We all know the feeling, you’re staring at the clock, waiting for your shift to end. Flipping through your instagram feed, wishing you were the person in Bali eating that acai bowl. It’s time to take action because you can be!
Valeria Hinojosa was climbing the corporate ladder in private banking for 5 years. She was working long hours, climbing to the top of the corporate ladder, doing what society says is success. She was offered a promotion for six figures and that is when she had a moment of realization that something was missing. She looked within and made drastic changes to her lifestyle by changing careers and becoming a conscious lifestyle blogger. She also became a certified yoga teacher and vegan chef.
Valeria now inspires others through social media to go after their dreams and do what ignites their soul with passion. She is a humanitarian and spreads a message of oneness as a speaker and influencer. She features eco-friendly hotels and products. She founded WTS Connect (www.wtsconnect.net), for conscious influencers looking to monetize their blogs and brands. She was featured in Forbes multiple times for her agency and blog “A Social Media Influencer Launches A New Agency To Transform The Industry” and “Quit Your Office Job: Tips From 4 Women Who Transformed Their Lives With Travel”.
I had the fortunate opportunity to interview her and am honored to share with you;
What made you go vegan and become so environmentally conscious? Was there a certain moment?
I watched the film “If slaughter houses had glass walls we would all be vegetarian” by Paul McCartney and went vegetarian the next day. It was a no brainer since I’ve respected animals ever since I was little. I then went vegan three years later, after watching “Cowspiracy”. During this journey, I began researching ways in which I could become more conscious, and how my actions could have a positive impact on our planet. Living life sustainably was the main one.
How long have you been blogging?
Three years but full-time, two years.
What were the first steps you took in becoming a full-time travel blogger?
Creating my own website, Instagram account and building an audience. It all starts with those steps. For some reason, people I’ve talked to- who wish to become bloggers- hesitate on building a website and sharing their voice on social media. Those three steps are key to growing and flourishing as an influencer. If we don’t try, we’ll never know how good we can be at it!
How did you grow your blog from zero to where it is today?
With a lot of patience, motivation and discipline. I took my blog seriously; even during the times nobody else did. I posted every single day, focusing on conscious topics I thought my readers would find useful and enriching.
What is the WTS Connect program and how does it work?
WTS Connect is a conscious influencer agency I founded three months ago. It is like a hybrid of a talent agency and an advertising agency, but with a strict focus on influencers using their platforms to change the world, and brands reshaping every industry with their eco-friendly and fair-trade practices.
What would be your number one advice for bloggers trying to live free from the 9 to 5 and travel?
Find your passion and chase it. Find your voice and use it! Lose your fears and give it your all. Take risks and see blogging as a career. Not a hobby. The more disciplined you get with your writing skills and posts, the more people will want to follow you and brands work with you.
You have a great sense of style and all of your outfits from bathing suits to jeans and accessories are all very fashionable and ethical. What advice do you have for someone who is wanting to transition their wardrobe to be more eco-friendly and humane on a budget?
Perform your research and read labels. Look for earth-friendly alternatives for things you have in your closet, and also for ways to transform old clothing into new designs you actually want to wear (especially jeans!). I was a little extremist and donated most of my closet the minute I realized I had done it all wrong from a beginning, but I don’t recommend that solution, for obvious reasons! Baby steps are the key in pursuing a conscious lifestyle. Small actions we take on a daily basis that end up having a great impact on our lives and everyone else around us.
What is your favorite plant-based dish?
Jackfruit tacos. I tried them at a vegan restaurant in Bali. They were SO good, I showed up to order the same dish for three consecutive days!