“Wherever you go, becomes a part of you somehow.”
Another week. And another story from a traveler. Our guest today is Alexandra Moncada, a 19-year old sophomore at West Virginia University.
During the difficult transition to living alone during her freshman year, she decided to create a blog. She enjoys writing about everything a 19-year old college student would: traveling, style, beauty, décor, and health, all while balancing nursing school. Here’s her story.
What got you into traveling?
I grew up in a small town in West Virginia, so my family really emphasized the importance of learning about other cultures ever since I was a little girl. I have been fortunate enough to be able to be exposed to different settings across North America.
From Mexico to Canada and about everywhere in between, I have had the opportunity to see, even if just for a day. On my blog, you can see photos and read about some of my destinations from my most recent travel experiences.
Currently, a lot of where I have visited have been local (WV) or along the East Coast (PA, NC, OH, GA). Most of the traveling has been done on the road, which is my personal favorite. With the right company, the journey could be just as fun as the destination.
What was your first travel experience like?
My love for traveling really began to flourish when I went to Albuquerque, New Mexico for my 6th birthday (I have also visited in my adulthood). That was the first time I had experienced an entirely new landscape and I remember feeling like I had traveled to another planet.
Six-year-old me had never seen anything other than rolling hills and lush, green forestry… a two-hour plane ride later, all I could see was sand colored desert and a massive mountain in the middle of it all.
There are certain things the West Coast has that the East Coast just doesn’t: no humidity (my hair has never looked better), cacti, hikes, activities, and most importantly culture. On the East, especially the North East, time seems to move so fast; whereas the West seems to be so much calmer and spontaneous.
I mean, every state is unique and that is why I emphasize on traveling. Each time I visit a place, even if it’s somewhere I have been before, I learn something new that makes me fall in love. The memories you make traveling are the ones you will cherish most when you look back.
How did you take up blogging?
I began blogging in my freshman year at college, and at that time I had been obsessing over bloggers/how to blog/if I would be a good blogger, for years. Freshman year was the most stressful year of my life; not only did I leave and miss my family, I had three roommates that did not like me very much.
Before, I never had the courage to put myself out there and be as raw as blogging until I felt like I had nothing and no one. I pushed aside my fear of being seen by people I knew who might judge me and made a free Wix account. Then I spent hours of my own time making an attractive website aesthetic, choosing content, shooting content, figuring out how to gain exposure, etc.
Now, every time I look at my website I am just overjoyed. It is something I have put so much time and heart into, and although I don’t have hundreds of thousands of followers, I am happy just thinking one person may find me interesting. If I had to give you any piece of advice: do what makes you happy and don’t care what others think.
What is your advice to people who wish to travel but think they can’t?
Oh sweetie, you CAN do it. I am SO broke, but every time I get even a little cash I immediately put it in my piggy bank in anticipation of my next trip. If you are apprehensive: start small. Travel to the nearest city and plan out a day trip.
I go to Pittsburgh about twice a semester for a day trip, Pittsburgh is not a huge city, but I see something new each time I visit. Freshman year, when I lived in the dorms and could not bring my car, I used Zipcar ($80/day including gas). Not even the lack of transportation should stop you!
As for you who hate flying, like me, take baby steps. I will let you in on a fear of mine: planes. I cry uncontrollably and for no reason as soon as I step foot on one (yes, you can laugh), but that DOES NOT stop me. I am not going to let my mind hinder my life.
I just google practices that help with my fear, bring a good book, and think about how much fun I will be having in a few short hours. One thing I will say, easing myself in with shorter flights (30mins-1hr) really helped me analyze what a small deal flying was.
Those are some really great advice and tips, Alexandra! Thank you for sharing and we wish you all the very best in life 🙂
Like it? Pin it!