Interview: Step Takers
ST: For someone who doesn’t know anything about you, who is Sophia?
SC: To really dive into my world it’s important to state that I am a French-American Third Culture Kid who has lived in over 6 countries and visited over 65 countries. As a citizen of the world, traveling has been a key component of my identity as I am constantly fascinated by the world and its cultures. So much so that I have made it into my career- I have built an international company designing high end furniture with local artisans in Peru and Brazil.
The quote that has most strongly resonated with me these past few years is “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire”-Jennifer Lee. I truly believe in pursuing one’s dreams and there are a million opportunities to make it happen, you just need to put in the work and passion to achieve it. – Even if they sound crazy to everybody else.
I’ve always been very adamant about my goals and have never lost my vision even in difficult times. I think of myself as a soul searcher who uses my creativity to always find the next project to tackle in hopes of contributing something positive to the world.
I’m all about female empowerment, pursuing your dreams and continuously exploring the wander that surrounds us!
ST: What is a Wanderluster?
SC: Being a wanderluster is a state of being, having an innate urge to travel and experiencing the world. For me it’s about constantly wanting to explore and learn about other cultures and embracing them and having them become a part of who you are.
ST: Your Instagram bio says you are an entrepreneur, who works while traveling around the world. What do you do for a living?
SC: As stated previously, I have founded a company that focuses on high end furniture and decorative items using traditional fabrication techniques with a contemporary design. They are made by local artisans in Peru and Brazil using locally sourced materials- alpaca fur and fiber and exotic woods. I formed a company that could mesh my two favorite passions: design and travel.
Ever since I have founded the company it has taken me to some incredible places and I have had amazing experiences that I would otherwise not have known if I hadn’t taken this entrepreneurial leap.
ST: How did this passion for traveling began? What was your first awesome trip?
SC: I think that at this point it’s genetic! My grandparents and parents have always loved to travel and they have instilled in me ever since I was born. My first plane ride was when I was 6 months old to go from California to Spain, and I have never stopped traveling ever since.
One of my earliest memories of a big adventure was when I was 8 and my whole family decided to go on a safari to Kenya- I don’t think I’ve ever had another trip like that! One night we stayed at a camping site next to a river with elephants… that was awesome!
ST: They say traveling is a form of addiction, do you agree?
SC: I couldn’t agree more! It’s probably the healthiest addiction you can have that can enrich your life in the most profound way than any other activity. Once you get the travel bug, it’s hard to get rid of it.
Travel as much as you can, as far as you can and for as long as you can- life is not meant to be lived in just one place. Traveling allows you to discover new people and new cultures but also becomes a journey of self-discovery since you learn a lot about yourself when you travel.
ST: What’s your favorite place in the world, and why?
SC: My favorite place in the world hands down is Florence, Italy. Its breathtaking beauty and rich history makes it one of the most magical cities in the world. You feel like you are walking in an open aired museum.
The city, the culture, the food, the people, the live music in the street- all of it together creates this atmosphere where you feel like you are in a movie. I moved there to get my Masters and I was supposed to only stay 9 months and ended up staying 2 years and I return every year! Up to that point I had moved around a lot and it was the first place in my life I felt “at home”.
ST: Have you visited a place, country or city that didn’t sound amazing until you got there?
SC: When I was 16, my parents planned a Baltic cruise- I wasn’t interested AT ALL, I wanted to go to the beach instead. However, once I arrived in Stockholm, Sweden, I fell madly in love with the city and that’s where I fell in love with design and decided I wanted to pursue a career in design. Everything happens for a reason
ST: We’re from Mexico City so we must ask, have you been to Mexico?
SC: I have lived in Mexico City for 4 years! Mexico is one of my favorite destinations and a huge part of who I am! It’s an amazing country with an overwhelmingly rich beautiful culture that it’s hard not to fall in love with it! When we first moved to Mexico, we went to Taxco and I got a bracelet and I have worn it ever since so a little piece of Mexico is always with me!
ST: Is there a place you want to go desperately but you haven’t gone yet?
