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Drinking Coffee With Writers: Andrea Valeria

Have you ever scrolled through a blogger’s Instagram profile or visited their blog and felt an instant we-would-totally-be-friends vibe?

I felt that way when I landed on Panama-born digital nomad Andrea Valeria’s page through a post she made in the Digital Nomad Girls community on Facebook, capped off by the adorable photo you’re seeing above.

Everything from her vernacular to her imagery gave off such a warm, friendly feeling that I had to reach out and see what she was all about.

It turns out Andrea is a total boss babe abroad, travel vlogger and the founder of It’s A Travel O.D., where she reveals her secrets about the in’s and out’s of her journey as a full-time traveler. She shares her own experiences to motivate others to break out of the mold and design their own lives.

Seriously, don’t you love her already?

Her vlogs include topics such as “How To Make Money While Traveling” and “Why You Should Travel Alone.” She’s been featured by Forbes Magazine in their article How These 6 Millennials Travel The World For A Living.

She currently lives in Playa del Carmen, Mexico—one of my favorite places to write, as it were! Read on for her interview, from her favorite caffeinated brew to what makes her tick as a writer.

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Drinking Coffee with Writers: Katarina Hybenova

The first day I moved to Bushwick, Brooklyn, I witnessed a building go up in flames.

I was close to the fire, and my millennial brain propelled me to whip out my camera and snap away. I didn’t just want to post them on social media, though, so instead I sent them to a hyper-local news website called Bushwick Daily.

A woman named Katarina Hybenova responded, publishing my photos rapid fire.

No one was hurt in the fire, so I felt slightly less guilty about loving the process of witnessing and reporting on something. In the end, I thought, “why not give local journalism a try?”

I submitted myself as a contributor, and a week later I was sipping cocktails on a sun-soaked patio with 10 other writers and Katarina herself.

Immediately, I knew she’d be a blast to work with. She’s was a platinum blonde boss babe with an amazing sense of humor, and she called me Mishka, which I just loved—it’s one of my nicknames, yanno!

I soon learned that she’s also a stellar content manager, thoughtful editor and a natural leader.

Her rap sheet includes positions as digital editor at massive local news website QNS, as well as founder and editorial director of Bushwick Daily. She was also a 2014 fellow at Tow Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism.

…oh, and she used to be a lawyer. How badass is this woman?

I thought she would be the perfect gal to interview for the launch of our brand new series, Drinking Coffee with Writers. So, without further ado, check out her top tips for writers and find out how she spends a typical day (hint: it involves getting up at 5:30AM to write) after the jump.

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