Alum Profile: Victoria Garafola (’13)

Profile by Sarah Wagner (’18)

Victoria

Victoria Garafola, Freelance Writer
Osaka, Japan

Freelance Writing

As a freelance writer … I can make my own hours and work anywhere with an internet connection. It’s the perfect way to make money while traveling.

Victoria Garafola has spent the last two years living in Japan as a freelance writer. She is able to take on various writing projects as well as recreational writing. The hardest part of freelance writing, claims Victoria, is finding someone to work for. “I do almost all of my client sourcing on the internet. Once I find the client, I basically go back into ‘college mode,’ researching everything I can about the topic at hand,” she explains.

Victoria feels that living in Japan gives her an edge over others who want to write about Japan. In her time living there, she has seized the opportunity to try her best at learning the language. She studies how to read Kanji, the Japanese writing, for an hour everyday.

Victoria also enjoys exploring the country. She also believes that Japan has had a big influence on her poetry. “I believe we are a mixture of the people and cultures we surround ourselves in. So, in a way, I’ve adopted parts of Japan within myself and that is definitely noticeable in my creative writing,” she says.

Education at Marywood

I absolutely loved [Marywood’s] English department.I think their sense of detail and personal attention to academic progress instilled healthy research habits. My professors were always available to give individual guidance […] Marywood prepared me well because I was taught the tools I need to continue learning on my own.

Victoria graduated from Marywood in 2013 with a degree in English and four minors: Writing, Environmental Science, Women’s Studies, and Journalism. She felt that Marywood’s core curriculum really ignited her interest in these other subjects. Victoria has always loved the idea of adventure and traveling. It was even present in her capstone where she wrote about how traveling America is present in literature.

Victoria’s favorite memory at Marywood was when she went on a service trip to Guatemala. This was her first time traveling internationally. She feels that “walking through the colorful markets and ancient trails, witnessing another culture for the first time” had a huge influence on who she is today.

The most influential classes for Victoria included “Hunger in the 21st Century” and her senior seminar in the English department. “Hunger in the 21st Century” got her thinking about humanity’s problems at an international level, and her senior seminar gave her freedom to connect her literary studies with her own life and future.

Victoria Today: Travel, Poetry, and Her Dog, Margot

Basically my biggest passions are language, travel, and culture, so I’m doing everything I can to live a lifestyle that allows me to enjoy those things.

Victoria still continues to travel, even beyond Japan. Last year, she visited six countries, Italy being her favorite. Her favorite Japanese treats include avocado sushi, fresh mochi, and vegetable ramen, although the most interesting thing she’s tried was a fried maple leaf, which evidently tastes very much like a funnel cake. She writes poetry in her spare time and loves hanging out with her dog, who was the only friend that accompanied Victoria on her move to Japan.

Lastly, Some Advice to Live By

Take (scary) chances. Try to do what you want to do, get rejected, and try again. And again, if necessary.

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