Having the odds against you should not stop you from living the life you want. Deines, a photographer and a marketing nomad tells us how she started life in Venzeula and beat the odds to become a freelance marketer and photographer.
My Life in Venzeula
I’m Deines, I am from Venezuela and I guess that this fact is a very important part of my story. Being a Venezuelan from my generation means to have all the odds against you. I grew up in a magnificent country that is going through one of it’s worst crisis in history. Which leads to a lot of people with broken dreams, just trying to find a better future for themselves. In my case, I just wanted to be happy, and yes, it might sound ridiculous, but not everyone can find that thing in life that makes them feel complete, satisfied, in peace, just happy.
It all started with difficulties. I was working in marketing, with a job that I liked, but with an abusive boss. I was unhappy and cried every morning before going to work; so at the end I reported him and quit.
I was the one who was losing her job, and feeling completely lost in life. My “dream” of being a successful marketer in a big company was dead.
I became an entrepreneur in the food industry, but the economic situation of the country got worse and the ingredients I needed disappeared, the food shortening was beginning…
But I didn’t quit. I was taking food photos and posting them on Instagram.
One day someone from an agency saw them and decided to hire me to take the pictures of a restaurant´s menu. It happened to be the best one in the country; as a result, I ate like a queen and discovered a passion. Those photos ended up in the “50 best” website. I was so proud and happy, I felt like I was starting to find my way.
But difficulties never end, because that´s how life works. One morning I received a call, someone was telling me that my family was kidnapped. Up until this point that has been the worst day of my life so far; they are all alive and well now, however that experience left a scar and a lesson: life is short, so why do we tend to live our lives as if we had all the time in the world, as if our dreams were not important. Because I believe they are.
After some months, in a very random way, I asked a friend: ‘Why can’t I travel the world as everyone else from other countries do? I don’t want this current situation to stop me from living, how can I do it?’ He said ‘Talk to my friend “The traveling freckle”. She left and never came back.’
I contacted her on Facebook, she was really helpful and told me all about volunteering. A month later, I was in Costa Rica, taking pictures of a restaurant’s menu in exchange of accommodation.
But why Costa Rica?
It all started the year before my trip. Someone asked me how did I see myself in a couple of years, and of course, I had no clue. I decided to make up something and said “I will be riding a bike in Costa Rica, barefoot, happy and with my messy hair being caressed by the wind”. I could not believe it the day I actually did it!
In the middle of my volunteering adventure, I received another call, a good one this time. I was being offered to create monthly marketing reports for a company. That was exactly what I needed! My golden ticket.
This is how it all started, with some serendipitous moments and life happening freely. This moment gave me the push to keep traveling, moving around, thinking about what else I could do to find more clients, doing research, writing, and relying on my own talents.
Life as a Nomad
As I travel, I learn, I meet beautiful people and I fall more in love with life. Even with all the difficulties it brings, because I’ve learned a lot from them, to be resilient, to be open minded, to be patient, to work harder.
Along the way I had a show in Truckee-California where my photos were hanging in a coffee shop for over two months. Then I was invited to speak in front of the students of a Chilean college about what it means to be a traveler, opening our minds an accepting other cultures. During my presentation my travel photography was being shown as well.
This year I have begun to participate in photography contests. I would not do it before because I didn’t believe in myself, traveling gave me all the confidence I needed.
Currently I’m working remotely as a freelancer in marketing. I’m writing a book about my experience working and traveling, and I´m on my way to build a platform to help develop the economy of those towns away from the big cities. Because I believe we all deserve to have the same opportunities to grow.
Recently, I made a mistake and accepted a job that I knew wouldn’t make me happy. Luckily it only lasted six months. I still have the same dream, I just want to keep doing things that make me happy, feeling free, falling in love, helping others and learning from every difficult moment.
On the road, I did everything I thought I would never do, I surfed, I bungee jumped, I fell in love with an awesome human being and changed my original destination, I snowboarded, hiked the Andes, climbed on ice, jumped in freezing waters, and paraglided. I also lost the fear of being the first one to start a conversation…
I learned that we have to be consistent and true to what we really want in life once we find it. I hope we all may find those things that make us feel complete, happy, motivated and that push us to be better everyday.
I’m a journalist, avid traveler and adventure seeker. During my free time, I went to pastry and photography school. It was a game changer, because not only allowed me to discover a passion, it gave me the opportunity to start traveling, because I left my country to volunteer as a food photographer in Costa Rica, the rest is history. I believe eating is the best way to know the culture of a country. I think that life tastes better with the flavor of goat cheese, the powerful smell of fresh guava and a good conversation around a table full of food and interesting people. I did not plan to become a nomad, it just happened and I’m glad how things turned out. I’m learning, struggling and enjoying each day. Follow me on Instagram @deinesrojas or on my site at Deines Rojas.
What an inspiration! The life of a nomad may not be easy, but if you let go of your fear and do what you love, you’ll definitely make it. 🙂 What do you think?