Alexandra Baackes is a new breed of traveler. She is part of a growing group of people that want to live a different kind of life. They travel the world, making money online and visiting places most people only dream of. And it is easier than most people think. Alex is living proof that even something as simple as a blog can open up the whole world to you. Her online articles and photography fund her trips around the world. This is the story of a girl who went from the ordinary to the extraordinary, all on the money she makes online. And it all began six years ago.
Alex started blogging on a two month trip to Asia. She called her blog – “Alex in Wanderland.” Using her own photography and articles, she wrote about her travels. The blog soon became popular. Really popular. Followers wanted to read about a girl on her journeys. Originally, she was a little nervous about traveling alone. Who would not worry about all the things that can go wrong? Being a social creature, she was also concerned that she might get lonely. Instead, her first trip opened her eyes to the wonders of traveling. It quenched that unidentified yearning that she had felt for most of her life, while growing-up. She became addicted to travel, and began planning for her life as a nomad. After graduating from college, she became Alex the Adventurer.
Where did Alex find the confidence to live with such freedom? Her worldly learning began with a course on web development, in Thailand. There, she met other people in the same situation as herself, first-time travelers. The course helped her gain confidence in the business side of her life. It was also a great way to socialize, and make like-minded friends. Now, she passes her experiences on to readers. Her blog has handy tips for potential newbie travelers, to help them plan their own journeys.
As somewhat of a nomad, Alex hikes around the world with her office in her backpack. From clothes, to laptop, to camera and lenses. Whatever else she packs in there is dependent on which country she is visiting. Umbrellas for England, walking shoes for the city, diving gear for Hawaii, and a tin of solid shampoo for everywhere. Her goal is to live a sustainable lifestyle and reduce her environmental impact. Alex’s blog reflects this passion for the environment. Most of the countries she visits do not have the modern means of recycling services. For this reason, she tries to use less plastic products. Instead of buying bottled water, she carries a water filter for safe drinking. It saves on the constant flow of plastic and glass.
While Alex enjoys a wide range of activities from scuba diving to lounging on a beach, she also considers her travels a business venture. Her blog has “sponsors.” With these sponsorships come the responsibility of running successful campaigns for their products, which involves a lot of photography and writing. Then there is all the editing for the blog, to ensure her followers read top-quality articles. One of her most viral posts was written during a trip to Guatemala. She called the article, News Flash: Guatemala city doesn’t suck. The story became a hit with many of the locals. Alex had a wonderful time in this historical place. She met new friends, relished the amazing food, and shopped in the local markets. Panama, was another unforgettable experience. There, she took to diving with sharks, and sleeping on deserted islands. Not every trip has been a huge success in her eyes, and she says that being a travel writer is not without its challenges. When you venture into different cultures the language barrier can be frustrating. By and large, however, her journeys have been amazing experiences.
Although Alex loves to travel the world, she has still managed to create a home base. Though it is not in her native country of the U.S.. From early in her travels, Thailand captured her heart. A small place known as Koh Tao is where Alex recharges, and spends the winter months. Loving the sense of community, and the amazing scenery, this is her happiest of places. A home where she can still go hiking and diving, or laze around on the beach. Despite having many friends there, she still gets the travel bug. She can’t stop the desire to continue traveling and blogging. Though she does admit that it can be heart-wrenching to leave Koh Tao behind, sometimes.
Alex maintains that traveling the world is cheaper than living in New York or other major U.S. cities. Over the years, she has built up a business that is manageable, while providing her with the means to travel. Though the workload varies. Sometimes she does freelance writing, and occasionally graphic design. But, most of her time is concentrated on her blog. By taking on sponsorships, and featuring them on her blog, she earns good money. Alex also enjoys writing about fellow travelers. She believes that they all have a special and unique story to tell. Having met many like-minded wanderers on the road, Alex is inspired by how other people fund their own travels. From teaching surfing in Nicaragua, to bar work in Portugal, she has heard a lot of creative ways to make money on the road. One friend she met lived in Scotland, but wanted to visit the U.S.. To realize their dream they got a job at Disney in Florida.
When it comes to budgeting, Alex spends an average of $50 a day. That includes all expenses such as travel, web hosting, food, hotels, everything. To date, she has traveled to over 26 countries. An impressive accomplishment for someone her age, who travels while earning a living online. She has no real plans. She just loves to see where her journey takes her. Some might suggest that if you have no home, then you fall into a category known as “homeless.” Not Alex. She believes that the whole world is her home.
Like Alex, there is a whole new breed of traveler. Full-time travelers. To join this new way to live all you need is a passion to see the world. Then, you must gain the knowledge necessary to earn enough money to fund your travels. It could be through online work, social media, or temporary jobs in countries afar. Alex has proven that even sharing the experience of travel itself can be enough to fund a lifetime of adventure.