Kaleena Stroud’s Shift From Californian Comfort To Creating A Life In Barcelona As A Copywriter

Meet The Traveler is a series where each week we interview one lifestyle traveler from around the world. These travelers range from being digital nomads, location independent entrepreneurs, or simply so passionate about seeing the world that they’ve fully integrated travel into their lifestyle. Our travelers will bring us into their world, sharing their transition story, what they do to support their lifestyle, and giving us insight into their life as a traveler. 

If you’re looking for inspiration to transition to this lifestyle, want to meet other people in the community, or are simply curious to know how others live and split their time, then you don’t want to miss this series! 

Meet The Traveler: Copywriter Kaleena Stroud | lifestyletraveler.co | IG: @lifestyletraveler.co

Credit: Kaleena Stroud

Meet The Traveler: Copywriter Kaleena Stroud

We like to start things off by knowing the behind-the-person story. We love getting intimate and learning about what drives a person to be who they are. Let’s skip the small talk, and head right into some more passionate questions.

Could you tell us a bit about your journey – who were you in a past life, and who are you now? 

I like to say I was a proud grandmother in a past life. My preference is staying in, baking and filling a room with the aroma of fresh-baked cookies. I tend to connect with children more than anyone my own age—and I have an unexplained love for mismatched mugs and knitted blankets.

Where are you from originally?

Clovis, California.

What are the things you’re most passionate about currently?

I’m obsessed with growth—professional and spiritual. I’m always working two steps ahead in my mind. This helps me visualize the future and work towards a goal. I’m a goal-oriented person in general. Without one, I feel unmotivated and lost.

Sometimes I stay a bit too long in that “two steps ahead” place and forget where I’m at right now. That is also pretty awesome, and that my past self would be amazed to see where I am today. However, without this ambition and self discipline I wouldn’t have gotten pretty far. So it’s a delicate balance between planning & hard work and satisfaction & enjoyment. I’m still working on it!

“Do it for the right reasons. Do it because you want to explore and understand new cultures and try new things while you have the time. But don’t be afraid to just do it. You can always go back home.”

Being a reflective person has allowed me to enter better relationships than I ever thought I deserved. Personal growth is so important as an entrepreneur because you are nothing without the belief that you are worthy of your dreams and without people who support your vision.

When did you first get interested in traveling?

I always had big plans for myself. I knew I’d have crazy adventures, although at the time I didn’t know how or where. My mom got me my first passport when I was 17 and took me to her home country, England. Being from a small(ish) town, I fell in love with the big city lifestyle of London and knew I had to see more.

When did you realize that you wanted to make travel a lifestyle? Was there a trigger point?

I didn’t decide to make travel a lifestyle, it kinda happened. I met an Argentinian man at what now feels like a lifetime ago, but I think I was 22. After about a year of a long-distance relationship he invited me to live in Buenos Aires with him. The relationship didn’t last, but the desire to explore and live abroad did. Once you’ve lived and loved and had (somewhat) roots in another country, you begin to belong everywhere and nowhere at the sametime. It’s a bittersweet feeling but I wouldn’t change my decision to leave the US for the world.

How did you go about making the transition to a lifestyle traveler? Was it a seamless transition or a bit difficult?

There are two parts to this question. The first being the moment I moved to Buenos Aires AKA my first time living outside of California. And it was terrifying. I hate travel blogs making it seem like it’s the easiest thing you’ll ever do because it’s inauthentic.

Homesickness is real, losing a sense of where you belong is real, culture shock is real AF. Is it rewarding? Yes. But I don’t know anyone who hasn’t struggled from time to time.

Granted I’m talking about becoming an expatriate, relocating, traveling indefinitely, etc. Study abroad opportunities and 6-month trips can still have rough patches, but knowing you have an end date makes everything simpler.

The second transition is when I moved back home to California and realized I just couldn’t remain in the same place anymore. As I mentioned, your soul begins to wander after life abroad. I had reverse culture shock and didn’t connect with the city like I used to. So I decided to build an online business as a copywriter and move to Spain. I spoke the language and was an older, wiser woman by then, so the transition was seamless this time around. I fell in love with the country within a week and haven’t looked back!

Meet The Traveler: Copywriter Kaleena Stroud | lifestyletraveler.co | IG: @lifestyletraveler.co
Credit: Kaleena Stroud

Could you elaborate on what you do for work as a Copywriter? Do you work remotely for a company, freelance, or have your own location independent business?

I have an online business as a copywriter. As a copywriter I work mostly with skin experts, i.e. dermatologists, estheticians, facialists and cosmetic companies to get the right words on the page. As a copywriter I specialize in content—evergreen blog posts to grow traffic and gain trust with their readers—as well as web copy like product descriptions, sales pages, email campaigns, and ads.

