Dream chaser. Change-maker. Driven by social impact. Travelling the world on a mission to discover humanity, understand cultures and connect emotionally with people. Today we are introducing you to somebody special. We are super excited to introduce our amazing, inspirational Storyteller Brand Ambassador Jennifer Morilla.
Three years ago Jen was working for a marketing agency in New York City, before taking the step to sell her belongings and buy a one-way ticket. She traded the bright lights of NYC and her 9-5 work life, to instead, travel the world and impact thousands of lives. Most recently, Jen was invited a UN event celebrating International Women’s Day.
Before we get to the interview, we just want to share how our founder, Bhav found Jen. Whilst on the lookout to expand our team, Bhav reached out to Jen after he found it so refreshing to see the authenticity behind her thinking and was amazing at how she had turned her passion into a purposeful career, impacting thousands across the world.
If only more human beings, took their amazing skills and transformed them to do good like Jen, we would eradicate many of the on-going problems around the globe.
This is a really special one for us as a team and we are super excited to share our amazing new ambassador with you guys- let’s get to it!
Jennifer Morrila- Cuban-American from New Jersey.
Countries visited: 41 on 6 Continents.
Has lived in: Spain, England, Brazil, Australia and Costa Rica.
Seen in: Forbes, Elite Daily, Skyscanner, Huffington Post, Skype and many others
Full time: Superwoman
1. Tell us about that moment when you realised the corporate life was not for you and your long-term vision and life goals were very different?
I kinda always knew that the corporate life wasn’t for me. There was too much structure- don’t get me wrong some structure is good but this was too much! I also grew up around entrepreneurs as both my parents are business owners, so I’ve always been around people in the hustle. What I did need to learn was how to be disciplined and be my own boss so I spent a lot of time learning from others who have taken this route to understand each and every aspect involved.
As most of us, once your studies are complete, you end up in a corporate office job, as it is the ‘next’ thing in line. This is exactly what I did and I guess had to do until I figured out what business or company I was going to start. I just knew from the outset however that I wanted to do something that made a real and direct difference to people, but I would never have imagined I’d have created the life I have now!
2. You have impacted 12,500 human lives in 6 different countries which is amazing, but can you share the meaning behind Social Girl Traveller and why you are different to other travel bloggers?
I love this question! I am an IMPACT TRAVEL INFLUENCER. I travel for impact creating purpose. This means that all my trips are purpose driven and I collaborate with like-minded NGO’s and companies to create a real and direct impact on people’s lives.
To do this, I am usually carrying clean water filters, building homes or renovating/ teaching in schools and I love it!
I didn’t just want to be a regular travel blogger. I am the kind of girl that has always been ‘weird’ ( I am weird), but I’ve always enjoyed being different. It’s been my strength. I love making people smile and seeing people happy. I found that when I was traveling and meeting people in certain situations that the ‘smiles’ were bigger. I became addicted.
Carrying clean water filters to 3rd world countries has allowed me to actually save communities from drinking contaminated waters. I actually save lives. Which is pretty awesome. See why it’s addicting? Haha!
Don’t get me wrong, I love the explore, adventure and being a solo female traveler part, but there is something to be said about playing your part in the world and making a difference.
3. Why should we all join at least one social impact trip in our lifetimes and are our Storyteller Community members able to join your awesome trips?
Wow- great question! So I have both negative and positive thoughts about this. I’ve met so many people traveling. All types of travelers! We can all agree that traveling changes you but impact travel is very different because not you’re doubling up on stepping out of your comfort zone. Some people react well to it, and others find it very difficult. It’s not to say these people are bad or anything, they are just different.
Yes of course! The more the merrier! I have different trips planned throughout the year so guys, feel free to reach out to the Storyteller team or me directly (Instagram @thesocialgirltraveler or email would be amazing) and let’s change lives together!
It’s an awesome feeling, something which is simply priceless. I think that if every person in the world took one impact trip in their life, the world would be a much different place.
4. Why did you choose to work and collaborate with Storyteller?
When Bhav reached out to me, his message was simple yet so genuine. He said the work I was doing was amazing and if people did more of this, we could make so much more of an impact in the world. It was great to see others acknowledging my work. I then looked into Storyteller and read about exactly what they stood for.
A brand with a vision to bring together people from around the world in unity with a mission to do good. It fit exactly into my mission and I really believe in each aspect of Storyteller is currently doing.
People need to do more of what we are doing and they can start, simply, by helping each other and just being human. They don’t need to travel to do this, it can simply be started and done in our very own hometowns.
5. OK, it’s Travel Time! Let us get this right, you managed to globe-trot around the world for 13 months with just $14,000? HOW?
Yesss! It can be done, it just means planning and managing two important things, your spending per day and the locations you visit.
