HOLA TOMORROW is an international virtual community created by two friends from Barcelona, Vera and Silvia. It arose from a mutual need to share and learn together about living more sustainably.
We envisioned HOLA TOMORROW as an inviting place for discussions to take place, pretty much like your living room, the cafeteria down the corner, your local bar, the beach, the park, or the streets of your city. In short, any space in which you could – as was occurring to them – have a conversation with friends, acquaintances and even strangers about the achievements, frustrations, fears and doubts of trying to lead a sustainable life.
On HOLA TOMORROW you can learn about six people’s real and personal day-to-day experiences while trying to lead more sustainable lives. We do not intend to preach, dictate a particular way of doing things, or make value judgements (no one in the group considers themselves to be a sustainability guru or a role model). The content of the blog consists of personal experiences told by six people with an interest in leading sustainable lives within our current societies. HOLA TOMORROW seeks to be a supportive space where we can learn, share, inspire each other, and build a community of people with like-minded ideas and interests.
HOLA TOMORROW is like life itself: a mix of connections, synergies and coincidences. Silvia and Vera met in 2016 at a birthday party in Olot, Cataluña. Silvia and Juncal are both from Bilbao and friends since they were 13 years old. Vera and Paola met in London many years ago. Mareike and Vera went to high school together and Julia met Vera in Tokyo in 2018.
These are their stories:
Silvia was born in Bilbao, Spain, in 1977. When she was 17, she realised that the world was too big and she had no time to lose, so she went to study in Brighton, Great Britain and lived in England for five years between Brighton, Southampton and London. She graduated with a degree in Politics and Human Rights. In 1999, she moved to Los Angeles, California, where she worked for different social and environmental organisations. In 2005, she packed her bags and moved to NYC where she lived 10 of the most intense years of her life. In 2015, she decided to make a radical change and move back to Spain, where she met and fell in love with her partner Jorge. In 2017, they had a daughter, Matilde.
Silvia has always had a sensibility and respect for anything related with the world: its people, its cultures and its natural resources. Her professional career has focused on human rights and social change at the international level. In 2018 she and Jorge adopted a firm position towards the worrisome state of the planet, and took up the challenge of living more consciously and respectfully as individuals and as a family.
Vera was born in Bochum, Germany, in 1983. At the age of 20 she went on an exchange program from her university and lived in Guanajuato, Mexico for half a year. During the rest of her student years she spent as much time as she could in Mexico. In 2006, she moved to Barcelona as a trainee in an advertising agency and, after finishing her degree in Graphic Design in 2007, moved there permanently. Vera met her husband in a club in Barcelona, which proves that you can find love at 3 a.m. on a crowded dance floor. In 2018 they moved to Tokyo together for 4 months and met Julia.
She loves plants and gardening and has always had a strong interest in natural remedies, which eventually led her to study Naturopathy and Ayurvedic medicine. She believes that we need to start perceiving ourselves as part of nature and understanding that harming the planet means harming ourselves.
Mareike was born in 1982 in Bochum, Germany. She studied literary translation in Düsseldorf and spent several months in her beloved Italy during her student years. Her first job took her to Vietnam in 2009 where she ran into a very handsome Frenchman on a street corner in Ho-Chi-Minh-City. Romantic fool that she is, she found herself moving with him to Paris only one year later. In 2014 the couple moved to the beautiful city of Bordeaux in the South of France where Mareike works as a teacher. They have two daughters, aged three and one years old.
Mareike’s journey to a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle certainly started with her love for food and cooking. She thinks that food is the closest connection that we can have with our Earth and our daily food choices can have a huge impact when it comes to sustainable living and personal well being. Eating what is local and seasonal is a priority for her and therefore she takes much pleasure in gardening in her little vegetable garden, which she shares with her neighbours. She believes that everybody can create change and make the world a better place, one step at a time.
Julia was born in Vallejo, California, USA, in 1984, and grew up between Bolivia and Ohio. In Bolivia, she explored food, health, and social justice with her family and eventually wrote about her experience for her school newspaper. This inspired her to study journalism and visual communications in Ohio, where she also spent fall seasons picking apples at her family orchard. She later returned to California to managing publications for non-profit institutions for five years. In 2015, she left California and went on a long adventure in Europe where she uncovered her ancestry, walked a pilgrimage in Spain, and studied (and ate) fresh farm food in Italy.
While on a road trip to meet her distant Sicilian cousins, she fell in love with a dapper designer named Julien, and they were married a year later. Their plan was to move to a place new to both of them and thus moved to Tokyo, where they lived for three years before moving to Hong Kong in 2020. Their unexpected adventures in Asia have allowed them to grow in ways beyond what they could imagine. Amidst many new challenges, they are committed to helping heal the planet and themselves. This means living more freely and fully; growing a loving community, learning to cook healthy food; and exploring the land with their new therapy pet, a shiny tandem bicycle.
JUNCAL, New York:
Juncal was born in Bilbao, Spain, in 1977. Studies and work have taken her around the globe. Since 2009 she lives in New York, where she works in the field of international development, women’s rights and data. Being “green” has never been Juncal’s cause. Environmental sustainability and climate change were not her fight. She found herself surrounded by people for whom they were, though, and she was fortunate to be exposed to their lifestyle, actions and commitments.
Many of these seemed very easy and unquestionable to her, so she saw no reason not to incorporate them into her own life. She will never forget when she first saw her friend Tina, while chatting outside a pub on a late party night out, putting down a cigarette bud on her shoe sole and walking to the nearest trash bin to throw it away. It just seemed effortless and it made her wonder why people who would never throw away any other waste on the floor would do so with cigarette buds. It is funny that it was Tina’s brother Quili, who 12 years later would talk to her about his commitment to not buy any new clothes in a year. Again, another inspiration moment that made her think about her consumption habits, their impact on the environment, on herself and beyond, and reflect on what she can do about it.
Paola was born in Lima, Peru. She is a social communicator with a master’s in NGO management from the London School of Economics. She has directed social programs around the world, including London, Washington D.C., and India. Now Paola is back in her hometown of Lima, Peru; is married to an Argentinean foodie and runs Las Traperas, a social business that recirculates used clothes. She is also a mom to Ría and with her family she is learning how to keep a sustainable lifestyle in their side of the world. Paola is passionate about sustainability and is particularly interested in responsible consumption, healthy eating, natural medicine and sustainable motherhood.