From Venezuela to Sweden with Tibisay Ulloa

The warmth of Latin America to the chill of Northern Europe

An interview with Tibisay Ulloa about her experience of home cross-culturally from Venezuela to Sweden.

Watch or listen to the full Homelife for Extraordinary Impact interview on all major podcast platforms and YouTube. You can also read some written responses below.

I live in a small town in Sweden and have been working as a graphic designer for over 10 years. Currently, I am working as a UX/UI designer. I come from Venezuela and grew up in different cities. We were used to traveling frequently, spending one year in one city and another year in a different city.

When I was 11 years old, I finally settled down with my mom and siblings. Although we didn't live in a big house, it was my mom's first house and she was quite happy. However, I still felt a bit strange and struggled to make and keep friends, so I have always been quite a lonely person. Now that I think about it, maybe I was getting prepared to live so far away from my country.

Tibisay Ulloa

Connect with Tibisay Ulloa on Instagram, LinkedIn, and her website.

What are some of the places that have most felt like home for you?

The first house was in Mérida, Venezuela. We were all together before moving to my mom's house. I loved that city, we were so close to nature, and of course, we were all together before my parents got divorced. That was when I truly felt at home.

Sometimes, I still have flashbacks and can almost go back in time to walk the same streets, and recall the same smells and sensations in my mind.

When home is going really great, what does it look like and feel like? How do you feel?

At first, I was trying to have everything perfectly organized, but now I am focusing more on having fun. When you have kids, it's easy to have a messy house and feel stressed about it.

Instead, I want to focus on the memories my daughter is creating in this place. We should just have fun and not worry about everything looking perfect. We can fix things later or make them look perfect slowly. It doesn't have to happen all at once. I think it's a different perspective.

What are important daily, weekly, or regular rhythms important for you to keep a great homelife?

Mornings and nights are quite important as they set the tone for the day and help us end the day with a happy heart. We also try to organize our week and do our chores on Mondays, so that the rest of the week is more relaxed.

What’s a prized possession of yours or one of your favorite home purchases?

I moved out of Venezuela in 2014 and I have been traveling since then with this fairy sculpture. I think my father gave it to me when I was around 8 years old, but I don't exactly remember. I have been able to save a few things from my childhood and some presents that my father or mother gave me. I try to keep them with me, no matter where I go or where I am, as a way to feel my family close.

What's one thing you do or unique hack that helps you in homelife?

Being grateful, I have been trying to practice to go through the good things that happened during the day before I fall asleep, and I must say that makes me feel completely different.

An interesting exploration of the mind of a designer! Thanks for the interview, Tibisay!

Until next time,

– Matt Barrios (LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter)

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