We have been fortunate to take everyday journeys; however, we ordinarily caught to a familiar trio of destinations: Florida and Illinois, wherein we visited my dad and mom’s households, and Martha’s Vineyard, which became our “happy location.” And it nevertheless is! My mother bought a gingerbread cottage in Oak Bluffs a few years ago, and I make it a purpose to spend a piece of each summer season there.
The first journey you ever blogged approximately to Southeast Asia. What spurred that actual trip? And why determine to a weblog that precise revel in?
I suppose I became born with the itch to journey! While I didn’t grow up journeying in the way I do now, I become raised with an experience of marvel approximately the world. I went to the neighborhood Montessori faculty, and the spotlight of my year became making ready my presentation for the yearly International Nights! My mother was a member of the board of the Albany Symphony Orchestra, and musicians from across the united states of America and the arena frequently crashed with us, bringing with them testimonies of tune and adventure. And through our church in Schenectady, our own family as soon as “adopted” a circle of relatives of refugees from Bosnia who had resettled inside the region, who we helped ease into life in America. Those are only a few examples; even without stamping a passport, I was surrounded with the aid of the concept that there was a big, first-rate global out there. My parents raised me to be curious, now not apprehensive, approximately it.
I turned into excessive faculty after I found my first journey blog, known as Thirteen Months – it turned into a few easy pages, more of a diary than the slick websites you notice today. I remember showing it extensive-eyed to my mother and just definitely marveling at the concept that these humans had taken an entire 13 months off their jobs to tour! I examine every phrase that they had written. I assume that become my first exposure to the concept that a few people traveled in a way that turned into exceptional than a week-long vacation, and I become hooked from there. When I sooner or later created my own adventure, it turned into the only natural I wanted to proportion it within an equal way.
Looking at where you have traveled, there’ve really been concentrations in which you have long gone. (Southeast Asia, parts of South America, North Africa, and so forth.) Why is that? And what is the subsequent geographic place you want to conquer?
Well, I tend to be interested in heat and ocean-aspect locations first and major! I’ve been recognized to shaggy dog story that I changed into born at the wrong range – I’m a beach bum and a sun seeker for all time. Latin America and Southeast Asia have captured my coronary heart, and I actually have cherished exploring them thoroughly over the years.
I actually have checked out more and more of Europe slowly over the years – Iceland, Greece, and Malta are a few favorites – but it does not captivate me in quite the same manner.
Africa is the following huge continent that I feel calling me – loudly!
(Some of your numbers here https://www.Alexinwanderland.Com/how-i-make-and-spend-cash-blogging/ are a few years old, so I hope you’ll bask in me asking some inquiries to update): Generally, how is Alex in Wanderland – and you – doing financially?
I feel blessed that I can make a complete-time residing off running a blog and were for decades.
One of your dreams, you said, is to curate a small number of committed sponsors – have you ever performed that?
I have! Right now, I even have long-term ambassadorships with PADI, the arena’s biggest dive business enterprise, and KIND Snacks, the healthful meals corporation, and generally work with one or two other manufacturers according to a month to promote their products and services via branded content.
I additionally generate earnings from show ads (advertisements that you see while reading my weblog), from associate advertising (hyperlinks where I acquire a percent of the acquisition, for free of charge to the patron), from destination marketing (running with locations to sell them thru subsidized trips), from my e-book income (I wrote a detailed manual to the island in Thailand I lived on), from speakme engagements (I speak at numerous meetings a yr, and am currently packing to keynote on the Women’s Travel Summit in Portland, Maine) and from my retreat income (in 2018 I released a sequence of women’s retreats.)
How has it felt to expand your very own commercial enterprise?
I love being my own boss and the liberty that could entail. That stated, it has its sacrifices. For all the flexibility you enjoy, you surrender plenty of protection. There may rarely be every person as invested as you to bop thoughts off for all of the autonomy you get. And at least in an enterprise as younger as this one, I need to adapt continuously. The ways I generate sales today are absolutely different than they had been five years ago.
How do you put it together whilst you journey to a new destination? Several of your posts have discussed the quantity of prep you do, so could you boil it down.
It surely relies upon the trip! Sometimes I have matters mapped out to the instant – I recognize what I’m doing each day, in which I’m going, and what I’m sporting. Often if I’m on an assignment, I tour like this. I have an intention.
Other instances, frequently once I’m touring for me – which is likewise of direction work, in a manner, in view that it is creating natural, unsponsored content for my weblog, which would wither away without that – I run out of time or power before a trip and I show up. I recollect boarding a plane to Nicaragua once, even as frantically trying to e-book a place to stay that night time on my telephone earlier than take off. It becomes an exquisite ride!
I’m usually torn someplace among the 2 – I want to have some spontaneity and capacity to linger a little longer whilst a positive place steals my heart. Still, I also want to live in first-rate accommodation, whether it is a cool boutique motel or a buzzy layout hostel, or an ideal little Airbnb. And the one’s places tend to ebook up in advance.
You additionally connect to a circle of relatives, pals, and others to stay with them at the same time as visiting: Has that pool of humans grown because you started Alex in Wanderland?
Absolutely. I love connecting with my buddies and family. I’m not surely round for a regular Sunday brunch; going for longer stays is an exceptional way to look at exceptional elements of the country and the sector. Right now, I actually have pals that have moved to Boise and Atlanta, and I’m losing of life to go to them and discover new cities – and revel in a few serious excellent times together.
The longer you journey, the extra open doors you may have round the world! I’ve crashed on couches and in visitor rooms anywhere from Tel Aviv to Antigua, and it always leads to a richer enjoyment of the vicinity via the eyes of my host.
