Hi, I am Elaine Villatoro, a Brazilian graduated in Business Administration and currently living in São Paulo. People always ask me, “where next?” as I always have a trip planned, and usually called “crazy” for being a woman who often travels by herself. JOIN ME as I share some of the experiences I have had, places I have been and tips that may help you to LIVE MORE, TRAVEL MORE!
When I think about my future I see myself as a super cool storyteller grandma, having a bunch of kids listening to my travel adventures finding it way better than fairy tales. It is funny to tell that while most people would picture themselves being a VP at their companies, a famous artist, or whatever successful career achievement anyone could have. But for me, I’ve discovered in my mid 20’s that over all this status thing my goal in life is to be HAPPY.
The curiosity to get to know what is out there is in my DNA, the people that have known me since I was a kid would say I was born a TRAVELER.
During college, I had a lot of fun going camping with friends in the coast of São Paulo.
When I was 20 years old I went to Fortaleza (northeast of Brazil), that was my first vacation, my first solo trip, first flight and first missing luggage.
After graduating I traveled abroad for the first time and spent 2 great years being an AuPair in California (USA), I never thought I could be so happy working as a nanny and earning such a small amount of money.
Instead of saving money to buy fancy clothes (it is impressive the number of people who asked me what I’ve bought when I came back to Brazil…), I chose to travel around the US and the surroundings. I went to awesome places that I had no idea they existed, I met people from all around the world, and that is where my curiosity to get to know more about other cultures and to learn how to say “Cheers” in different languages started =).
Like everyone else I’ve had hard times in my life, and in one of those hard times I did a quick trip to Peru in 2013 with the intention to renewing my energy and getting a fresh start. During that trip, I asked myself many times “What makes me happy?” and I figured that the most unforgettable moments in my life, the times I’ve cried for happiness, the times I felt more courageous, wiser, more religious, and many other good feelings happened pretty much every time I was traveling.
From that moment on I started considering traveling a real priority in my life, I would not abdicate of my vacation for money or anything, to me, nothing can by a travel experience.
I started to follow the holidays calendar, so I could by flight tickets in advance and save some money. I would also take advantage of the weekends and do something fun closer to home (hike, dive, etc).
In 2015, I lived in Sydney for 9 months for work, that was a great accomplishment as I worked a lot to get that opportunity. Once I was there, I made sure I would explore that big country, get to know its natural beauty and about its dangerous animals.
Today, these blessed eyes had the opportunity to appreciate 17 countries: Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, French Polynesia, Mexico, Namibia, Peru, Seychelles, Singapore , South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, United States, Uruguay and Vietnam.
I won’t let it stop right there, after all, we always shall listen to our heart, and today mine is telling me to do whatever I can to fully enjoy life and to be spontaneous as I usually am.
Sometimes when I look around I find people quite lost, with so many traumas, trying to be indifferent to others so they suffer less, and attending to other’s expectations while leaving their dreams behind.
I don’t know if it had happened to you, but I had forgotten to take care of myself while I was trying to attend other’s expectations. That is why, I feel that my heart is also telling me to do my best to inspire people to value better their life experiences. Maybe by leaving the phone in the pocket and talking to a stranger face to face, not working at night or weekends to enjoy the loved ones, or not getting a new car to have money to visit a friend that lives far away…
Well, I believe that once we put love into something we can work it out…There is plenty of love in this little heart, so let’s get it started =)