Alexa West, founder and CEO of The Solo Lady’s Journey Information, is a bestselling journey creator and resort reviewer. Alexa splits her time between Seattle, Mexico, and Southeast Asia, the place she spends her days doing what she loves most: writing, exploring, and taking part in pickleball. Regardless of the place she goes, Alexa is on a mission to alter the best way girls journey the world: with much less worry and extra enjoyable.
In 2011, Alexa West sat on her bed room ground, packed her life right into a backpack, and obtained on a one-way flight with simply $200 in her pocket. She turned that $200 into over ten years of full-time journey. She went from price range backpacker to solo feminine journey professional — and now teaches hundreds of ladies tips on how to journey alone and generate profits from anyplace.
The One-Method Ticket Plan reveals her decade’s price of classes, regrets, embarrassments, love tales, shortcuts, and problem-solving methods — all packed right into a hilarious page-turner and actionable plan for a complete life makeover. From real-world recommendation on how journey can decrease your price of residing to steering on touring safely, utilizing unusual bathrooms, avoiding vacationer traps, coping with unfamiliar meals, and dealing with friendships, romance, and loneliness, Alexa supplies the instruments and inspiration to show even essentially the most inexperienced traveler into an professional explorer earlier than ever leaving the sofa.
* I heard that you just lie quite a bit whenever you journey, is that true?
It’s true. Principally to males. And particularly in additional conservative cultures. For instance, let’s say a taxi driver begins asking me questions like, “Are you married?” or “Are you touring alone”? There’s an opportunity that he’s simply making pleasant dialog however there’s additionally an opportunity that he’s hoping to get freaky with the international lady touring alone. So, I lie. When requested private questions like this, I make up a pretend husband and say he’s on the resort ready for me. I would even fake to name him on the cellphone once I get in an Uber and say, “I’m within the Uber hunny, be there in ten minutes. No, I really like you extra!” There isn’t a disgrace in my security recreation.
* Do you ever get nervous touring solo?
On a regular basis. And nervous is sweet! I at all times say that “nervous” means you’re about to do one thing large and thrilling and out of doors your consolation zone. So sure, I get nervous however perhaps a clearer query is, do I get scared? Sure, additionally. I’m petrified of flying, I’m petrified of boats, I’m petrified of plenty of issues. However I attempt to decipher when my worry is or isn’t rational. Is it rational to get scared each time I’m within the air on a aircraft? No. I do know that airplanes are safer than automobiles so, that could be a worry I must work via. However once I really feel worry strolling down a road alone, interacting with an unsettling character or sleeping in a resort with a bizarre vibe – I take heed to that worry and examine it. By no means attempt to be “fearless”. You want your worry. Somewhat, attempt to decipher the distinction between being nervous and being afraid. Whenever you’re nervous, persevere. Whenever you’re afraid, pause and assess the scenario.
* Why do you write for simply girls who journey, why not males too?
My secret to writing is that this: I write for youthful me. The lady who didn’t have a optimistic feminine position mannequin rising up. The lady who struggled to seek out her goal. The lady who traveled the world alone with out steering. I write to resolve the issues of youthful me and in doing that, I find yourself fixing the issues of hundreds of thousands of ladies like me. So, it’s not that I need to exclude males in my writing, it’s simply that I’m on a mission to assist heal and information little me. Nevertheless, when males do find yourself shopping for and loving my books, I’m so past flattered.
* What recommendation would you give younger girls, in highschool or faculty, who need to pursue a lifetime of journey like you might have?
Learn my guide. I wrote it with younger girls in thoughts. It’s the guide I want I had again in highschool in order that I may have been extra sure about what I wished to do in faculty – or if I wished to go to school in any respect. It’s the guide I want I had once I was youthful in order that I had an entire understanding of my choices in life irrespective of my price range. Learn that guide and when one thing excites you, spotlight it. In case you learn the phrase “seafood in Taiwan” and your coronary heart skips a beat, concentrate. There’s one thing there, even should you don’t understand it but. Hearken to your feelings extra. I do know that us girls are taught to not be “too emotional” however us girls have a superpower and that superpower is our instinct. If one thing excites you, irrespective of how unusual it might be – like making prosthetic mermaid tails or grinding black pepper – discover it. Don’t comply with the group. The weirder you may be, the higher. My motto in life is “be bizarre, have enjoyable”. That motto has led me not solely to happiness, but in addition to cash. And that’s fairly cool.