People sometimes confuse content and copy which is understandable. To me, content is about the customer getting to know the brand. They read a blog post and see how knowledgeable you are about a subject. They follow you on Instagram and get to know your journey and the ethics behind your products.

Copy is all about you understanding your client. You have to know their pain points and provide the solution. You have to be the push of confidence they need. And, well, you have to sell.

You can see how the two intertwine but the point is you don’t have to know the nuances… because that’s my job 😉

I also work one-on-one with entrepreneurs as a copywriter consultant. I’ve realized I love getting to know their unique voice on a call as we brainstorm topics together. I ask the big questions that give real, authentic answers that their audiences are desperate to hear!

As a copywriter my services are project-based but I do offer an introductory package for blog posts.

How do you manage working and traveling? Are there any specific apps you use to manage your work and lifestyle?

I don’t bounce around too often, so having a location-independent business as a copywriter is pretty smooth for me for the most part.

What is your preferred method of traveling/living? Do you move constantly/stay at a few places for a few months/have a base/multiple bases?

As above, I don’t bounce around too often. My base is in Barcelona where I live with my Spanish partner and dog. I haven’t had enough time running an online business as a copywriter outside of COVID-19 era so I’m not sure how much I plan to work + travel but I’m excited at the notion of going where I want and taking my beloved work with me.

What seasons, if any, do you prefer to chase?

My dream is living in Spain and escaping the hot, humid summertime to return to California. California summers are effortlessly pleasant, so that’s the life I’m working towards.

What destinations do you consider to be the best for digital nomads/location independent lifestyles? Why?

Barcelona! It’s filled with ambitious entrepreneurs, start-ups, and digital nomads. My co-working space overlooks the sea and even the most work-driven people know how to stop and enjoy the sunset. It’s an absolute dream.

Also Read: The Best Neighborhoods To Live In Barcelona For Young Professionals

Meet The Traveler: Copywriter Kaleena Stroud | lifestyletraveler.co | IG: @lifestyletraveler.co

Credit: Kaleena Stroud

How do you go about making new friends/dating while traveling?

Join lots of Facebook groups for internationals and put yourself out there. Don’t wait for people to contact you because it may not happen. Create a post, reach out to someone who looks like you could connect with, and go to meet-ups. I’m naturally introverted so I’ve always gravitated toward classes like yoga in the park or fitness so I wasn’t forced to socialize, but I could chat if it felt right.

Literally every friend I know has met their partner on some form of a dating app while traveling. It’s low pressure but can lead to amazing connections.

How do you keep your long-distance friendships/relationships alive?

I’m blessed with friends who, although we don’t speak often, know I’ll always be there for them and vice-versa. When I first moved away, I had a simple blog to keep everyone updated. Nowadays I prefer a message on Whatsapp or Instagram to just check-in now and then!

What is it that you like most about the traveler lifestyle?

When I was more mobile, I loved that exploration kept life new and exciting. It opens you up as a person and forces you to change perspective on life and make big picture questions. Now that I’m settled in a cosmopolitan city, Barcelona, I still get to learn things about new cultures, try new foods, and learn fun phrases in new languages all the time which is great.

“I always had big plans for myself. I knew I’d have crazy adventures, although at the time I didn’t know how or where.”

I’m also very grateful that the traveler lifestyle made me learn to live with very few possessions compared to the average American.

I completely broke any connection I had with consumerism. I like to be comfortable but I haven’t been tempted by any new trend, new tech, ad or certain image that’s being sold to me in half a decade. It’s very freeing.

Is there anything you dislike about the traveler lifestyle?

I hate flying, so I dislike that teleportation isn’t a thing yet.

What’s something that’s currently missing from your life? Is there something stopping you from getting it?

A teleportation device.

Heading off soon? SafetyWing offers travel insurance for just $37 per month!

Do you see yourself living this lifestyle forever? Or will you go back to a more “traditional” life at some point?

I’ve found my happy medium–living in a fun, cosmo city with a set of friends and a wonderful Spanish partner. I never wanted to travel indefinitely, so I moved to a place where I could have a base and easily travel to other countries. My life still isn’t traditional but it’s stable and most importantly–it’s what I want.

What’s your best advice for someone wanting to transition to a life of travel?  

Do it for the right reasons. Do it because you want to explore and understand new cultures and try new things while you have the time. But don’t be afraid to just do it. You can always go back home.

Also, learn phrases in each country’s native language – nobody likes that jerk who just assumes everyone will speak English to them.

Where can people connect with you?

I post copywriting tips on my LinkedIn page.

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Meet The Traveler: Copywriter Kaleena Stroud | lifestyletraveler.co | IG: @lifestyletraveler.co | Photo by: Kaleena Stroud

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