Meet Amelia, Expat Entrepreneur in Argentina
This week, I met Amelia a fellow expat in Argentina on the website of InterNations. Amelia’s story is a great example of an Expat Entrepreneur success story as she found a very innovative way to share her passion for photography with her new life in Buenos Aires.
Meet Amelia, Canadian Photographer, in Argentina
Tell us a little bit about you and what made you move to Argentina?
I am a professional wedding and lifestyle photographer from Toronto. My boyfriend, who is a grade school teacher, was taking a well deserved year sabbatical (which turned into 2 years). He’s half Italian and would have liked to have gone to Italy but realized his dollars would go a lot further somewhere in Latin America. Buenos Aires has large Italian influence so it seemed like a perfect fit. I came down to visit him when he was spending 3 months here alone and I loved the city and culture. When he came home for Christmas, we decided to move back together. It’s good to have a ‘traveling job’.
What were your first impressions – was it much of a culture shock?
I have traveled a lot so I didn’t really feel a lot of culture shock. Buenos Aires is a big city and I live in a big city so there wasn’t much change there. Taking the bus the first few times was interesting and I also found the language challenging. When I arrived I spoke a bit of Spanish, but the accent and dialect here are so different it took a while for me ears to adjust.
Tell us 3 things you miss about Canada.
The variety of cheese is so limited here and it’s hard to find good quality cheese. It really is the only thing I miss (sorry Mom!). I do miss my friends and family from home, but I can catch up with them on Skype. I used to miss coffee, but I have adjusted and have found my favorite places for a good strong “café con leche” (coffee with milk).
Is this your first expatriation? If no, where else did you go? What do you enjoy about expat life?
I lived in Ireland for a number of years. I also spent a year in Australia and 3 months in Mexico (don’t think that really counts as expat but I thought I’d throw it in). I love to travel and immerse myself in other cultures. Meeting people and making new friends, both local and expats, is fun too. Exploring a new city and it’s surrounding areas is amazing, scary, exciting and daunting.
You have created your own photo tour company “Day Clicker Photo Tours” – how did that come about?
When I came to Buenos Aires for 2 weeks in Nov 2010 to visit my boyfriend and exhibit some of my work I partook in some of the usual city tours and began to notice a trend. A lot of travelers were unsure of how to use their cameras and the tours were typical of any tourist city. After taking time to lend my services, I found that in a fun and relaxed way, I was able to help people improve their photographs. When we decided to move here in February 2011 I needed to find a way to make a living and I immediately thought about teaching photography my way. No complicated techie talk, just simple instruction. I also wanted to show people the city in a different way than the regular tours. I guess the rest is history. I’m planning on expanding and starting a Day Clicker Toronto. It works so well here, why not?!
I see that you are listed on tripadvisor.com. Does it generate a lot of traffic to your website? What else do you do in terms of marketing activities to promote your business on the internet?
Trip Advisor is INCREDIBLE for my business. I always ask my clients how they found me and lately most of them came to me after reading Trip Advisor reviews. I also drop a lot of links and find ways (like this!) for people to write about me. I use Facebook and Twitter as well, although it’s not as effective in bringing in clients. Marketing is not my strong suit so I am always looking for ways to improve. Word of mouth is worth its weight in gold.
What advice would you give to anyone willing to set up his or her own business overseas?
Work hard, every day.
Be patient, nothing happens over night.
Be brave. I find that fear and self-doubt tends to set me back from really putting myself out there.
Finally, it’s OK to make mistakes as long as you learn from them.
Thank very much Amelia for sharing your story with “Anywhere in the World” readers.
If Amelia’s story inspired you, make sure to check out the Interview page for more Expat Entrepreneur Stories.
Do you have an inspiring story and want to be featured as one of my Expatrepreneur Success Stories? Contact Me
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