Ask Me Anything
As part of my new site design (fingers crossed for a launch by the end of February!) I’m adding an FAQ page to Alex in Wanderland. Remember how I mentioned recently that after four days offline, I returned to 270+ emails? Lately I worry the quality of my replies is declining as a result of the quantity. I feel like when I come to the third email in a row asking me for blogging tips, that third person probably doesn’t get the answer they deserve, and it’s time to come up with a better system for some of those most commonly asked questions.
Based on the pattern of emails I regularly receive, I have a pretty good idea of where to start. But now is your chance to ask me anything about travel, life, and my opinion on the world’s best breed of dog (actually, don’t waste your question on that one — it’s cocker spaniels, duh).
Ever wondered what I think the perfect country for a first-time backpacker is? Puzzled over (over)packing methods? Wanted to know about the source of my deeply rooted Diet Coke addiction? Query away! Or if you just want to know the boring stuff — like how I afford to travel or how I grew this blog to 100,000 page views per month — you can ask that too.
Leave your questions in the comments or, for those that are feeling a little shy, feel free to use this contact form. Ya’ll know I love to yak — so go wild!
UPDATE: Answers are live here!
Any tips for a first time diver? I’m planning on doing the padi open water this summer and I’m both excited and a little bit nervous. I was looking at big bubbles dive on gili t then I saw your comment that they had changed staffing recently- any thoughts? Go on then, how did you get to 100, 000 page views? I’m always curious (nosey?) on that kind of stuff! My questions are kind of boring! Looking forward to hearing what others want to ask!
Have to go grocery shopping for March..Do you still love Oreo’s ??? 🙂
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 🙂
Hi Alex! I had been planning to learn how to dive last year, but was feeling apprehensive of the whole thing until I found your blog. Since then, your site has become a daily read for me, so I decided to switch my personal blog over to a travel blog. I guess I do want to know how you made Alex in Wanderland a success because I am leaving for Thailand in a couple days here and want to learn how to gain more traction for my blog during my travels and diving experiences.
Your recent Instagram pic (which is so cute btw!) and comment about ticking something off your Bucket List got me wondering what else might be on your list!?
I have followed your blog for a few years and love reading about your adventures! My husband and I love to travel and have visited just about every place here in the US. We are looking to spend about a month abroad this summer on a pretty tight backpackers’ budget. Where would you recommend we go for a first trip out of the country- a flight from the east coast considered?
In your opinion, what is the single most important benefit of travel.
What do you usually do to break the funk of a location you find yourself not enjoying.
What is your biggest pet peeve about your community? lol…. had to ask.
I love that dog.
Stupidly boring question for now but how easily can you get Doxycycline malaria tablets over the counter in South America? And how cheap are they? Just debating how many I need to order from the docs at home!
This is a great idea to have an open forum. Can’t wait to see what you come up with to publish!
I’m curious to know how you built your blog up, any tips you have etc? Also, do you ever plan to settle and have less of a nomadic lifestyle or are you happy to continue as you are? (which is a great way to live btw!!)
Hey young lady, I was wondering:
1. Do you always take your diving gear when you travel where there is the possibility of diving, or only if you have pre-planned to dive?
2. How heavy is all your luggage when you do travel (with and without dive gear)?
3. Are you a beer drinker? 🙂
Thanks Chris- I knew there was a question I wanted to ask that I couldn’t remember…Are you a beer drinker? Ha, Ok it was the first two about carrying diving equipment (not that I’m a diver yet but still curious! And I always wonder if it’s worth buying my own snorkelling gear and stuff like that too). If I was gonna ask about beer though- I’d ask what’s the best beer in the world? 🙂
LOL, tough question indeed there J in Beijing!
Not sure if there is one single ‘best’ beer…
Of beers I’ve had on my travels, a few favourites would be:
Chang – Thailand
Beer Lao – Laos
Budvar – Czech Republic
How do all of your travels make you feel about home (the US) and about living there in the future? Does traveling make you want to stay away longer, or make you think that in the future the US is the place you’ll want to spend the most of your time?
Hi! I was wondering if anyone of your relatives questioned your desision to travel and if so, how did you handle that?
Would you recomend going to Gili to take the beginners diving course?
I love your blog and have been reading it for years, keep ut the good work girl!
I really enjoy reading you blog, and can totally relate to your love of Asia and feeling underwhelmed as you traveled through South America. I have been traveling for years, but have finally decided to blog about it. While others have already asked about increasing readership, etc…my question is: how did you go about getting the freebies? Specifically, how do you go about getting your accommodation covered or your activities, ie-. SUP in Peru?
1. Do you know anything about diving with latex allergies? I want to get into diving but am very worried about the hoses or regulators provided by companies being rubber.
