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.
Here’s what’s really up
I’m Alex, an American girl backpacking hither and thither throughout Eurasia. No need for fanfare, I’m just an ordinary twenty-something year old who sold everything, left a conventional 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).
How do I travel and where am I going?
The adventure began when I flew from Amsterdam, the Netherlands to Tbilisi, Georgia in February 2016. Ever since, I’ve traveled primarily over land using buses, taxis, rickshaws, boats, and rides from people I meet along the way.
I travel to places often overlooked by Western tourists in favor of other destinations. Weeks of my life have passed without spotting other tourists, 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 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!
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 that are suffering from negative reputations in the media such as Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The new mission is to promote tourism to these countries by sharing peoples’ stories, and showing sides of these countries that the media will never show.
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 make a bit of change from the blog, and do freelance work along the way so I can TRAVEL 4EVER & EVER extend my voyage indefinitely.
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.
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 a much better use of my funds!
Who the heck is this guy 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 stay in touch. I’m
far too lazy not petty enough to go through and editing all of the posts and pages he wrote to make them my own, so you’ll just have to deal with the occasional plural pronoun and shot of his face.
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
- Georgia: Snowy slogs and spirit dogs: hiking in Mestia
- Armenia: The view from the top: a visit to Haghpat monastery
- Iran: Tales of Iranian hospitality: Part I
- Pakistan: The great divide
- China: Why we didn’t like traveling in Xinjiang, China
- Kazakhstan: Two weeks in southern Kazakhstan
- Kyrgyzstan: You need to visit the World Nomad Games
- Uzbekistan: Why you need to see sunrise in Uzbekistan
- Afghanistan: Why the f*ck did we travel to Afghanistan?
- India: 1% of a Palitana pilgrimage
- Nepal: Traveling Nepal during monsoon
- Bhutan: The best part of traveling in Bhutan was… what?!
My favorite photo essays
- Abandoned places and smiling faces in Min Kush, Kyrgyzstan
- Patan Patola, the cloth of kings
- Living it up in Laya at the Royal Highlander Festival
The most useful shit
How much it costs to backpack in…
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.
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.