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Inspiring traveller: Interview with Lost With Purpose


Here at Travelling Weasels we rarely, in fact never, interview anyone. BUT the other day I came across Alex from Lost With Purpose and fell in love so completely I knew I had to interview her!!! I'm so inspired by her story: she over-landed from Georgia to India, she's been to Iran and she has the dopest photos. Plus her writing style is funny and interesting. Visiting Iran and doing an overland trip through Central Asia are very high on my bucket-list, so I hassled her for some answers and this is what she said:  

Hello and thank you for being interviewed! Please introduce yourself and your blog
Heya! I’m Alex, a 26-year-old American girl backpacking hither and thither full-time for almost two years. More often than not I’m lurking in Asia, though this journey has also taken me through Eastern Europe and a smidgeon of the Middle East. I travel to countries many would never dream of visiting, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, and regions often overlooked by mass tourism, such as Central Asia and Northeast India. 


When not finding trains, unraveling my plans, and/or eating my weight in ice cream, I blog about my adventures at Lost With Purpose. My blog is about all things awesome and off the beaten track—if I may say so myself—with a strong focus on storytelling and photography. 

The blog has two goals. The first is to inspire and help other travelers to think outside the box when planning their next trip. The second is to show how people around the world are not as scary as the news might make them seem. I promise! 

What did you do before you travelled, and what do you do now? 
Before doing the quit your job/sell your stuff/peace out deal, I worked primarily as a designer, both freelance and with companies. Graphic design, print design, user experience design for apps and websites… you name it, I’ve probably tried my hand at it. 

These days, I’m traveling full-time while running Lost With Purpose and freelancing once in a blue moon. The blog provides enough for me to scrape by in the cheapest country in the world to travel in (India), and I occasionally write articles, sell photos, and build websites to make my bank account look a bit happier. 


I was really inspired by your overland trip from Georgia to India. Can you give us a brief overview of the trip 
Ah, overlanding! I miss being so strict about traveling—it made decision making much more straightforward. 

Roughly, I overlanded from Tbilisi, Georgia, to India over the course of… around a year? 
My loose itinerary, starting at the end of February 2016, was: 

 · Georgia - 3 weeks 
 · Armenia - 3 weeks 
 · Iran - 2 months 
 · Pakistan - 6 weeks 
 · Western China - 3 weeks 
 · Kazakhstan - 2 weeks 
 · Kyrgyzstan - 3 weeks 
 · Uzbekistan - 3 weeks 
 · Afghanistan - 3 weeks 
· India - Almost one year—and I’m still here—but I’ve taken several flights since. So ends the overlanding adventure! 



I’m bending the definition a tiiiiiny bit, as I did have to fly for safety reasons in Afghanistan—the roads between cities were not safe while I was there—and I had to fly to India from Afghanistan because there was no way for me to exit the country overland visa-wise. Ack! 

Since the streak was broken in Afghanistan, I’ve started to fly. Partially for work (boo time constraints), partially because getting a train ticket in India can be a nightmare unless you book weeks in advance. But never fear, I still travel overland as much as possible. 
We've all eaten rice before, but how often do we think about what goes on before the rice ends up on our plates? We don't know about you, but if we want rice, we go to a store or restaurant and buy some without thinking much of it. But in many of the villages along the the Brahmaputra River in Northeast India, this is how people process the rice they harvest. Golden rice stalks are first piled in the courtyards of family houses. Men and women then drive cows in tight circles over the piles of rice straw for hours. It's seemingly straightforward, but we saw several cows try and make a break for it while the driver was distracted 😂 The cows' clomping hooves eventually knock the grains loose. The leftover straw goes to the animals, and the rice is collected to be stored and eaten by the family. It's wild to think of how many different ways there are to produce something as seemingly simple as rice. Just something to ponder the next time you enjoy a plate or bowl of 🍚
A post shared by Alex | Lost With Purpose (@lostwithpurpose) on

What made you want to try this route, and why did you choose to overland it? 
It all began with a desire to visit Iran, ideally in April when spring weather comes in. 

I meant to begin the journey in Turkey because it was A) warm-ish in February or March, and B) cheap to fly to from where I was living in the Netherlands. But when I was planning the trip, the train line I planned to take between Turkey and Iran was bombed, so I changed gears and booked a flight to Georgia based on location and a friend’s recommendation. 

After that… why not overlanding? It’s cheaper than flying, and, more importantly, a far more interesting way to get from A to B.

You’ll appreciate the journey much more than just getting onto a plane and arriving at your destination within a few hours. Restricting yourself to overland travel also simplifies the process of deciding where to go next; you only have so many options! 

Pick a highlight and lowlight from this trip 
I could hardly pick just one! Let’s see…

Highlight: Pretty much anything that happened in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, from watching the sun set over cliff walls of ancient monastic caves and trees kissed with the gold of autumn, to driving a car down dusty roads, past ancient fortresses and stone villages… much to the confusion of the chauvinistic men working the checkpoints on the roads! 

Lowlight: Almost drowning in my own vomit in my sleep after far, far too much homemade alcohol with some guys I hitchhiked with in Kazbegi, Georgia. And, of course, the 24-hour hangover that came after. 

Is there anything you'd do differently a second time around? 
I would’ve started refreshing my rusty Russian skills way sooner had I realized how useful the language is in Central Asia! 

… and I would’ve packed warm clothes for winter in Georgia. Trooping through deep snow in trainers and sweat pants ain’t cool. Figuratively, that is. 

For people who want to do a similar Eurasia overland trip, what advice would you like to give them? 
In no particular order… 

1. I know it’s a popular choice for Eurasian adventures, but beware of the Mongol Rally. It’s too rushed. Why would you want to spend all day driving and no time really bonding with the local culture?

2. Learn some Russian if you’re heading to the Caucasus or Central Asia. Your experience will be vastly different if you do.

3. Do have some kind of idea about where and how you’ll get your visas before you go. Visa bureaucracy can be a tricky beast in this part of the world.

4. Give yourself time to get lost, change plans, and best of all, get stuck! 

What are the next steps for you? What are your goals for this year, and your long-term goals? Always the question of the hour! 

I recently visited my family in the United States… and picked up a 10-year visa for India in the process! With that kind of bureaucratic cushion, it’s pretty clear that India will end up being a base of sorts over the coming years. I love this part of the world, and could easily spend the rest of my life exploring this country and its neighbors.  

Goal-wise, my goal is to really get situated making a living online this year, either with my blog or via other pursuits. My income is a bit inconsistent at this point, and I’d like to get to the point where I’m making enough passive income that the inconsistencies won’t be the end of me if my savings have run dry. 

But long term goals? Ha! I have trouble deciding what to have for breakfast (a decision I’m avoiding now), let alone deciding what I’ll be doing in a few years! So long as I’m happy and healthy, I’m cool with wherever I end up.





Special thanks to Alex for her answers... guess I better brush up on my high-school Russian haha. For more of her cool shit follow her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter


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We're Laura and Tanbay, a British/German couple who have successfully weaselled our way out of the rat-race and want you to do the same!

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