The world of Valentina Correa: online marketing consultant and Digital Nomad
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Valentina Correa, but in the online community I go by several other aliases. I’m 29 years old, originally from Colombia, but I’ve lived outside the country since I was 13, so that’s probably why I haven’t been able to stay put in just one place. Over the years I’ve lived in Spain, Scotland and Germany, I’ve traveled all around Europe and throughout South America, and soon I’ll be heading off on a new journey through Central Asia. I’m actually writing this from the northern part of Finland.
Right now I’m working remotely as an online marketing consultant specializing in SEO and SEM for different sized companies that are spread out all over the globe (Mexico, Colombia, Spain, Germany, the UK, etc.). I also work on web design projects and do freelance writing and photography. So, you could say that my background is not only multidisciplinary but also adaptable to all sorts of situations, which is due, in part, to my education, but mostly my curiosity.
I provide all of these services through my company Comando-t.com but I’m also one-half of the travel blog unpocodesur.com, the founder and editor of the biggest Spanish-speaking digital nomad community nomadadigital.org as well as the director of Hispanic Travel Bloggers. Whenever I get “bored” I just start working on a new project.
Tell us about your educational background and career path.
I started studying graphic design in Barcelona, but after two years I decided to leave college and I never went back. I took some beginner technical photography and video courses and once I finished those I set out trying to support myself doing freelance work, but I didn’t have much luck trying to survive doing all types of projects.
I’ve worked in restaurants, hotels, marketplaces, startups and multinational companies (just to name a few), but I’d always end up traveling whenever I had the chance, so the travel blog was born out of that and it’s one of the projects that I enjoy most right now.
Finally, after lots of trial and error, I’ve been working entirely for myself for the last two years and that’s how comando-t and nómada digital came about. Based on our success with the blog, we just recently started focusing on creating a new way of doing things in the Hispanic marketplace with Hispanic Travel bloggers. Like Steve Jobs said, the dots will all connect in the end, even if things don’t seem to make any sense when you’re doing them.
What drove you to start working online? And who do think should consider working in the digital world?
I’ve been glued to a computer screen for as long as I can remember. I had internet access from the time I was 12 years old, when very few people even knew it existed. My goal was always to have a different sort of lifestyle, something where I wasn’t stuck in a cubicle or in just one place, and the internet has always been the key for achieving this. Everything else has come about after lots of bumps along the way, and with each passing year, I’ve learned something new.
I don’t believe that everyone is suited to a life that combines both travel and work, nor do I think that just anyone can pursue freelance work for that matter (but that’s not the only way to work remotely). It’s crucial that you understand your motives and assess whether they’re as strong as your will. It’s really complicated being organized, responsible, persistent and, most importantly, not neglecting who you are as a person. It isn’t the kind of work that lasts for just two days or even two years, so you can’t just do it on a whim.
I’m convinced that we’ll see a greater shift toward nomadism in the future, or at least as it relates to working remotely, but for right now, it’s relatively unchartered territory, especially in Latin America, which is why it’s not an easy path to follow.
I’ve always said that the key thing is to know what you do NOT want to do, and then based on that, look at what you could be doing. It might sound ridiculous, but I’ve led my whole life with that idea as the premise, and it’s actually worked out quite well for me. To anyone who doesn’t know where to start in this business, I suggest they separate themselves from absolutely everything that is NOT going to take them anywhere and really try to focus on what “might work” because there isn’t just one way of being able to work and travel, and only pursuing certain career paths could be a mistake if you haven’t taken into account the motivations and skills for each one.
How do you manage payments for your various enterprises?
One of the most common frustrations right now for being able to work while traveling is “How do I get paid?” Payoneer has found a way to solve this problem in countries where there is little leeway when it comes to foreign currency, especially in Latin America. Any project, tool or service that helps to improve our mobility and afford us greater independence certainly deserves to be in the spotlight.