What is Lost With Purpose?

Yo!

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably just come across Lost With Purpose for the first time. Well, hold on to your seat: your life is about to change forever.

… no, I kid. You can let go of your seat now.

What is Lost With Purpose? - Hitchhiking in Xinjiang, China

Hitching a ride with a truck driver in Xinjiang, China.

Here’s what’s really up

I’m Alex, an American girl backpacking hither and thither around the planet. No need for fanfare, I’m just an ordinary twenty-something-year-old who sold everything, left a “real person” job, and decided to travel the world for a while.

My life fits into two backpacks, I am perpetually getting lost, and I dream of one day filling an entire passport (and simultaneously dread the resulting bureaucratic hassle).

What is Lost With Purpose - Alex in Goris, Armenia

In-spired by the spires of Goris, Armenia

How do I travel and where am I going?

The adventure began when I flew away from the haze of Amsterdam, the Netherlands to frosty Tbilisi, Georgia in February 2016.

Ever since, I’ve traveled primarily over land using buses, taxis, trains, rickshaws, boats, horses, and rides from people I meet along the way. And then some.

Dying/laughing with our hitchhiking companions in Kazbegi, Georgia

A dangerously toxic hitchhike in Kazbegi, Georgia.

I travel to places often overlooked by Western tourists in favor of other destinations. Weeks of my life have passed without spotting Whiteus Peopleus, I’ve set foot in countries my government urges me to avoid, and I’ve spent many an hour miming things because it’s my only form of communication.

At the time of writing, my journey has taken me through:

Next up… who knows? I go wherever the wind takes me, and wherever there’s good people (and good food) to be had.

What is Lost With Purpose - Alex in Balkh, Afghanistan

Looking out over Old Balkh, Afghanistan… right before everything went a little crazy.

What am I trying to do?

My original mission was to provide future travelers with useful information. When researching my trip, I struggled to find all of the dirty details I wanted about the places I meant to visit.

“Top 10 Instagram-ready Spots in Country X” lists are all well and good (just kidding, I think they’re wretched), but I’m more interested in things like how much it costs to go backpacking in Georgia, or what women should expect when traveling in Iran.

I do my best to cover what I find useful, and I’m always down to help others interested in following my footsteps. If you have questions, just ask! But please, for the love of god, don’t ask me to plan a whole itinerary for you.

What is Lost With Purpose? - Alex with kids in Bangladesh - Lost With Purpose travel blog

Being abducted by adorable aunties and small children in Dhaka, Bangladesh

As I wandered along my merry way, another mission took form. I’ve come across so many good people from “forgotten” countries such as Armenia, or from countries suffering from negative reputations in the media such as Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Mission 2.0 is to promote tourism to these countries by sharing peoples’ stories, and showing sides of these countries that the media will never show.

 

 

I'm foreign so I must be rich

The most common question: how do I afford to travel?

I’m no trust fund baby (if only), and I don’t receive financial help from anyone (feel free to sponsor me, O Peoples With Monies). I fund my travels purely through money I saved or earned on my own. Here’s how you can do it, too!

Before my departure, I saved up enough money to travel for a little over a year… and the money stretched much further than I thought it would! These days, I’m doing the “digital nomad” hustle: I make some money from the blog, and freelance along the way so I can TRAVEL 4EVER & EVER extend my voyage indefinitely.

What is Lost With Purpose - Alex running through the mountains of Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh, India

Prancing and dancing in Mechuka, AKA paradise in Arunachal Pradesh state, India

I also save money on the road by defying the expectations of locals and traveling as cheaply as possible.

Grubby hostels and hotels call to me. I’m not above eating bread for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Walking an extra mile to find a bus instead of taking a taxi is chill with me… except when it’s literally 45°C outside. I don’t buy souvenirs–sorry family and friends–and I’ve passed on a tourist sight (or twelve) when I thought tickets were too costly.

