Meet Elaine Villatoro: The founder of Live More, Travel More
Hi, I am Elaine Villatoro, a Brazilian who loves life, nature, and travel.
I decided to write my bio in a different way, with some facts and learnings I’ve had along these 30-something years of my life:
How I managed to leave public schools
Year of 2002 – When I was 15 years old I started working as a secretary in a dental office and I used my first salary to pay for my first monthly fee at a private college.
Knowledge can definitely change our future for the better!
How I lived in the United States for 2 years
2010 – I was already working in Procurement for big multinational companies, and my main career goals were to negotiate multi-country contracts and to live abroad for work.
Since I was tired of hearing “No” as an answer from the companies I desired working for because the lack of fluency in English, I decide to sell some things that I had and I went to the United Stated to become an Au Pair (nanny).
With only US$300 and barely speaking any English I left Brazil. If something went wrong, I wouldn’t have any money to even pay for my flight ticket back home.
What risks are you willing to take in order to make your dreams come true?
I lived in San José, California and then I found out that San Francisco is my favorite city in the whole world. Silicon Valley taught me how important cultural diversity is for us.
Unlike most of the Brazilian exchange students, instead of spending my small salary on fast food, or clothes and accessories from huge brands, I decided to explore the country.
I visited places such as San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Seattle, Portland, Miami, Orlando, New York, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Hawaii, and several others that I didn’t even know existed.
I lived there for 2 intense years that were extremely important for my personal and professional development. And I’ve never thought that I could be so happy being a nanny and earning so little money.
Status is not synonymous of happiness!
How I found out how traveling is important for me
2013 – I was going through tough times after coming back from the States, and I ended up traveling to Peru with the intention to renew my energy and to have a fresh start.
During that trip, I asked myself many times “What makes me happy?” and I figured out that the most unforgettable moments in my life, the times I’ve cried for happiness, the times I felt more courageous, wiser, more spiritual, and many other good feelings happened pretty much every time I was traveling. And that is why:
I feel way more fulfilled and alive while I am traveling!
I also noticed that it isn’t just traveling itself that makes me happy, what makes me feel that way are the experiences that I have while I am traveling.
That’s why I then started traveling more often in Brazil, and I started to make the most of my holidays and weekends.
That way, I ended up inspiring some co-workers who admired my way of living, despite having a lot of responsibilities in the company I also made time for myself and the things I love. And attending to their requests, Live More, Travel More (LMTM) was created in 2014.
Living and working in Australia
2015 – After gathering enough experience negotiating contracts for Latin America and having fluency in English, I finally received a short term assignment opportunity to negotiate for Oceania and live in Sydney, Australia.
But of course, some will say that I was lucky…
I lived in this amazing city for 9 months, and with Australians I learned that we shall respect our personal lives and the personal lives of others. Also there, I learned that being a workaholic isn’t so cool as it seems in movies which show big cities like São Paulo or New York.
I made the most of my stay and I travelled around the country. I did scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef, and I visited amazing places such as Brisbane, Melbourne, Byron Bay, Gold Coast, the Ayers Rock, Whitsunday Islands, Fraser Islands and much more.
An offer to live permanently in Australia for working came afterwards, but this happened in a time of my life that I noticed that being close to my family and friends is very important for me, so I ended up declining it.
We have different phases in our lives! We change, our goals change, and there is nothing wrong with it!
How I found out that health shall be a priority to us
2017 – A promotion in the corporate world came along with situations and an environment that weren’t healthy.
The salary increase received was spent on therapies and medicine, and the days off became rare.
Because of the stress I was facing, I started having panic attacks, then started with depression and since I didn’t stand up for myself soon enough, it got worse so I had a burnout.
If you don’t stand up for your body, your body will stand up for you!
How I became an entrepreneur
2018 – Once I decided that I should leave corporate for the sake of my health and happiness, I also decided to follow my heart and purpose and to give myself a chance to do something I always wanted: To become an entrepreneur.
As Live More, Travel More was already giving me some results, even though I didn’t have much time to work on it, I started investing in it. And ever since:
This entrepreneurship journey has been intense, challenging and wonderful at the same time!
2018 – But before starting to work full-time with LMTM, I took what I call a “mini-sabbatical” so I could recover myself from what I’ve just come through.
My trip did last for 5 months and I visited: Portugal, Spain, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Namibia and South Africa.
In India and Nepal I started to pay attention to the amount of garbage there, and I also noticed how Bhutan respects the environment.
These experiences started to expand my awareness in relation to some of the world’s problems, and then I started to question myself about my habits and my mindset.
But the biggest turning point happened once I arrived in the Maldives and found out that garbage is a big issue for them and that tourism is the main responsible for it.
From that moment on, I started researching about sustainable travel to learn how to become a more responsible traveler and then I started to share what I was learning on social media and the blog.
Travelling is a great tool for our transformation!
Places where my dreamer wings took me
Australia, Bhutan, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, French Polynesia, India, Maldives, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Peru, Portugal, Seychelles, Singapura, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, United States, Uruguai e Vietnam.
I gotta tell you a secret though: it is way nicer to count experiences that you lived than the countries that you’ve visited 😉
Would you like to watch a “kind of” documentary about my life story? Click here!
I’ve already talked a lot about my life, now I would like to hear about you =)
How did you end up in our blog? How have you met me?