Q: What is some of the best advice you have ever received?
A: Some of my favorite advice: don’t wait for the “right moment”—if you want something, you need to find a way to make it happen. Many people put off their dreams of travel indefinitely, saying things like “now’s not the right time” or “maybe in the future…” No. If you really want something, now is the best time to figure out how to get it. There will never be a perfect moment, so why wait for one?
Q: What is something that you wish you would've known when you were 20?
A: There are far more ways to make money than simply running yourself through the collegiate machine and hoping to god you find a job when it spits you out! There are all kinds of side hustles (or full-time hustles) to be found or created on the internet. If you’re a fast learner, or have a really niche skill, it’s guaranteed there’s a way to make money with it online. If only I’d known sooner.
Q: One of the biggest lessons from traveling?
A: Deep down, we’re all the same. We’re all human. No matter where in the world you are, be it the US or Iran, Pakistan or the Netherlands, most people just want to help their families, have fun with friends, listen to good music, and eat good food. Many people fail to realize this, and unfairly write off entire countries of people as dangerous or untrustworthy. Travel a bit, and you’ll find most negative stereotypes couldn’t be further from the truth.
Q: How do you stay centered in the middle of chaos?
A: Breathe in, breathe out, and if things are really spiraling out of control, eat ice cream. In (marginally) more seriousness, my favorite approach is to find a way to laugh things off. Oftentimes, the most disastrous moments make the best stories later on. I love telling the story of how we got lost while hiking and had to be led off the mountain by dogs. Things happen. Why not find humor in them while they’re happening?
Alex is a 25-year-old American backpacking with her boyfriend in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. When not writing at Lost With Purpose, she likes to saunter slowly, pet goats, and pretend ice cream is a legitimate food group.