As an Indian, it’s not easy for us to leave everything behind and lead the life of a permanent nomad. I guess the emotional bonding we have with the things, people and places makes it more challenging. And of course, before you become location independent and leave your full-time job, family and home, you need to figure out how to earn money being on the road so that your nomadic adventures continue for good. But there are people in this small world who have done it successfully.
Today we talk to Alexandra, a Slovak girl who made traveling the reason of her life. She sacrificed everything, left her friends and family in 2011 to follow her dream. And in just 3 years down the line, she is the inspiration to more than 40,000 people on Facebook and 9000+ followers on Twitter. She writes about her crazy travel, fun adventures and sexy photos on blog. Alex also runs We Travel around the World and Fit when Traveling blog.
Travel Genes: Tell everyone about yourself!
My name is Alexandra Kovacova and I was born in East Slovakia. I used to work as a model, then a flight attendant and since March 2011 have been making living out of my travel blog.
What inspired the name of your blog as crazy sexy fun traveler?
My friends used to call me that way even before I started blogging. When I had to pick a name of my blog at 4am the morning I decided to make money traveling, I had to act fast so it was the first thing that came to my mind.
How do you stick to a budget when you travel?
For me, money is not so important. It’s all about the experiences I get and things I learn. If I really want to do something, I do it and do not look at the cost. But on the other hand, I also do many free things and enjoy them as much as those expensive ones.
What did you do to save up for your trips?
Frankly? Nothing. My mum has always taught me to keep some money on a side so I’ve always saved something, just in case. The best thing is to quit shopping as we don’t even need 80% of the things we buy. And I don’t drink alcohol, nor smoke, which saves a lot of money, too.
How has travelling changed you as a person?
I grew mentally and spiritually. I learned that the material things are not needed in life and all that matters are experiences, love, happiness, laughs and support. I calmed down a lot, also thanks to yoga and meditation I was exposed to in Bocas del Toro yoga in Panama and then in Costa Rica. The most important thing I learned is that you need to do what makes you happy. For me, one of the main things is traveling, healthy lifestyle and yoga.
What is the one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you started traveling?
There’s the right time to learn everything, I believe. But maybe that once you start, you will never get enough, even when you slow down. Also, always back up your photos 😀
You travel solo. What safety tips would you give to other solo female travelers?
I don’t always travel solo but at least half of my time I do so. Use your common sense and intuition too. If the locals tell you not to go somewhere or not to do something, listen to them. Otherwise, learn boxing or something similar, just to feel safer (maybe you won’t ever need to use it.) And smile at people around you. It helps.
What advice do you have for other people who are scared about traveling the world or think it’s dangerous to travel as a female?
I don’t think it’s dangerous at all. Bad things happen also when you stay at home. If you think positively, you will also attract positive energy around you. So be nice and people will be nice to you, too.
What was the hardest part about travel?
To sacrifice everything and just leave. I gave most of my things to charities, left my friends and family to follow MY dream. Sometimes I do get lonely on the road and when something happens, I just need a hug from someone I know but they are all far away. However, it only makes me stronger.
How much longer are you going to do this? What’s next?
No idea. I cannot live without traveling as it makes me appreciate the present moment. When you live a stereotype life, you don’t realize it. But on the road you know very well the very same moment and day will NEVER happen again so you enjoy it more. I am going to visit Mexico, Thailand, Miami and Aruba in September, then back to Europe to work on some ebooks and new ideas which have a lot to do with yoga, meditation and healthy lifestyle, not just traveling itself. Stay tuned!
From all of the countries that you have visited, what is the one place that has fascinated you the most? The place that left you speechless? That place you found most inspiring?
Teotihuacan pyramids close to Mexico City. No wonder it’s called the Place of Gods. I felt an extreme flow of energy there! In my opinion, it’s a very magical place.
Do you believe that “home is where the heart is” or that “wherever you lay your hat, that’s home?”
More the first one. At least for me. I do feel fine almost everywhere as everywhere I can find something positive I like there. That’s also one of the things I learned while traveling. However, there are places closer to my heart than the others, such as Mexico, Costa Rica, Philippines, Argentina, Bolivia, Spain, Italy … mostly those where they speak Spanish, my favorite language.
As a solo female traveler, do you feel like you often have to overcome challenges male travelers do not?
Just those when men try to flirt with me or when they are too rude. I cannot stand that. Nothing else, I’d say, is more difficult for us women than for men. I might sound like a feminist now, sorry, but we are as strong as we believe so.
Any tips for fellow solo female travelers?
Like I said already, be kind and the people will give you back. Live and let live. Smile and help others and don’t be afraid to ask for help if necessary.
Connecting with local people is one of the most rewarding aspects of travel. What’s your most memorable moment connecting with locals?
Not sure if that counts as connecting with locals, but right now I remember the time I spent with an indigenous tribe Embera in Panama. They live a happy life with no material things back in the nature. Happy with a very little. It was life-changing and eye-opening. We ate from a banana leaf, drank from a coconut shell, walked barefoot in the jungle, laughed and hugged with the village kids. Unforgettable!
Any parting thoughts?
If you’ve always dreamt of traveling, just go NOW. You will never really be 100% ready. You only have right now and right here.