Vera Ribeiro Camarena

Vera was born in Portugal where she completed her college degree in Languages to become a translator. Should have been a quiet life. Instead she almost accidently landed in the corporate world of fashion and retail where her desire to travel led her to pursue a career in international markets. She lived in Florence, Rome, Sao Paulo, and New York City -- and because of her corporate job, she traveled all around Europe, Asia and North America. A large part of her time was spent on a plane from big city to big city. However, on her free time she would travel mostly to remote, simple places with sun and sandy beaches where she could improve her poor surfing skills, practice outdoor sports, meet people from different realities, eat local real food, and enjoy a simplistic life. 

Some of the people she met through her travels lived in remote places far from civilization and served as an inspiration that propelled her to change her life. As she became more conscious of the negative impact on the environment of everyday lifestyle decisions and the impacts made by most big corporations, she decided to dedicate her energy to projects that are sustainable and committed to creating a positive impact in the world. She later moved from New York City to a quiet little village in the south of Portugal where she now manages and is expanding a small sustainable boutique hotel, Quinta Camerena, together with her husband, an American photographer. When she heard Jessica talking about Kind Traveler at a travel event in LA, she immediately knew that this is the kind of project that totally matches her new phase of life. Vera  is now the Chapter Lead of Impact Travel Alliance in Lisbon, Portugal, and is thrilled for the opportunity to contribute to Kind Traveler’s growth internationally.  


1. What’s your spirit animal?
Right now, I’m obsessed with birds in general. We have so many in our new property in Portugal. Cuckoos, storks, eagles, sparrows, woodpeckers... I´m trying to learn everything I can about them.

2. Your favorite cause and charity and why?

The elderly communities and the small independent town charities that take care of them are amongst my favorite causes. In Portugal, there are many older people, living in extreme poverty and isolation. In the present moment with COVID-19, this got even worse. We try to keep and look young as much as possible and maybe for that we don´t appreciate our elders enough.

3. Your favorite travel destination that you’ve been to?
I love all of South America, but Brazil is probably my favorite place in the world. It is so diverse, the nature is incredible and impressive, the music, the food, the arts… it’s a country with so many deep problems but people are incredibly kind and joyful. I have travelled a lot in Brazil while I was living there but still have a long wish list to explore other destinations within the country.

4. Where do you dream of traveling to?
Soooo many places… mostly destinations where I can surf, or try to… Morocco, Nicaragua, Israel. Never been to Africa, I´m dying to go to Tanzania, Zanzibar…

5. What does it mean to #TravelKindly to you?

To travel kindly is to think deeply about the effect that our actions will have in the communities and environments we are visiting and how we can create a long-lasting positive impact and minimize the negative. Respecting local culture, people, and nature is important while also choosing kindly when it comes to the types of hotel, restaurants, and modes of transport.