We sat down with Writer, Entrepreneur and Traveler Veronica Cervilla. Veronica recently returned to her native country of Spain, after a year working abroad in Peru. Whilst there, Veronica decided to go off the beaten path and ended up staying in a primitive part of the Amazon Forest with a local family. During this experience, Veronica was reminded of what was really important in this life and we are excited to share her amazing inspiration with you all !
1. Tell us a little about your journey as both an entrepreneur and a traveler?
I guess it all began when I moved to London and I started collaborating with some magazines there. I realized I was more productive organizing my own schedule and focusing one project at a time, rather than a 9 to 5 job. Later on, I decided to self publish my first book and became an indie author. That’s when the real work started. When you’re an entrepreneur, you have to know a little bit of everything about managing a business so I learned about marketing, accounting, planning, etc. Also, networking plays a huge part and sometimes it sort of feels like you’re working 24/7. You always have to be ready to spot a business opportunity. Even though being an entrepreneur requires a lot of hard work, I enjoy the fact that I can decide the projects I get involved in and the people I work with. I have met some amazing artists along the way.
Traveling is a lifestyle for me and it gives me material for my writing. I was 12 years old, the first time I had the chance to travel abroad by myself and I fell in love with the whole experience. I have been to quite a few countries since then. I couldn’t imagine my life without traveling. Every place I have been to has inspired me in some way and has also taught me a lot about both the world and myself. I would definitely recommend everybody to get out of their comfort zone and explore other places and cultures.
2. What has been your biggest struggle so far ?
I think being tenacious is the hardest part of being an entrepreneur. This could relate to other fields but I feel that, specially in the art field, it is very difficult to get your foot in the door. The current economic situation makes it even harder so you have to pay attention at everything that’s happening and be very proactive. In my case, I had to combine my writing projects with what people call a regular job. I worked long hours without a guarantee of success and sometimes you think about giving up.
3. What has been your biggest accomplishment either personally or professionally?
My biggest accomplishment so far has been publishing my children’s book. It was the first one and it took a lot of work from myself and the illustrator I worked with. I was very happy the day we finished it and when we started to receive feedback from the readers.
4. You recently worked in Peru and traveled through the Amazon Forrest. How did this experience impact you?
That has been one of the best personal experiences of my life without a doubt. Peru is such a beautiful and interesting country and yet so unknown. I spent a year there and met wonderful people, visited fascinating places and learned about their culture. I don’t like going to another country and being just a tourist, so I decided I was going to explore Peru like native and I went to stay with a local family in the Amazon Rainforest. They were a couple and their children who lived by one of the tributaries of the Amazon river. I was amazed at how simple their life was there. They just used what the nature gave them. Thre was no electricity, no internet nor phone service, of course. It was liberating to me. We are constantly being stimulated with social media, tv, the internet that we fail to appreciate the small things in life, the nature, the people around us. They taught me that you don’t need fancy things to be happy. I also learned that we lead far too complicated lives in the city. We rush through the days being busy all the time and not really enjoying, we just go. Sometimes it is necessary to stop and just be. We are becoming unable to empty our hours of commitments, unable to relax; it’s like we are addicted to being busy. Of course, I also had the chance to see the wildlife, animals you hear of in movies like Crocodiles, Anacondas and Tarantulas, exotic plants and trees; and to sail through the Amazon river. It was a once in a lifetime experience.
5. Has travelling changed your perspective on life? And if so how?
Definitely. It has opened my eyes to the richness of our world, to how many different ways of doing things there are and yet how similar we are to one another. Whether you are from Spain or from a village lost in the Rainforest, we are all looking for the same things in life, we all share the same dreams and fears. Travelling has taught me what my priorities in life are and that (and I always say this because I believe it’s true) time is all we really have. Money comes and goes, but wasted time never comes back. It was my trip to the Amazon Rainforest what inspired me to pursue my writing career and focus on what really matters to me. Also, I met some amazing friends and that kind of makes a foreign country feel like home.
6. What is one piece of advice that you have learned in life, that you would love to share with our wonderful followers?
My advice would be this: we all have commitments and responsibilities we must take care of to survive in this system we’ve created but please, leave some room for what really matters for you. Make the most of your time and don’t forget about family and friends. Surround yourself by nature every once in a while, your mind will thank you for it. Oh, and don’t be scared to get out and explore the world. It’s worth it!