Valeria Wallace has divided her time over the past eighteen years between the United and her native Bolivia. Living in two different cultures has shaped her career path and the way she approaches life in general. In her own words, it has instilled in her “a love of languages, a deep connection to her cultural heritage, and a true understanding of the immense personal and professional value that comes with bilingualism.”
After nine years as private college counselor and relocating to Santa Rosa Beach, Valeria founded The Language Studio, which allowed her to turn her passions into a business. Find out more about The Language Studio at www.thelanguagestudiofl.com.
What inspired you to turn teaching Spanish into a business?
In 2016 my husband, two-year-old daughter and I moved to Bolivia and spent two wonderful years there. We were thrilled to witness our daughter learn Spanish and eventually become fully bilingual. Our second daughter was born a few months after moving to Bolivia, and she is now bilingual as well. As a family, we continue to foster our love for different languages and diversity.
Tell us more about your family.
I’m married to Trent Wallace who is a Destin native. We have two daughters: Alex, 6, who goes to Dune Lakes, and Anna, 4, who attends Tree House Montessori School at Christ the King Episcopal Church which we are members of. My parents and extended family live in Bolivia and we are extremely close. We are lucky to have my mother-in-law, Ann, near us here in South Walton.
Tell us about your career. What do you love most about what you do?
I’ve done private and school college counseling for about 9 years. I transitioned to teaching Spanish through The Language Studio thanks to encouragement from family and friends. I am both thrilled and blessed to bring this to our community in order to help our children become world citizens and encourage diversity awareness.
What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community?
There are an abundance of great restaurants in our area. I love the Seagrove Market Village and Old Florida Fish House.
How long have you lived or worked in our community?
We relocated here a couple of years ago after a two-year adventure in Bolivia.
Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in our community?
My friend Hillary Glenn, founder of the Point Washington Medical Clinic. She is a true inspiration, relative to giving back to our community.
What is something on your bucket list?
Spend a month traveling around Cambodia and Vietnam.
What is your go to band when you cant decide what to listen to?
It varies. From Ray Charles, Michael Buble, Mozart to Buena Vista Social Club.
What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
I enjoy watching documentaries.
What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about our community?
Modica Market. Trips for rainbow cake are a fall tradition in our family.
If you could choose anyone alive today to have lunch with, who would it be and where would you have lunch?
I would take Nick Saban to Black Bear. I could not care less about football, but he is a pretty entertaining speaker and an excellent motivator.
What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community?
I have met the most wonderful, generous women in this community who volunteer their time to local non-profits.
Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
I would love to expand The Language Studio and offer multiple languages for all ages.
What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I lived in Paris for six months.
What is one of your favorite smells?
The honey-roasted nuts that perfume NYC in the winter.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
I would love to go to Bolivia! Unfortunately, our 5-week summer stay there was cancelled due to Covid. I would love to see Greece in the near future.
What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
Our turquoise beaches still take my breath away every time.
Finally, what advice would you give to people?
Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world. – Gustave Flaubert