The cost of living is higher in some countries in comparison to others- for example, Europe is a lot more than Asia. A meal in Thailand typically goes for $3-5 dollars, where in Europe, $3.00 won’t even get you half a plate of food.
Obviously, if you have just quit your job or are travelling on a budget, there needs to be a plan, and that is why I created a super helpful plan for those who want to do something similar!
It is a pretty simple and short step by step plan, but it will help you understand what you need to manage before you go and also how to keep within budget as you travel. Plus it has some super cool ways by which you can make some money whilst travelling (i.e. photography etc)!
You can get access to your e-guide by visiting my website http://www.thesocialgirltraveler.com/ and it will be right there for you on the homepage!
6. What are your favourite cities and why?
I LOVE LOVE Sydney and Bali. Both are amazing, yet so different.
My time in Sydney was precious, but Bali was just magical. The food was amazing, but most importantly the people were so humble and genuine, something which is hard to find in this day and age. Travelling the world however, every country and city has something special about it.
7. On your Instagram posts, not only do you show a really authentic side to you and your travels, but there are really some really special messages about self-confidence and the importance of this. How important do you feel self-confidence really is and can Travel help bring this back?
I feel this is SO important. There are so many people that go through life doing the same things over and over again and when they realise it, they are unhappy with what they have become. It happens to everyone at some point.
I do believe that traveling is a huge help. It changes your routine and forces you to step out of your comfort zone, giving you a different perspective on life, especially when you travel for a cause. When you start being aware that some people are forever hungry or homeless, it wakes you up, you know?
I passionately believe that you can’t love someone until you love yourself FIRST. A long time ago, I didn’t love myself or who I really was and I didn’t really look after myself as I do now. Truth is however that your body, mind, and soul is who you essentially are. It’s your temple and it’s the place to start to make changes.
8. Everybody talks about the limelights of travel, but have you been in any difficult situations, and how did you overcome this?
That’s very true, no one talks about the bad parts of travel and I mean it’s my job to glorify the beauty of travel. It is beautiful but with beauty comes an ugly side. Having said that, I have a rule which I would like to share with you guys! It is the 5-minute rule! When something unwanted happens, for example, a delayed or missed a flight, or loosing something: give yourself 5 minutes to be angry, cry, complain, get mad, whatever. But after that, end of the story – time to move on.
I can’t think of a specific bad situation, but I can tell you that in my career, a full-time travel blogger, its hard. It’s long hours, lots of jetlag (jetlag is real!) and being away from the people you love, etc. Its a wonderful dream job with a price. At the end of the day, I do what I do and I love it. I know that with everything in life you need to accept that some bad things will happen. And that’s okay. That’s life!
9. While travelling shows us so many positives, it also gives us a first-hand perspective on the world’s problems, such as millions around the world in less privileged areas are unable to get a quality education. How do you think we can work together in resolving this issue?
I believe it’s our duty as humans to help one another. I think that you’d be surprised the type of fundamental education that is missing in most countries. For example, if you went an impact trip to India to teach children how to brush their teeth and wash their hands etc or if you went to a women’s coop and taught them the basics of running a business. Those simple steps and things could really help people.
Whilst money is needed to solve the problem, for the most part, many of the social global issues are due to humanity. Humans’ not knowing how to be humans and take the simple steps. Without money, we can do so much each other and I really think that is undermined.
10. What are your future travel plans?
At the moment, I am currently in NYC. I have a few projects here as I prepare myself for next venture, but then I’m off to my favourite Sydney soon, followed by Bali and then NEPAL! I am so excited. I’ll be trekking Mt.Meru bring clean water filters and shoes to orphanages in these mountain regions.
11. 3 philosophies- We ask everybody this, so get ready! If there were a major disaster and everything you had written, posted and shared got destroyed, what three pieces of advice would you share?
- Don’t let fear paralyze you– The hardest step is the first step. Most of the time we spend more time thinking about the negative outcome rather than thinking about what could happen if things go well!
- Put your skill set to good use– Traveling around the world doesn’t mean having to let your skill set go to waste or living solely off what you leave with. I work as a freelance consultant for different companies in branding, marketing strategies, and social media management.
- Don’t let the voices around you cast doubt on your dream– Traditionally, you’re supposed to finish college, work, buy a car, find someone, get married, buy a house, and have babies. I stopped worrying so much about living somebody else’s life and started focusing on what actually made me happy. I’ve always asked myself this question: “What’s the worst that could happen?” and when that answer makes me laugh I would just go for it.
Where can we find you?
Check out my awesome website- http://www.thesocialgirltraveler.com/
Facebook! The Social Girl Traveler
Follow me on Instagram: @thesocialgirltraveler
Tweet me: @socialtraveler