* What makes you such an professional on the planet of solo journey?
Over a decade of full-time solo journey expertise makes me an professional on the planet of solo journey. Except for a number of boys alongside the best way, I’ve traveled the world alone for the reason that age of twenty-two. I didn’t develop up as an grownup within the US. I grew up on rickety trains in Thailand, navigating snowy streets in Bulgaria, studying international languages all over the place I went, and fixing issues alone every single day. Solo journey is all I’ve ever generally known as an grownup. I don’t drive on the freeway within the US, however I can experience a scooter via loopy Bali visitors. I’ve by no means labored in an workplace, however I understand how to seek out the perfect web cafes in The Philippines. I’m not nice at small discuss, however I could make buddies with anybody, can haggle in markets, and I do know what to do should you ever get a bug caught in your ear. Solo journey is my default setting.
* How a lot cash does it take to set off on a one-way ticket journey?
As a lot cash as you’ve obtained in your pocket. I left the states with simply $200 in my pocket. I used to be ready to try this as a result of I joined a volunteer program that paid for my travels. In case your financial savings account is struggling, the important thing to touring on a price range is discovering alternatives that can pay you or pay so that you can journey. Alternatives like volunteering, housesitting, buying and selling work for lodging or discovering a job overseas. There are tons of those alternatives on the market that many individuals don’t know exist. Chapter 2 of The One-Method Ticket Plan lays out all of the methods I managed to journey at no cost or low cost for practically 6 years, after which some.
* Is it true that you just really feel safer touring than you do at house in Seattle?
Sure, I usually really feel safer touring than I really feel at house. In The US, we take care of gun violence, drug epidemics, and untreated psychological well being points at a lot increased charges than many international locations the place I select to journey. To not point out, The US actually has essentially the most serial killers on the planet by far! There’s quite a bit to be afraid of right here so once I moved again house to the US from Southeast Asia, I had a tough time adjusting. I can’t simply exit at evening in Seattle and seize a chew to eat at a meals stand at midnight alone. However I positive can try this in Thailand. Or South Korea. Or Spain. And even in elements of Mexico. Once I journey, I select locations the place I really feel protected. I select to position myself in environments the place I’m statistically safer. Easy as that.
* What’s it prefer to date or discover romance as a solo traveler that’s at all times on the transfer?
Oh, I fall in love all over the place I’m going. There’s one thing thrilling and romantic about being on the transfer and bumping right into a stranger who’s on an analogous path as you. I say that journey acts like a relationship filter. Whenever you meet somebody you’re drawn to on the journey path, odds are that you have already got some issues in widespread. You each prefer to journey, you each are adventurous and also you each want to stay life to the fullest. No mama’s basement dwellers out or unambitious slugs are going to take the time to fly to the opposite facet of the world and do one thing completely different. Or perhaps you fall for a neighborhood who reveals you a world you’ve by no means recognized and speaks a language that sweeps you off your toes. In my expertise, falling in love whereas touring is simpler than again house. Staying in love or nurturing that love right into a strong relationship whereas touring, nevertheless, takes intention. Whenever you’re on the transfer, there’s no time to take issues slowly or play video games. In case you like somebody, you’ve obtained to make it recognized. You might need to cancel flights or change plans or take large dangers – however why not? I as soon as signed a one-year lease in Taiwan with a British man that I had solely spent a few weeks with in individual. That relationship labored for a very long time, past the one-year lease. In terms of relationship as a traveler, it’s essential to throw out the rulebook and comply with what feels proper. No video games required.
* The place did you get the concept to put in writing a journey how-to for girls?
My firm, The Solo Lady’s Journey Information, is a set of destination-specific journey guides for girls. And through the years, I’ve seen an evolution within the journeys these girls are taking. Again in 2017 once I began my firm, girls have been taking shorter journeys and holidays. However these days, girls are shopping for a one-way ticket to Mexico Metropolis to work from their laptop computer or packing all the things as much as transfer to South Korea and educate English. The imaginative and prescient of a “good life” for us girls has modified.
