Saturday, November 9, 2013

Interview (6) - let me introduce you to Alexandra

My name is Alexandra Kovacova, usually called Alex. I was born in a small town in Slovakia, lived in other 5 countries already and traveled to more than 45. My motto is Carpe Diem. I quit modeling to study MA in Spanish and English philology and then quit flight attendant job to travel the world and blog about it . 

Playa del Carmen in Mexico - the town where my laptop was stolen

What was your inspiration or the event/idea that made you want to travel?
One of the reasons, not a nice one at all, was when my younger brother committed suicide in 2006. I needed something to make me forget the pain and I found traveling the best remedy.

What was your first travel experience?
Can't really call it the first but was my first solo trip - I went to Barcelona for 3 weeks with no accommodation arranged. It turned out to be the best experience ever, I had so much fun! That was the trip that made me fall in love with traveling so much I have not been able to stop ever since. It taught me to enjoy my own company and count on myself.
 Parc Guell from my first big solo trip to Barcelona

Have you ever felt lonely travelling solo?
Of course I have but not very often. If I really want to spend time with someone, it is super easy when on the road. There's always other travelers to accompany me. The only ''problem'' is not having someone for secret chatting and stuff as with the travelers you meet you talk about the same old stuff.

Do you have any fun stories of things that happened to you that you realized even at the time, “This never would have happened if I had been traveling with someone else?”
Hm maybe some romantic stories with guys? Haha.

What was your best travel experience?
3 months around Mexico when I quit my flight attendant job in March 2011. I'd never felt that happy.

Is there anything you would have done differently/ any regrets, if you could do it over again?
No, not the things I did. I am one of those who believe in ''I regret only the things I have not done, not those I have.''

What was your worst travel experience?
I reckon when my laptop was stolen in Playa del Carmen in Mexico. I felt naked without many ready articles and photos from the 3-month trip!

What’s the strangest situation you have found yourself in?
Not knowing the next destination :D
High Tatras mountains in Slovakia

Where will you never return to?
Honestly, there is no such a place. I try to find good things about every single place I visit.

What advice would you give women traveling solo to your home country?
Slovakia is pretty safe and I don't think you should be scared at all. Just check out your belongings in big cities.

What are your future travel plans?
I am attending a few courses about yoga and raw vegan diet around Slovakia and Czech republic, also presenting at some travel conferences in Slovakia and writing 2 ebooks about how to stay fit when traveling (one in Slovak and one in English) until Christmas. Then most probably off to Central America in the end of January to finally catch some sun.

What are your top three tips for women traveling solo?
Pretend you are familiar with the place as if you knew where you were going. Serious look always helps. But on the other hand be nice to people and smile at them. If you are super scared, carry a pepper spray with you (ot at least to calm down your mum.) And stay positive - do not think of bad things that could happen to you. You know, the Law of attraction ...
Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina

What would you tell women who are looking to travel alone but worry about their safety?
Use your common sense and listen to the locals. If they tell you not to go to a certain neighbourhood or you feel weird about it yourself, listen to it.

Couchsurfing..what do you think about that?
Oh no, again that question :D I used to use CS pretty often a few years ago but had some bad experiences, simply because guys think that a good-looking girl find every guy good-looking too (or is desperate or something?!) and they misunderstood a free couch to agreeing with free sex. I wrote a whole post about sex and Couchsurfing. Although I met a bunch of amazing people via CS, I use it a lot less now.

How do you pay for a life of travel?
Full-time travel blogging.

Tell us about the best food you have ever eaten on your travels?
I am a raw vegan now so thinking of the answer would kill me :D

What is the most breathtaking view you have ever witnessed on your travels
Hm, the first one that comes to my mind is Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina. Irresistible! 

What do you miss about your home when you go traveling?
My family and friends, Slovak cuisine, our beautiful nature and castles.

What item will you always carry in your backpack?
Coconut oil.
practising yoga to stay fit when traveling

What have you learned from travelling?
I think all the important things I know now I learned on the road. Like I said, count on myself, be happy in my own skin, never get lost anywhere, minimalism is the way to go, there are people with worse life than me. I learned to love every day and be grateful for every good thing and person I meet.

Who inspires you? What other travellers do you look up to?
All the other travel bloggers and my friends. Way too many to mention them all in here :D

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