting at a desk or on a train. It’s always worth it, and it is totally possible!

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Pictured: Justine enjoying the water and beautiful views in Italia (Italy). 
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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism means equality. I do not like being talked down to by men, being treated like I can’t do something as well as a man can, nor do I like being treated like I am a man’s property. However, to be honest, I’m not big on movements like the women’s march or large scale protests to assert feminism. I think that by showing the men you associate with that you are just as strong and smart(er) as they are, and asserting this belief into who you are is the best way to change the conversation. I think we need men to uplift women just as much as we need women to uplift women.

 

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Pictured: Justine and her significant other, Nick, traveling together in Iceland. 

 

I really think that the conversation about feminism needs to include men. I feel like there are two types of men: men who repress women and men who uplift women. The men who uplift women are able to do this because they are associated with strong women who are their equals. In my opinion, a great example of this is Barack and Michelle Obama. This may not be a popular opinion, but as much as I am rooting for women and “feminism,” I do think there is a lot of hypocrisy. I think that if a woman claims to be a “feminist,” she shouldn’t depend on her dad or her partner to do things like dealing with her car issues or squashing bugs. Once you get to this point, you can’t ignore other things that have become gender norms like men proposing to women, because we all still want our dream proposal and diamond ring. So, it’s not black and white for sure.

 

As a side note, I also believe that “feminism” is the cop-out men have been waiting for, and in 10 years, I believe “stay at home dads” will be the norm. So it’s a conflicting subject, to say the least, and this is a very loaded question. I could go on and on!


I think that this quote from the book,
“How to be Parisian,” sums up how I feel about feminism: “Of course you can open a bottle of wine by yourself. But let him do it. That’s equality too.”

 

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Pictured: Justine taking a stroll in Reykjavik, Iceland. 

 

 

 

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