In the present day, girls are getting married later, having fewer kids, and making more cash than earlier generations. As an alternative of settling down, girls are craving to pack all the things up, fly to a international nation, fall in love, attempt new meals, discuss to strangers, and simply what it’s prefer to get up joyful as a substitute of pressured. That’s the life I’ve been residing for the previous decade. I’ve lived an unimaginable lifetime of journey. And in addition a silly one. In all these years of journey, I’ve made so many errors and realized tons of invaluable classes that turned me into an individual that I actually love. And I would like this for my readers. That is what The One-Method Ticket Plan is all about.
* What are some security suggestions which you could give girls who’re pondering of touring solo?
There’s this alarm referred to as She’s Birdie. I carry with me all over the place and even sleep with it in my hand or beneath my pillow if I’m in a sketchy space. It’s an alarm, that when yanked aside, sounds this ear-piercing noise and flashes a lightweight. It’s not pepper spray or a weapon, however it’s going to certainly startle any creep and get the eye of these round you. I like to recommend carrying it and no, I don’t receives a commission to say this.
One other tip is to by no means be afraid to ask for assist or help. One time, in Cambodia, I had a stalker. He confirmed as much as my resort. I used to be terrified. I referred to as a pal who she rushed over. Whereas I used to be sitting there frozen in worry, she burst into the riverside restaurant and began screaming, “The place is he?”. Instantly, as soon as the opposite males within the restaurant heard that this stalker was right here to terrorize me, these males become pit bulls. Wanting a chunk of this asshole. The stalker left. I noticed that each one I needed to do was stroll over to certainly one of these males and ask for assist. Folks need to allow you to whenever you’re misplaced, scared, at risk or in want. Ask for assist. Oh additionally, don’t put up your whereabouts on social media in stay time. Publish after you’ve already left the resort so stalkers can’t discover you.
Using elephants. Swimming with captive dolphins. Volunteering at orphanages. Taking footage with tigers. Primarily, any development that includes girls, kids or animals as vacationer sights needs to be canceled.
Additionally, overtourism. Overtourism is an unethical development that the majority of us aren’t even conscious we’re participating in. This development includes an extreme variety of vacationers overwhelming in style locations that may’t maintain that many guests, resulting in environmental degradation, elevated waste, and disruption of native life. Locations like Machu Picchu, the traditional metropolis that was constructed to maintain round 1,000 individuals – however receives effectively over 1,000,000 vacationers per yr traversing the Inca path and overwhelming the areas round it. Large cruise ships additionally contribute to overtourism once they dock at a seashore or island and launch hundreds of sunscreen vacationers into the waters, abandoning air pollution, garbage and little financial worth to the vast majority of the neighborhood. I may go on and on. My message right here is that this: go elsewhere. Keep away from the crowds not solely to your enjoyment however for the well being of the setting and native economies. As an alternative of the #1 hottest Instagram vacation spot in a metropolis, get artistic and go on a meals tour within the #5 hottest metropolis. Not solely will locals be happier to have you ever, however your expertise is more likely to be extra significant than your selfies with tons of sunburned vacationers within the background.
*What’s the attraction of the digital nomad motion?
There are at the moment over 35 million digital nomads worldwide who’ve taken their job distant whereas touring or residing overseas. Many of those individuals have left looking for a extra significant existence. Many of those individuals have realized that they don’t must endure via excessive prices of residing and low high quality of life. $3000 to stay in a shoebox in downtown Seattle? Commerce that for a luxurious seashore villa in Bali for $1500 a month. $12 on Chipotle plus an $8 supply price? No means! $1 Pad Thai is sizzling and prepared in Thailand! Useless-end jobs that suck the soul out of your physique with no regret? Finished with it! Working remotely from a seashore bar in Mexico sounds far more fulfilling. With the 9-5 slowly dying, we’re positive to see a rise in digital nomads spreading around the globe looking for a a lot more healthy work-life steadiness.
The One-Method Ticket Plan: Find out how to Discover and Fund Your Goal Whereas Touring the World
Pub date: September 12, 2023 • Private Development • $19.95
Commerce paperback • 288 pages • ISBN: 978-1-60868-870-8
Additionally obtainable as an e-book