Alexa West is a female entrepreneur, digital nomad and best-selling author of the travel book series, The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide. Through her writing, Alexa gives women the resources and confidence to travel the world solo no matter age, budget or travel experience!
Alexa will be the first one to tell you she didn’t become an international travel author over-night.
“I took little stones every year, little stepping stones and I just pointed them in a general direction of where I wanted to go,” said Alexa.
Find out how Alexa chases her passion on the Find Your Passion Career Podcast!
In fact, she didn’t even always know she wanted to be a travel writer. It all started when she traveled abroad for humanitarian projects in high school. This experience ignited a flame for her passion to travel and help others.
Except, after graduation she ran into a situation many know well—she was broke “as a joke.”
But she refused to let her financial situation limit her career options.
“I think it is really important to not let your budget define your dreams.”
Alexa sought opportunities that would pay her to do what she loves. She found the Peace Corps, a two-year volunteer program sponsored by the U.S. Government.
“You have got to get creative in the way you are going to get yourself there,” said Alexa.
Getting creative & traveling abroad
The Peace Corps sent her to Bulgaria. Through a three-month training process, she, along with other volunteers learned the language and how to connect with the local community. After her training, she worked as a teacher and in an orphanage in a small village.
When her time with the Peace Corps came to an end, Alexa knew she wasn’t ready to return to the states just yet. So, she found another program that supports participants with airfare and housing, this time in South Korea teaching English.
“I definitely grew up from little girl to adult in Bulgaria. In South Korea, I kind of found who I was in how I like to give what’s in my heart and in my passion, how I give it to other people,” said Alexa.
She then decided to move on from teaching to writing full time. So, she did the only sensible thing to do. She moved to South America where she found opportunities house sitting (free rent!) and familiarized herself with the publishing process by finding mentors and working the behind the scenes for other authors.
Now, with her own books published, Alexa is living her dream and sharing her knowledge and tips with others. “I wrote something that I wish that I had. I wish I had that book the first time I went to Thailand.”
The writer’s process
On the podcast, Alexa explains her three-step process of researching (aka eating and adventuring to become the expert), writing from sunrise to past sunset and the occasional “admin” days. She has developed the skill of time management being in charge of her own schedule.
Her favorite aspect of having her books published has been the sense of community that has come out of it. “The beautiful thing is that I was so afraid of what people would think and that was actually the most beautiful part. I found a lot of women like me, who wanted the same thing as me,” said Alexa.
Alexa believes this sense of community can be found no matter your passion. “Once you step out into what you want to do, you step towards the direction of people who are like you. People who are also curious.”
And chasing your passion abroad doesn’t have to come with a big price tag attached.
“There are opportunities out there for you. Just get creative,” said Alexa.
After listening in to Alexa, research opportunities that will pay you to do what you love. Consider how you can take one step on your own stepping stone towards your passion or even just get pointed in the general direction.
Once you’re inspired by Alexa’s story, we would love to read your review. Thanks so much!