SC: Thailand! It’s been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember! I have always wanted to see the Wat Rong Khun (White Temple) in the Chiang Rai Province.
ST: What’s your take on the whole millennial rant? What’s your opinion on our generation? The fact that we can work anywhere is a big deal, but some people are just getting angry about it.
SC: Honestly, I don’t like labels or categorizing a group of people that happened to be born during a certain time. That being said- unfortunately society has blanketly labeled us as “millennials” with it attached a very negative connotation of “laziness”- I clearly 100% disagree with people who take that stance.
Our generation grew up as technology evolved- especially my age bracket. We learned to play with our friends outside as children and as we grew up, technology seamlessly became part of our lives and thankfully so! Now we can video chat with someone in another time zone- that is amazing to me!
Communicating across the world was made easy, education improved as information became more readily available. With information at our fingertips, natural curiosity comes into play- we finally learned about all these exotic locations and vibrant cultures and why wouldn’t we want to immerse ourselves in the world? Why wouldn’t we want to explore and see how other people live and embrace what they have to offer? The idea that we can pack our bag and be on the other side of the world the next day living a completely different life and redefining ourselves is exciting to me! Our generation sees the infinite options and potential for
growth, knowledge and experiences and rejoice in not having to be only in one location to live our lives to the fullest.
I won’t judge negatively people who are happy with a certain traditional route (college, marriage, work, kids). Just because things have been done a certain way doesn’t mean it should be done that way forever and it doesn’t mean it works for everyone either. If they are happy and fulfilled, that is what matters. I just want the same respect for us: we might not want to follow that same route and that does not make us “lazy”, “entitled”
Some of the hardest working, ambitious visionaries I know are considered “millennials”. People who had groundbreaking ideas and have decided to live different kind of lives, to create their own path…To me …. it’s inspiring!
ST: From your Instagram profile we can see that you read a lot. What’s your favorite book and why?
SC: There are tons but one that has truly stuck with me lately and has made a profound impact on my life these past few months has been “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero. She is hilarious and has a way of putting things in perspective that is realistic and doable and by the end of the book, you believe you can conquer anything! I read it when I was at a crossroads in my life and it really motivated me to push through and realize I could make things happen in my life if I changed my perspective and attitude. Highly recommend it!
ST: Name at least three songs that Sophia listens to all the time.
SC: I don’t know if I listen to them all the time but these are the songs that get me in the best mood
1. Yo no se mañana by Luis Enrique (this song reminds me of my time in Florence for some reason, we would listen to it as the last song of the night every night we went out, so it has a nostalgic meaning)
2. Rise Up- Andra Day (this song makes me feel like I can conquer anything- love it!)
3. Who You Are – Jessie J (I blast this song when I’m having a down day and feel instantly #girlpower)
4. La vie en rose – Edith Piaf (one of my all-time favorite songs, I really do see the world with rose colored glasses)
Daniela Andrade’s version of “la vie en rose” in English is also perfection.
ST: What piece of advice would you give to someone who is doubting to take the step and pursue his or her dreams as you persued traveling?
SC: Find out what is your purpose, your drive, what is your “why” in life. Once you have figured that out, make sure that everything you do helps you get one step closer to achieving it. Make your dream be the fuel that keeps you going and keeps you motivated.
Don’t ever let your fear overcome your dream. It’s scary as hell but it’s better to take the leap than live with regret. Nobody is going to do it for you, you just need to go and make something of yourself. I believe that if there is a will, there is a way.
ST: Imagine you have 100 words or less to give a message to the whole world, what would it be?
SC: When you meet a person face to face, look at them as a whole being: someone with a story, a different reality than yours, but just as valid as your reality, with real emotions and thoughts even though they may not be exactly your emotions and thoughts. See passed the façade of gender, race, religion and age and discover their true selves. We are all equals, all humans cohabitating this beautiful world.
I believe if we can instill understanding, compassion and love in all our thoughts and actions we can become united and the best versions of ourselves,
ST: Lastly, where can we follow you? (fb, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
SC: Follow me and reach out on insta: @embrace_the_wander