From as early as he can remember, Juan Alanis has felt a deep connection with the open road. While his schoolmates were happily enjoying their time away from school at home every summer, almost immediately after the last day of school, every year, Juan and his family would load up the family vehicle and head south of the border to Mexico. Both his parents are from the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi, and that is where they took their children almost every summer until it was time to return for the next school year.
Juan remembers this time of his life as magical, as he explored and discovered what it meant to truly grow up in two different cultures that were all his own. In Mexico he was considered more American than Mexican, and in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas where he grew up he was Mexican first, then American. This juxtaposition of his own cultural identity motivated Juan to begin the award-winning blog Juan of Words in 2010. Through Juan of Words, he has developed an online community of others who identify or understand what it means to be bicultural or multicultural. Juan is recognized as a top U.S. Latino digital influencer, and regularly speaks on the topics of community advocacy, digital content creation, social media, public relations, and brand development. He has served as regional director for Latinos in Tech and Social Media (LATSM), as well as advisory board member and regional organizer for the Hispanicize Media Group events. Juan has also worked professionally as a print journalist for various news organizations, including the Houston Chronicle.
Today, he shares his passion for the road with his wife and his teenage son. The Alanis family is on a quest to travel the entire United States, and then some, by car. They make several cross-country trips every couple of years, and smaller road trips in between every couple of months. Their favorite thing to do on the open road is to venture off the beaten path into new and unexpected adventures.