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Olga María: the woman who encourage latinas to travel the world

“Travel around, get out of your comfort zone, explore even if it is your own neighbor, and if you want something go for it”

Latinas Who Travel is a travel community created to encourage Latinas to travel more and discover the world. Olga María, the founder of the community and travel and lifestyle Latina influencer, has had an amazing journey around the world, and with her lifestyle, has inspired many women to get out of their comfort zone and discover what is out there for them.

We spoke with Olga about this amazing community, but before that, she reminds us that Puerto Rico, where she was born, is going to recover from the Hurricane. “I know we are going to rebuild because I know we are getting a lot of help, people are moving and getting united”, shared Olga with hope and love for her Island.

SE: When did you decide to start Latinas Who Travel Community?

OM: The last 3 or 4 years I have been traveling a lot and I did not connect with as many Latinas on the road. Also, in the traveling industry, I did not meet as many Latinas, especially in travel. That is why I decided to start the community around December 2015 and launched it in January 2016. I did it not only for connecting with more people that understand my own culture but because I really did not see people, even in Puerto Rico, that travel to places out of their comfort zone. I feel like many times they travel to the same places, over and over, like the islands in the Caribbean or to Orlando or New York. So I saw the necessity to inspire other women to travel and to know that is possible to do so, regardless of your budget. That you could travel and maximize your experience if you put it as a priority. That was the main reason I created the community, and as a Latinos, our culture tends to be a little bit more strict when it comes to women traveling solo and as many times our own families tend to discourage us from traveling or going out there for ourselves. We are more family oriented traveling. A lot of people look at me like weird when I travel by myself, they said: “Are you going to Turkey solo? to China? are you crazy?” You get a lot comments about that.

SE: So, How do you think your community is breaking those stereotypes about women traveling by themselves? And as Latinas, how we have the power to change those ideas?

O: I think, as a community, we are always inspiring because I feel that many times when you see the regular media and ads, as in the past, you do not see people that look like you, not that many women of color or not that many latinas, especially in travel. I think when you start seeing people like yourself, that travel, then you feel inspired to do so, and the community helps because if you read the results, tips, tools, or people that are already doing that, you feel “I can do that myself too”. So with this traveling system, you get more inspired to do so.

SE: And actually this coming December Latinas Who Travel are going to Morocco and Spain. How have you been preparing for this trip? What is the community expecting for this experience?

OM: Everybody is pretty excited because a lot of people is saying that they wanted to see groups like this, traveling with only Latinas, because they wanted to share the experience with people that understand their own culture, and maybe speak their same language because our community is bilingual. I will be hosting every trip personally, and I speak every language, so is open for people that speak only English, or only Spanish or both. I have professional tour guys and I will translate everything to Spanish as well for those who do not understand English.

Besides, we have another trip in May to Greece, which will be announced in the next week or so. I am very excited about it. So we will be creating different experiences throughout the year.

SE: Latinas who Travel is also a community that looks to educate and help. What are other projects besides having this kind of traveling experiences?

OM: Right now we are partnering with different organizations, for example on a Study Abroad Scholarship that will be launching next year to help latinas with low resources to study abroad. For example, I have been speaking in High Schools to minority kids because when they see somebody like them it helps them to raise their inspirations and understand that is possible. We will also have some opportunities for our community to volunteer and give back to the community. Also, we are going to be doing events that are cultural and

educational as well.

SE: Your community has now more than 2 thousand members. How has been the feedback of Latinas from all over the world?

OM: When I first started the group I was not expecting that we will grow so fast and it is amazing to hear their stories from all these different Latinas, with different lives, different professions. And also our community is not open just for Latinas, but for any women that is interested in our culture. It is very powering, we have members from all over the world.

SE: What would be your advice for those Latinas who wants to start traveling but they are afraid?

OM: People sometimes think that there is only one way of traveling, but there are many ways: you can travel slow, fast, cruises, or even traveling in your own neighborhood. So for those who are afraid to start with an international flight they can even start in their own country. You need to know how to research, there are too many tools online that you can use. I think Europe is another very good place because is easier to move around and connect and visit more countries.

“Travel around, get out of your comfort zone, explore even if it is your own neighbor, and if you want something go for it”

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