2. What are your long term plans? Do they involve travel?
Other good things to put in your FAQ section that I know you’ve answered (you could just link to the posts).
– an up-to-date how I afford this lifestyle post
– your photography/scuba gear
– how you stay fit abroad
Fun, LOVE question & answers!
That’s a fun addition! I wonder if you get recognized when you travel and if you have a funny story that goes with it?
Where do you see youself in 10 years?
When you are not being provided with accommodation by a partnership or for a review etc, how do you pick out where to stay? Do you book in advance or do you just show up and look around? Also do you have any particular criteria for selecting a place to stay? Thanks
I would like to read about the heart please! You are a wealth of information about travel and diving, which is why I became a fan- but what kept me coming back to your blog was the human element and the ability to relate, so I want to know more specifically about you!
1. Travel has broadened my perspective greatly and given me much insight as to the values held by different people from all over the world. What are some life lessons or core values that you have adopted since leaving on the great escape? How has sharing your perspective with others changed them?
2. How do manage a long distance relationship, and deal with those moments when no matter where you are, or what you’re doing it doesn’t seem as good because he/she is not there? What advice do you have for couples who are in the same situation?
Maybe these are FAQs, perhaps they are their own blogs, but as a devoted reader I am interested to know hear your take.
p.s. you should totally make your best FAQs into a hilarious t-shirt
I’d like info on how you edit your photos, underwater ones too! Mine still never look as good, even after processing.
Ummmm why my whole life have I though FAQ meant facts and questions…… this. Is. blowing. My. mind.
I would love blogging tips x100 like advertising tips & what you say in email pitches to hotels and tourism boards!
Awesome. Looking forward to your new site design and the FAQ section. I would love to know how you grew your audience that big and how long it took you to reach the different stages, i.e. 10k views, 50k views and 100k views.
Hey Alex 🙂
Long time ready and fan. What I would love to know is how you found your writing style and manage to convey such great personality through your writing. It’s something I struggle with – I feel like I have to put ! and lol at the end of everything to make it have personality, and it just ends up looking lame…
What a great idea – I’m going to have to look into this myself. I’m feeling overwhelmed with all the questions… I want to help people and give them great answers, but I work 9 hours a day 6 days a week and I hate spending all my time off in front of the computer. Good call!
Here’s what I’d like to see:
1. Show me how you fit a BCD in that backpack!!!
2. I’d be interested to hear more about how you get in with your sponsors and partnerships (ex. the stuff you did for Viator in South America) – did you pitch to them or did they approach you?
I know this will differ from place to place that you spend your time in, but what would you say would be your average yearly costs? Taking into account visas, flights, accommodation and extras.
I was also wondering how big your backpack is and what you look for when buying a backpack/any recommendations?
And just a personal curiosity.. when you are given accommodation/experiences at lower or no financial costs, but in exchange for your reviews, do you usually contact companies letting them know what your plans are and if there is any chance of organizing something like that, or do companies contact you and you fit that into your schedule if it’s something that interests you? I had always wondered so it will be interesting to hear how that works.
All the best
Great idea and my question is:
How do you cope with the longdistance part of your relationship? How does it affect you and how far ahead to you guys plan in terms of meeting up around the world? Would you like to settle down somewhere eventually or do you hope to continue traveling for as long as you can?
Okay I have a few!
1. Budgeting – do you draw up a budget for each location/day and stick to it, or just kind of wing it based on looking at your finances from time to time? I am awful at budgeting on trips 🙂
2. Work/play balance – how do you balance a full time job writing about travel with the actual travel part? Does Anders or your other travel companions ever get annoyed of your work schedule or do they just understand it comes as part of the package?
3. I am also curious where you see yourself in ten years, but since I can’t answer that question myself I won’t subject you to it! But if you think you will settle down eventually, do you think it’ll be in the US or abroad?
Excited to see the new site Alex!
Hey there! I’m starting my travels around SEAsia and Australia at the end of march, your skin always looks so flawless, just wondering what beauty products and make up you use for the hot humid environments? Love your blog! Xx
Yes, how you grew your blog? That’s my question! :-p
I’ve been a huge fan of your blog for awhile now and recently went back to see how it all started.
How did you find the volunteer opportunity at the animal clinic in Koh Tao? Any resources you’d suggest for people looking to volunteer abroad?
Hi– just wanted to take the time to thank you for your blog on the Florida Everglades. My family and I just completed our adventure and we followed your journey literally to a T. I was so much better that we followed your plan. It was so much more sane and you actually did some really neat things which we followed up. Thank you for all your help. I can definitely say our trip was a success because of you. I look forward to checking out your site some more. Thanks so much!
Hey Dan, so glad to hear that! It always thrills me to hear someone has been able to take one of my trips and use it as inspiration for their own. The Everglades are incredible!