What is Lost With Purpose - Hitchhiking in Ladakh

Hitchhiking along one of the highest paved roads in the world

Basically, I travel hella cheaply in places that are hella cheap. You probably won’t find me wandering in western Europe any time soon, unless I’ve come back to visit family and friends or get shwasted during the Netherlands’ favorite holiday. Asia is much more cost effective! And the food is better.

Who the heck is this dude in half of your posts?

Ah, an interesting question!

At the start of my journey, I traveled with Sebastiaan, a gangly Dutchman/my boyfriend at the time. We traveled and ran the blog together for almost two years, but then broke up while traveling at the end of 2017. Oops!

Never fear, there’s no bitter feels—we’re still friends and he still helps out with the blog. I’m far too lazy not petty enough to go through and edit him out of all of the posts and pages he wrote, so you’ll just have to deal with the occasional plural pronoun and shot of his face.

Or you can pretend I transform into a European man under the full moon. That’s cool, too.

What is Lost With Purpose - Alex in the Himalayas at the Royal Highlander Festival

Frolicking in the Himalayas during the 2017 Royal Highlander Festival in Bhutan

Time to explore some more!

But that’s enough rambling for now. This is a blog, after all–why not check out some of my  favorite posts?

My favorite posts

My favorite photo essays

The most useful shit

How much it costs to backpack in…

What is Lost With Purpose? - Alex swinging on a tree in Hatiya, Bangladesh - Lost With Purpose travel blog

Being very professional *ahem* on the island of Hatiya in Bangladesh

Work with me?

I’m not above a little sweat and toil while on the road! I’ve gotta do what we can to keep the travel train running as long as possible. Feel free to inquire about working with me, collaborating with me, and/or sponsoring me.

Stalk me

If you’re too cool to read through the blog (lazy you), you can also stalk me on my other social media accounts. I’m down with that–it’s the 21st century, after all. Please don’t actually stalk me in real life, that’s not cool.

Facebook | InstagramPinterest | Twitter

Alex

American by birth, British by passport, Filipina by appearance. Addicted to ice cream. Enjoys climbing trees, dislikes falling out. Has great fondness for goats which is usually not reciprocated.

More about Alex

38 thoughts on “What is Lost With Purpose?

    DevGill says:

    Alex oh Alex you indeed r living your dream girl. Kudos to you and having glimpses of you in the last 10 years did show me adventurous side of you. I just hope Aman will tether to your adventure and living free………Envious I am not and love you for pursuing your passion. Regards to Sebastian I have yet to meet.

    Hi Dev! I think Aman has enough of a bad influence from you to encourage a crazy lifestyle… I expect great things 😉

    Hope all is well with you, it’s been too long! Cheers from China! – A

    Magdalena says:

    Happy to have found your blog! I am looking forward to reading more of your adventures!

    Glad to have you along for the ride!

    Rama Jamal Ramadhan says:

    You are my inspiration!! Looking forward to the other extremities 😀

    That’s very nice to hear. Glad to have you along for the ride!

    GirlAstray says:

    It´s a little bit off topic, but how did you cross to India – did you go overland via the Pakistan – India border? Was there any problem? (Planning to do it, heard it can get difficult…) Thank you! 🙂

    No, we had to fly from Afghanistan to India. As long as you have the Pakistan visa already, crossing the border shouldn’t be a problem. Just be aware of the time differences, and make sure you get there early enough to waste time on bureaucratic BS 😉

    Our friend The Broke Backpacker put together an article on this border crossing that might be helpful: http://www.thebrokebackpacker.com/wagah-border-crossing/

    Tem says:

    Really enjoyed your guys’ Kazakhstan posts. I was born in Almaty and never really went to travel around KZ, now I’m thinking I should plan something out!

    You really should. You live in a beautiful country!. Cheers.

    I really like your writing! It’s rare to find a travel blog that doesn’t mind being different and actually has something to say. -Ivan

    Thanks a lot. That’s a great compliment to get. Cheers!

