Hey there, I’m Alexa.
A slow traveling, yoga doing, veggie eating, digital nomad from New York.
In 2014, two years after graduating college, I was working as an “administrative assistant” at an architecture firm in Upstate New York. As grateful as I was to have a good job coming right out of college and as much as I liked the people I worked with, I quickly realized the office life was not for me.
I was lucky in that my family traveled quite a bit and always encouraged me to stay curious and keep exploring. We traveled to places like Australia, Venezuela, Mexico, Dominican Republic when I was growing up. And for as long as I can remember, I’ve had a strong desire to see the world.
That August, I packed my bags and set off on a one way trip to Prague to be an Au Pair. I had never lived abroad before and was excited to see what the future held. While I was there, I traveled around Europe and managed to see seven countries in three months.
I had to get out of Europe after my visa was up and then spent three months in Morocco, working at a beautiful boutique hotel and with an NGO. I had been doing some research about travel blogging and working location independently while I was there but I had no idea where to start or even what I wanted to do.
All the articles I read about becoming a digital nomad kept mentioning a place called Chiang Mai. This town in Thailand, was apparently the Mecca for working online. Cheap cost of living, fast internet speeds and a community of people with a similar mindset.
Asia, wow. I had only ever dreamed of going to Thailand. My cousins had taken a family trip when we were young and I remember seeing pictures of them riding elephants and thinking it was the absolute epitome of an exotic location. I wanted to go – bad.
*** Side note: Please do not ever ride elephants.
And so there I am, squinting at my laptop, researching this so called “digital nomad hot spot” into the dark hours of the night. It becomes pretty clear that if I want to make a living online, this is the place to go. But I’m thinking to myself that I can’t go to Asia. It’s too far, it’s so foreign, I’ve never been, I don’t speak Thai, I don’t know anyone on the entire freakin’ continent, what if they don’t have Starbucks?
I mulled it over for a few days and came to the conclusion that I’d probably be fine if I didn’t go.
But… what if I did?
I bought a ticket that night from Marrakech to Thailand.
I set up base camp in Chiang Mai and immediately fell in love with Thai culture. What was originally supposed to be a three month trip turned into a year and a half. I started dabbling in freelance writing and took an English teaching job to help support myself. I started to build up my writing portfolio and quickly realized that holy crap, this could actually be a career.
I wrote for a few different clients and generally enjoyed writing, though the work was sporadic and the pay wasn’t all that great. During that time, I began playing with WordPress – here on my blog and for a few friends that needed help with their websites. It dawned on me that that was way more fun and lucrative than writing and I started to foster a web design career rather than freelance writing.
These days, I run a digital marketing and web design company called Splash Digital Marketing, that I can operate from anywhere in world as long as I have my laptop and a decent WiFi connection. We offer graphic design, web design and marketing services and I am proud to say that after two years of busting my ass I now earn my income entirely online.
Full fledged digital nomad style.
To say that my experience in Chiang Mai changed my life would be an understatement. I made friends that I’ll always have, I connected with like minded people from all over the world and bootstrapped a business while I was there. I attended workshops, ate copious amounts of incredible food, traveled all over South East Asia, started practicing yoga and found a (rough) direction in life.
I also crashed my motorbike, dropped my brand new iPhone in the ocean, was down to my last baht on more than one occasion and contracted a possible case of dysentery.
My journey has not been without its struggles for sure and I continue to learn and grow from my experiences every day. BUT I can’t help feeling extremely grateful for the path my choices have led me down. I have been lucky enough to have some amazing opportunities and be exposed to this type of lifestyle.
I travel all over the place, I work when I want and I am generally in control of my life. Will I continue this lifestyle forever? Probably not. I’m sure I’ll eventually get sick of picking up and leaving every few months or staring at a screen for hours on end. But for now, this is it and it is good.
With this blog, I hope to give you a peek into this type of lifestyle and help you out as much as I can by sharing my experiences.
I’ll write about being a digital nomad, the places I travel to and healthy living. I’m a vegetarian and I love to do yoga and be active, so expect outdoor adventures and drool worthy yoga spots. I also tend to be a walking disaster, so you’ll get some ridiculous stories of my incredibly awkward life as well.
Thanks so much for stopping by and feel free to check out my social media accounts for current happenings.
Much love from a little cafe on a tree lined street in Medellin.