Hello! Hola! Ciao! My name is Julia and I am a sustainable traveler, social media consultant and digital nomad. I’m originally from Berkeley, CA, but I honestly have a hard time staying in one place! When I was 6 years old, my family lived in Venezuela for a year. That experience first gave me the travel bug. Everything about the place seemed magical. I saw the world’s largest waterfall, learned to speak Spanish, snorkeled by the sea and had my first taste of fresh coconut juice. I have been obsessed with traveling ever since.
For more than 20 years, I have sought authentic and meaningful travel experiences. My travel resume includes going to Guatemala several times to visit my family. During college, I took a semester off to backpack around Europe for 5 months. I would eventually return to Europe again and again and again, ending up in London and Barcelona the most. Once I got my degree, I applied for working holiday visas to Australia and New Zealand, living in each of those countries for a year. I also did a second large backpacking trip throughout Southeast Asia. When my father retired in Boracay, I would visit him numerous times and now consider the island to be a second home. I’ve also been lucky enough to travel throughout my home state of California as an Americorps volunteer, building trails in local, state, and national parks.
Throughout all these experiences, I always made friends with locals and appreciated what made each destination special, but I also became concerned with the negative effects that tourism had on the places I loved. It was through this passion that I found opportunities in sustainable tourism. First, I worked for The International Ecotourism Society and then studied at Leeds Beckett University in Responsible Tourism Management. Following this work and educational experience, I launched Travel Lightly to encourage people to travel more sustainably.
Currently I live in Antigua, Guatemala, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. My father is originally from this country and I am in the process of claiming my dual citizenship, a dream that I’ve had since I was a child. Upcoming travels include Mexico City in December and Colombia in February.