    Jim Finnie says:

    I commented on your Afghan blog/guide yesterday and only today have I gotten around to reading (some) of the rest of your stuff. Inspirational. ILove the quirkiness of your writing! ‘m a little older than you I suspect (know!) and now I’m too old to climb big mountains (I was never that good at it anyway), I’ve started exploring, mostly in Africa but, if plans work out, Afghanistan sometime soon (i do know when but I’m not publicizing it – see, I learn quickly!) Keep travelling – never stop! Looking forward to your book. There will have to be a book right? 🙂

    Hiya, and thanks for commenting (again). Truth be told, we suck at climbing mountains too. Yet we try (and fail), because the views are so nice. We’d love to go to Africa one day, but our wallets aren’t big enough at the moment. It’s almost time to start replenishing them. Have fun in Afghanistan (smart move on not publicizing your exact dates). Do let us know if you need any help or are looking for reliable contacts in the country. As for the book, hopefully we can find a ghostwriter 😉 Cheers!

    Nitin Rauthan says:

    Hey Guys !! You are amazing and Very inspirational — you two will have a long and happy life together.

    Are you planning another trip?
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Sebastiaan says:

    Thanks a lot! We’re actually still on a trip 😉

    Anushree says:

    Loved this page and hooked on to your blog and your journey. Never come across someone who does not have western European countries in their travel plans Lol! Also, am from India and thoroughly enjoyed reading about your Indian adventures. Good luck.

    Sebastiaan says:

    That’s great to hear, thanks a lot. Haha, Europe is too costly for us 😉 And yeah we had a great time in India, and will be back soon. Where in India are you from?

    himadri ganguly says:

    hi!
    i’m himadri from india , in saudiarabia for a decade now 50 years young and an avid shooter from india
    in july i’m leaving for india please guide me for the gear, nikon full frame and sony rx1

    ANINDYA MUKHERJEE says:

    HELLO,
    I’M ANINDYA FROM INDIA. YOUR PAGE IS SO TOUCHY THAT I IMMEDIATELY FALL IN LOVE WITH IT.I NEED YOUR HELP IN FUTURE. IN YOUR NEXT VISIT TO INDIA,IF YOU WANT I WANT TO MEET with YOU.

    ANINDYA MUKHERJEE says:

    HELLO,
    I’M ANINDYA FROM INDIA. YOUR PAGE IS SO TOUCHY THAT I IMMEDIATELY FALL IN LOVE WITH IT.I NEED YOUR HELP IN FUTURE.

    Lokesh says:

    Hi Alex,

    It’s really inspiring! You are literally living what I dreamt of. Thanks for the inspiration. I have to say that ” Your photos are awesome, whoever clicked them, great photographer”.

    Alex says:

    Thanks Lokesh. I take all my photos, except when I instruct others on how to take the shots of me 😉

    Yasir Siddiqui says:

    I’m inspired by your posts and I’m a schools student
    I seen your saving posts ho to save money and I will try asap
    Post was too old now its 7 August 2018 😂
    I will try to read all posts 😂😂

    Shawn says:

    I am also a twenty something who has the travel bug. I have been to 106 countries…. none of which are in Central Asia. I am looking at people’s experiences getting Pakistani visas which is how I ended up on your blog. How did you get your Pakistani visa/how long did it take? Also if you want to go “off the tourist path” then I recommend visiting West and Central Africa. I know for a fact Central Africa Republic (was there in July) had about 210 tourists last year and that Equatorial Guinea (Americans are visa free) had less than a hundred. Most West African countries are safe for solo women travelers and get almost no tourists as well (Liberia for example gets a bad rap but is not bad. You will feel worshiped there as an American). My main recommendation for Africa is do couchsurfing/stay with locals. Everything other accommodation is either expensive or miserable. If you want to be off the tourist route in South America go Paraguay. Enjoy!

    Bulbul Sarwar says:

    Very useful and nice write up….
    Please stay in touch. Me too a writer.

    ali says:

    nothing else but its coooooooool nd fantastic

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