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Meet Ana Ruiz of Monos Viajeros in Koreatown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ana Ruiz.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ll start from a very important time in my life, 2010, the year I left my home country Ecuador, my boyfriend at the time (now-husband Luisfe) and came to LA.

This move was very impactful because it started what ended up being a five years long distance relationship in which I would travel back to Ecuador once a year to visit Luisfe and travel around our country.

Little by little, we started falling in love with this new thing in our lives, the possibility of travel, first by visiting places nearby but then in 2013, when we did our very first international trip to Buenos Aires and Foz de Iguazu, we knew something had changed. We knew that travel was where we wanted our money and time to go, we weren’t there yet, but surely we knew it’s where we wanted to go.

Once Luisfe moved to LA in 2015, our trips started getting more and more exciting! We traveled to Europe for the first time and visited amazing places in California. And then, something that would change our lives completely happened days before leaving for our “backpacker style” Southeast Asia trip.

Yep! We had a new member growing in my belly, knocking on the door, asking to join our travel family.

My first thoughts…

How will we travel with a baby?? Is this it? Are my travels really over??

Two years later, I can confidently say that I’m happy I put those limiting thoughts to sleep :). Nala, our daughter, to this date has been to Ecuador twice, visited New York for her first birthday, has walked through National Parks and many cities here in California, and she was part of our most recent 19-day trip where we visited France, Croatia, Greece and Turkey.

Now we want to share with the world what we do and help other families do the same because we believe it is very possible to live a fearless family travel life, sometimes we just need someone to show us the way.

That’s why we created our “Travel family under construction” workshop. A 2-hour digital workshop directed to every family looking to incorporate travel as a way to connect with each other while having amazing cultural experiences.

At the moment, we work giving frequent workshops (in English and Spanish), doing travel consultation and selling beautiful illustrated maps of travel routes for anyone looking to immortalize a very special trip.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It was definitely challenging when Luisfe and I were apart, mainly because we did not know how long our separation was going to last or how we would move forward financially. And again, a big moment was when we found out I was pregnant. We did not want to stop traveling and most of the influence we had, from society and our surroundings, was that that’s what you do when you have kids, you settle.

That wasn’t us! At least not for now. Nala pushed us in the complete opposite direction, we now long freedom, we long adventures, we really just want to see more of the world. You really think your life is going to change forever, and in a part for us, it has changed, but definitely for the better.

Monos Viajeros – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
As a Monos Viajeros brand, we are slowly building many sources or areas that put our business together. All of them under the TRAVEL umbrella.

Everything started with our IG account @monosviajeros which gain more visibility after we started sharing about our family travels with a ton of positive messages around travel. Our next big step was the launch of our blog www.monosviajeros.com on December of last year where we give travel guides, tell travel stories, share our travel routes and most recently, we give tools and resources for travel bloggers.

Now our “Family under construction” workshop lets us specifically focus on paying forward everything that we’ve learned through our family adventures and help new families in launching their aspired family travel life. This workshop has allowed us to connect with many families that we have inspired, on a personal and deeper level, which is very VERY rewarding. Seeing other parents dare live the travel life that they’ve always wanted, with their kids receiving the rewards of these amazing experiences, it’s a feeling that makes our hearts jump 🙂

I think what we offer is truly unique, specially our custom-made travel maps which are the most recent piece on our constantly growing travel brand. What’s very special about these maps is that they are 100% customized to the specific travel route of our customers. “West Coast Roadtrip”, “Trip around South America”, “My 19-day Southeast Asia trip”…we illustrate it all, with the SPECIFIC stops, dates and memoirs that make that trip their own.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success for me means having complete freedom of time. Time is the only resource we can never get back which is my eyes, makes it the most valuable resource we have.

Being able to use my time traveling, with my husband and daughter, doing yoga and caring for myself, inspiring and guiding others. That’s my perfect definition of success.

I’m currently in awe with all the makers and entrepreneurs that have successfully launched their digital business, creating for themselves a life with more freedom. Some great examples for me are Antonio G @inteligenciaviajera who was able to create his own digital business school while traveling the world full time and @sueñosderuta, a family just like us, that travels since 2015 and has built their business by offering web design, mentoring and workshops.

Pricing:

  • “Travel Family Under construction” 2-hour digital workshop – $27
  • Custom-made Illustrated Travel Route Map or City Map (up to 7 stops) – $120
  • Custom-made Illustrated Travel Route Map or City Map (up to 5 stops) – $90
  • Custom-made Illustrated Travel Route Map or City Map (up to 3 stops) – $60

Contact Info:

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