We are fortunate enough to know some amazing people, some who speak publicly about about the amazing things they are doing and others who sit in the shadows doing that which makes those incredible things possible. Renee Vento is the latter. She's an accomplished world-traveler, photographer, realtor and surfer, who is beautiful inside and out. She'll probably blush when she reads this but she almost single-handedly responsible for making our WOMP Bocas Trip possible. We sat down with her a few days after our WOMP Bocas Fundraiser event, which left us all incredibly inspired but still super under-budget for this project. Renee immediately came to the rescue, offering her help in the form of a significant personal donation, along with the promise of having a business match it. Now we're nearly all the way there, but we could still use your help!
We asked Renee a few questions, and here's what we got:
Photo: Gina Sinotte
Name: Renee Vento
Location: Cardiff CA
Occupation: Real Estate and Photography
CTF: Where are you from/how did you get where you are now?
RENEE: I was born in Michigan, but left when I was a year old and was raised in Northern California. I came down to San Diego out of high school to train for horseback riding with Hap Hansen.
CTF: Tell us something people don’t generally know about you?
RENEE: I have a master’s in Underwater Commercial photography and I am scared of drowning.
CTF: Tell us what you do to stay centered?
RENEE: I get away. I work and play hard to stay focused, but to stay centered I travel to places that remind me of how human I am and how precious life is. Additionally, I spend time alone to check in with myself daily.
CTF: What are your top 3 favorite places to travel to and why?
RENEE: Warm water, third world nations because it's usually an adventure to get there, the surf tends to be less crowded, and I prefer the road less traveled to the city streets.
I also LOVE snow covered mountains and glaciers, preferably only accessible by a heli or a snow cat. I prefer backcountry: it makes the hair on your neck stand up and your heart beat more intense. Skiing is simply in my blood-- the fun I have skiing with my ski buddies and family is insurmountable.
My 3rd favorite place to travel would be the unexpected, like when friends get married some place you would otherwise never go, or someone you love moves to a remote country to a town you never heard of. Those trips have been unforgettable.
CTF: What advice would you give to a woman who might be afraid to travel alone?
RENEE: All the standard advice, it's there for a reason: it's true and works to keep us safe. Be cautious, don't stand out, dress appropriately (cover up), read about where you are going, set up your transportation and travel arrangements before you go, and check-in with someone so that you are being tracked. Talk to locals, talk to the locals, talk to the locals!!! You will make new friends and discover places you would otherwise never know.
CTF: Can you tell us about one particular social good project or cause you have contributed to that really made you feel amazing and why?
RENEE: A few years ago I was invited to photograph a clean water project in India, in a remote town, Nasik, with a school of over 500 students and 1 bathroom. My images were donated to this clean water project, and for educational purposes of promoting the agency involved. The real reward however came from not only being there and being part of the entire process, but also from meeting the students and seeing the joy in their eyes and astonishment on their faces when they helped and watched the project evolve all the way to running clean water and flushable toilets. The entire community came out and the entire school put on the most elaborate, gorgeous ceremony. It was the most memorable travel moment in my life.
CTF: If you ruled the world, what would you be doing in 5 years?
RENEE: I'd be working, I LOVE being productive! But no one human should rule the world. If I was given the power to I would delegate, delegate, delegate, spreading the power out so that no one person is more superior than the next.
Thank you so much Renee and Seaside Investments, LLC for making WOMP Bocas possible and giving us a glimpse into your world and showing us how magical it is to give back to those less fortunate. We look forward to executing what you have helped us make possible! You are an angel! <3