Welcome to Alana Travels. My passion for experiencing the world has taken me all over the globe. From hiking Mt. Mulanje in Malawai to the trails of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales and beyond. Eating my way through food stalls in Shida (Taipei) to savoring local delicacies on the streets of Instabul. What can I say, I love food! I have embraced miraculous moments on the road. I’ve learned that it’s not about how many countries you’ve visited but instead how well you travel and what new perspective you’ve gained to enrich your life. Being the #foodie that I am my first objective when I arrive to my new destination is to eat the best local foods and immerse myself with all that is around me.
How I got started
I have been traveling for about nine years now. My vision and hope for Alana Travels is to inspire those to venture out of their comfort zones and to try traveling solo. Traveling solo was a vision I always had for myself but I didn’t have the skills to know how to plan anything. When I first read The Lost Girls I was deeply moved by their explorations around the world. I remember sitting on my hammock reading their tales through southeast Asia fantasizing how I would one day get there myself. This book was a pivotal step for me to move forward and start mapping out my next journey. I use to to be scared of venturing out on my own until I finally tried it and realized for myself that making decisions on the road, booking accommodation, and deciding on where to visit is all about trial and error. You never know how it is going to be until you at least try.
Building my confidence to travel
My first trip to Thailand scared the s*** out of me. Why? Because I was alone and was an inexperienced traveler with a huge backpack on my back trying to navigate everything on my own with sketchy plans. I didn’t know anyone to follow at that time in order to prepare myself for my first journey abroad. I was overwhelmed by where to go, how to get there, how/where to exchange money and how to navigate the public transport system in Bangkok. It took a bit of planning, organizing, and trusting my intuition after leaving Bangkok to realize that it’s not that hard travel after all and I came to deeply love it once I found my way to Koh Samui. From that point on I never looked back and continued on my own personal journey of self development. That led me me through Taiwan exploring on my own all the way to the south coast of Kenting, Tainan, Nantou, around Taipei and around the Yehlio Geopark.
What I’ve done
I got the travel bug for sure once I moved myself to South Korea to teach English in 2010. With infinite opportunities to sight see around the peninsula of Korea and use my vacation time to travel around Asia I was hooked! Learning a completely different way of living had me head over heels with many exciting things Korean; bibimbap, kimchi, awesome public transportation system, endless coffee shops, serene national parks, and the sharing culture in Korea. The three years I spent living in Korea were endless opportunities to immerse myself in temple stays, hiking Seoraksan in Gangwon-do, drinking coffee in dog cafes, and so much more.
Post Korea I have been working on a modern luxury cruise liner and have been afforded the opportunity to literally sail all around the world stopping at #bucklist ports such as Sydney, Santorini, Darwin, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bora Bora, and beyond. I have sailed through the Inside Passage from Vancouver en route to Alaska to see the magnificent Hubbard Glacier while seeing whales in distance.
The more that I travel the more motivated I feel to learn more about the world, to ask questions, try new foods, and talk to locals. The world is much smaller that we really think. For more about my travels check out my youtube here.
What I know for sure
Traveling alone is very fulfilling. You will experience places on a completely different prospective as opposed to waiting on your travel partners. I haven’t traveled in groups except for my safari in Africa and a group cycling trip in Japan. Traveling alone is where my heart is. I walk to the beat of my own drum. I do things when I am ready to do them. If I want to sit and drink an expresso and meander out the window admiring the scenery I will sit for a long time and enjoy every moment of it. I don’t want anyone waiting on me. Exploring is all about what YOU hope to gain out of it.