Spotlight: Alexandra Of Fluent In Frolicking

Greetings fellow travel enthusiasts, I’ve got another interesting interview for you. This week’s world wanderer is Alexandra Pucherelli, originally from Hawaii. Now she is proudly living life out of a suitcase and inspiring / encouraging you to do the same. Many of you may recognize her from her blog, Fluent In Frolicking. She also is a contributing author to the HoliDaze.

Stunning sunset in Lanai, Hawaii
Stunning sunset in Lanai, Hawaii

She also takes awesome photos, which you will see scattered throughout the interview. Now, let’s see how she handles our tough questions!

Alexandra, Beach Gidget

So tell us more about you and your blog, Fluent In Frolicking.

I am a 30+ solo female traveler, showing mastery in behaving playfully around the world. I share my musings, photography, budgets, and frolicking tips with you. Bad with learning new languages but very fluent in frolicking.

Your journeys seem to be about more than just traveling. What made you want to start this life process in the first place?

When I was 20 years old I went to Europe for the first time. It was there that I heard of ‘Gap Years’ this was a completely new notion for me. At the time I had just quit college, the first time, and saved up for a few months to travel around Europe. I was the only person I knew doing anything like this. I had no idea that European kids were often regularly granted time and money for these types of adventures and that they were often given a full year to travel at that age. Since that time I had always dreamed of a year off for a RTW trip. It wasn’t till I was sitting in the Sydney airport on the way home from my 30th birthday trip that I realized it was now or never. I gave myself one year to save up, sell off, hit the road and say goodbye to American conformity.

I went from having my own office and four-person team to becoming unemployed, a victim of the economic situation a couple years back. Since then my travels have made me realize the value of culture and learning about our world, and thus my life goals and plans have completely changed. Have you had any similar moments and has it changed what you want and or need out of life?

Traveling this past year has definitely changed what I value most out of life. I have learned about myself that all I really want/need out of life is happiness and that I will be completely selfish in attaining it. I value freedom more than job security; adventure over stagnancy; and most importantly I value each day I wake up now in a new city armed with only my blind faith that everything will turn out fine. I recently was back in San Francisco visiting the same friends who had become my family over the last five years of living there. To see that they were still doing the same things, that they still valued new clothes and fancy dinners over life experiences that they were dumbfounded by how I only had one bag of possessions made me realize that my true tribe is the one out here on the road. I enjoy people who get excited about tasting strange new foods, catching stolen moments at sunset on desolate beaches and most importantly value the idea that “life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.”

Spices at a market in Turkey
Spices at a market in Turkey

I really appreciate your price breakdown of countries. Would you say most of your success has been in the research done before hand?

I’m so glad you like those posts. I really do hope they help others see that traveling doesn’t need to cost you a fortune. I spent less than $10,000 in a year of traveling the globe and that includes all transportation, lodging, activities, food and drinks! To be honest I don’t do much research before hand. I just try to keep my costs as low as possible. I am still trying to figure out how to make money (if anyone has any tips please send them my way) while on the road so every penny saved keeps my traveling for longer.

I think we both have a mutual love for food. In all your travels what has been your most memorable meal and where? Is there any one type of lesser-known cuisine that you would recommend others experience?

Wow, that is a hard one! I’m not sure one meal has ever been the most memorable. Each country has something special to offer: the hummus in Gazientep, Ban Xio in Hue, steak in Brazil, Malbecs in Argentina the list can go on and on. Although, my readers will know that I have a deep love for Green Papaya Salad in Thailand. I have been known to eat it for every meal for days on end in search of the perfect one. So far, the winner is from a street vendor at the Silom night market in Bangkok. He is the only man I have seen making these salads on the street and always has a line of locals waiting for their dinner those are the only clues I will give you.

Street barber in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, Vietnam
Street barber in Hanoi, Vietnam

Compared to when you first began traveling versus now, have you noticed any big differences in relation to travel?

The biggest change that I see is the way technology is used on the road. Travelers now are never really that far from home. We all seem to carry some sort of device that is equipped with wi-fi, skype, and facebook. As a self-proclaimed ‘somewhat lazy’ travel blogger I am always amazed by the bloggers who have a steady stream of new material everyday. It often makes me wonder if they are even out here enjoying the road and really absorbing the precious moments that we are lucky enough to have? I personally am horrible at keeping in touch with home. I had one skype conversation in 10 months on the road.

Do you see yourself traveling for the rest of your life?

I can only hope so! I am not sure if I can continue to be nomadic for the rest of my life. I do love kitchen and a comfy bed to come home to of my own. For now I am trying my hand at being an expat in Germany living with my boyfriend I met in Laos. We will see how that goes 😉 I do not think they ingrained desire to see more of this world will ever die down in me and I am starting to build my life now around people who share that same desire. The world is too spectacular to not try to see and frolic in it as much as possible!

I have yet to experience true solo travel — it is usually with my traveling buddy Derek — and think that is what I need to do next. What should I plan for that might be different from traveling with people and what are the main benefits of doing so?

The real difference is that you can choose when to come and go from a place. You decide if you are sightseeing that day or laying in the park with some street food and a good book. The main benefit for me is that there is no one to answer to! I feel that it is important to point out that the road isn’t lonely. There are so many people traveling you are always bound to find someone to hang out with, in fact it is often hard to be alone.

In closing, do you have any words of advice for newbie travelers and/or travel bloggers?

Very simply, FROLIC! The world will only surprise you with its beauty and friendliness.

Stunning sunset in Lahaina, Hawaii
Stunning sunset in Lahaina, Hawaii

To see more of Alexandra’s adventures, take a look at her blog Fluent In Frolicking. You can also find her here  

Have any questions for Alexandra?

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About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel."   Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

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