Hi! My name is Alyssa. Welcome to Roam the World at Will.

Humanitarian, world explorer, sister, daughter, millennial, activist, fundraiser, feminist, scuba diver, and champion of all things wild and free.

In October 2016, I quit a job I loved to pursue another passion of mine: travel. After applying for an Australian work / holiday visa and saving money for five months, I left for Sydney on a one-way ticket. I worked and lived in Australia for four months before embarking on my Southeast Asia travels.

This trip had been ten years in the making (I wrote a speech in high school about how I wanted to backpack Australia) and to see it finally come together was a dream of mine.

I started this blog in May 2015 to document my backpacking adventures in Thailand. I wanted to share with family, friends, and colleagues how easy it could be to travel safely and cheaply on the road as a solo female. I like to share practical advice that can help other backpackers, but I’ve also been journaling for 20 years and truly enjoy writing. This blog is an extension of my personal journal; a snippet of my thoughts, feelings, and decisions as I travel.

Traveling is a huge part of who I am. I love picking a destination and then making it happen, no matter how long it takes. I love sharing my travel stories and helping others see that if they want to travel, they absolutely can with planning and patience (and sometimes you don't need those things at allyou just need courage and a dose of spontaneity!).

And my favorite way to travel? Solo. I hope to inspire you to do the same!

I am, admittedly, a beach junkie when it comes to my travels. You can find me basking in the sun, chasing the horizon on a sailboat, or exploring the sea through scuba diving. And I also love adrenaline rushes: I will be the first to sign up for bungee jumping through a canyon or a trek through the rain forest.

But regardless of what I’m doing or where I am, I have found that the memories that stay with me the most are not the places, but the people.

Time and time again, my travels have been impacted by the people I have met while on the road: the SCUBA diver instructor who refused to let me quit; the Balinese hostel manager who shared a cup of tea with me as we talked about religion and faith; the fellow American who taught me how to solve a Rubik’s cube; the Peruvian children I played card games with every afternoon.

This blog is my attempt at capturing those memories, more so than the Instagrammable destinations.

Aside from my travels, I graduated from Saint Mary’s College, a liberal arts, all-women’s college in Indiana. It was the best decision I ever made. As a college student, I discovered my passion for philanthropy and development work. Since graduating, I have worked in development for a children’s hospital and in higher education. I finished my MPA in Nonprofit Management in 2017 while traveling through Malaysia.

My newest adventure? I moved to the South after returning home; I now live and work in Mississippi!

The Inspiration

And the inspiration for Roam the World at Will? It’s from a poem I found in a library book right before I volunteered in Guatemala in 2010, and it’s stayed with me ever since. Here’s an excerpt, by poet Robert W. Service:

“There's a race of men that don't fit in,

A race that can't stay still;

So they break the hearts of kith and kin,

And they roam the world at will.

They range the field and they rove the flood,

And they climb the mountain's crest;

Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,

And they don't know how to rest.”

I hope this blog inspires you to explore new places. Feel free to leave a comment, shoot me an email, or follow me on social media!

Where Have I Been?

Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and England (2006)
Peru (2007)
Guatemala (2010)
The Philippines (2011, 2017) - solo
Spain, Morocco, France, Portugal (2011)
Italy, Switzerland (2011) - solo
Nicaragua (2014) - solo
Thailand (2015, 2017) - solo
Belize (2016) - solo
Australia (2016) - solo
Singapore (2017) - solo
Malaysia (2017) - solo
Myanmar (2017) - solo
Vietnam (2017) - solo
Indonesia (2017) - solo
Hong Kong (2017) - solo
Canada (2017) - solo

In August 2017, after 10 months away and 10 countries traveled, I returned home to Indiana!

Logo and website design by Megan Gross.

Disclaimer: All views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog are my own and do not necessarily represent the opinions of any employer, organization, group, or entity which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated.