Today, we kick off our ARTECHOUSE Spotlight series, highlighting admirable locals throughout South Florida. We're kicking off the series with Ivette Leòn of Ettevi Wanderlust (@Ettevi_Wanderlust), a Miami-based travel blogger who has explored some of the most incredible locations in the world and documents all her journeys for her blog and social media followers.
Ivette, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My name is Ivette Leon and I am an ordinary girl born and raised in Centro Habana, La Habana, Cuba living in Miami. I’m a restless soul that is always thinking about where to go, the next trip, what new places to visit and what adventures will be found along the way. My goal is to give you as much information and inspiration as possible to make travel happen for you, too.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No, it’s no easy, Travel blogging and content creator isn’t a job you can just apply for. I spent countless hours working on my blog and social media. I paid for all of my first initial trips after saving for over a year, then kept writing and reaching out to people for opportunities until finally I traveled and wrote enough to find a niche and grow an audience.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am living my own dream, but it’s not because I don't work extremely hard to make it happen. When I’m “home,” I’m working non-stop, and even when I travel, I work every day as well, and I have no intention to stop. I am so proud of this.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Hard work, persistence, and self-discipline.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
Obviously I love traveling. The moment you realize that you have a traveling community that follows you, supports, and shares their experiences with you, that is the proudest moment. I literally chased a dream, and I caught it. It took a lot of work, but I’m confident that anyone else can do it, too.
How do you feel the art scene in Miami compares to other cities you’ve visited?
The city is young, but it is making a noticeable mark internationally when it comes to contemporary art. The city has increasingly incorporated art and culture as part of its image over the past few years, and I think Miami’s art scene will keep on growing.
What was your experience at Artechouse like?
For everyone that is interested in digital art this is a must to go. Artechouse has the most Instagram-worthy installations. You'll definitely want to make videos at this exhibition since everything is moving around. Once you enter its doors it is the most fun place you'll ever visit.
Where’s next on your travel list?
Machu Picchu has been on my radar for a long time. I'd like to explore more of the Caribbean islands and I would also like to revisit my old home — Cuba.
This interview was edited for clarity and brevity.