How has social media affected what you do? Both in the way you conduct Alex in Wanderland and competition? It seems like everybody is trying to be a brand in something on a few platforms these days…
Instagram and Pinterest, which failed to exist after I began blogging, have become a huge part of my commercial enterprise. I cannot appear to have interaction in Pinterest, so I hire an assistant who creates pins and manages that account for me, as it can be a large traffic source. Instagram, I do experience, and so I usually control my account myself. It has come to be any other way to generate income with product-based total content now that I am visiting less. Blog commenting is down throughout the board – users choose to have interaction on Instagram or Facebook rather. So again, I needed to adapt to that.
Instagram and Instagram memories have additionally become a totally effective manner to connect to my target market. I love the usage of Instagram to be silly occasionally and display that facet of myself; to be extreme from time to time, and proportion a concept that might not be fleshed out to a complete weblog publish but is worth sharing although.
Semi-related: With Uber/Lyft, Airbnb, and extra of these travel-aid apps, has that affected how you navigate a city/country?
Absolutely! I use Uber and Lyft anywhere available – I’m a standard millennial in that I love to do the entirety via my cellphone. I am also a huge fan of Airbnb, even though I do try to be acutely aware of its usage in groups where it could be infringing on inexpensive housing for the folks who stay there. I used to Airbnb out my condo in Thailand after I became traveling – and I want to rent from folks who are using it similarly.
You’ve begun curating occasions! I.E., Your Wander Women Retreats. How did that come about? What has the response been from those who’ve attended?
Launching Wander Women Retreats has been such an exciting improvement in my profession. I found out that chasing page views and in search of consistent emblem partnerships (I just like the execution, not the pitching!) changed into draining me.
The concept of creating something as tangible and special as a curated group travel revel in for like-minded women just seemed like a dream come authentic. Rather than hit a million web page views a month, I ought to convey fifty readers a yr on four top-notch journeys. And so Wander Women Retreats become born. I started in 2018 with a dive and yoga retreat in Koh Tao, Thailand, and a yoga and images retreat in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Both bought out, as did the Red Sea dive and yoga retreat I recently announced for 2019 in Egypt. I love taking destinations that could seem inaccessible to some girls and developing an experience that places it in attain.
In 2019 I additionally was partnering with some remarkable humans here in the Capital Region. I recently teamed up with Jessica Lubin of Good Karma Studio in Albany to provide aerial art and yoga retreats in St. Pete, Florida, this July, and the Dominican Republic in December. We are so thrilled to be participating.
You’ve worked as a photographer and a photographer’s assistant and graduated with a satisfactory arts diploma (From Pratt, accurate? Based on one of the photos…). Before using the journey malicious program, what were your career plans, and what sort of did pictures aspect into them?
I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. There, I studied the whole thing from advertising to net design. Before pursuing my blogging profession, I labored and interned in photography and photo design, both of which have been awesome tools as I’ve advanced the Alex in Wanderland emblem.
Photography has allowed me to connect to nearby companies now that I’m resettled right here within the Capital Region, as well. I’ve done social media picture tasks with Jaclyn Chorwat at Smooth Reflections and Ashley Austin at Urbane Brows – it becomes an actually fun way to hook up with different neighborhood enterprise owners, and we have emerged as buddies!
These days, you had a longer stint lower back inside the Capital Region and loaded to mention about it. Your quit-of-March submit (https://www.Alexinwanderland.Com/the-summers-day/) delved into some deep, from time to time unhappy gadgets, consisting of your mom’s mind most cancers prognosis. A few questions on that: How is your mom, and how are you? And what’s it like being a long-term tourist and staying linked to a circle of relatives abroad?
Thank you for asking. My mom is currently somewhat strong, even though hers is an aggressive and terminal prognosis. Upon her analysis in July of 2018, I moved home from Thailand to spend time together with her and, as she hastily deteriorated, emerge as her full-time caretaker. I took a hiatus from work and travel for three months within the fall to assist us in getting into a habitual, start remedy, discover home health care, and normally get settled into this considerably changed truth.
I even have written every so often about this adventure on both my blog and on social media and have been shocked to aid how many reach out to me about their similar paths. Becoming a caretaker to an ill figure is something that a huge percentage of the populace will undergo in some unspecified time in the future, on some stage, and but it’s an revel in which can sense stunningly lonely. People are relieved to hook up with someone who’s struggling with the identical issues they’re.
On a lighter word: Since it had been several months because you’d been inside the Capital Region, and since you’re regularly out of the area, I anticipate you’ve got found the vicinity to exchange a chunk in terms of its services. (It virtually did for me put up-college and coming lower back here to work.) What has amazed you the most? And did you have got a favorite spot you found?
I am loving rediscovering the Capital Region through the eyes of a tourist! I’m continuously inspired using how an awful lot there’s taking place right here every month. I’ve seen National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry talk at Proctors, Instagram comedian Girl With No Job at The Egg, and top-notch cirque performers at the Palace in the remaining six months. And it’s just performances!
From cooking classes to yoga workshops to museum tours, you can basically do something new every night of the week, in case you wanted to. I’m consulting with Discover Albany on an influencer advertising and marketing program, and I love checking their calendar at the beginning of the month to see what’s going on.
Next up on my Capital Region bucket list is the Capital Craft Beverage Trail and tackling as many neighborhood trekking trails as viable now that the weather is popping brighter!
It’s been 10 years because you began running a blog, and eight. After all, Alex in Wanderland began. For our readers and destiny travelers, what’s the only piece of advice you will supply to make the maximum of a trip abroad?
Trust that the coolest judgment and instincts that maintain you safe at home will identical on the street. Remind yourself that the general public of people within the global are suitable. And then pass.