Ladies We Love is a new interview series with women from around the world that provide us inspiration through their travels and their personal stories. This week we got to know travel writer Alyssa Ramos.
We are starting the series with one of our absolute favourite travel girls Alyssa Ramos of My Life’s A Movie. We were lucky enough to meet this awesome girl in London, and again bump into her at breakfast in Bali and we instantly fell in love with her charming, witty personality! You may know her from her epic Instagram account, where she shares awesome shots taken on her Go-Pro, but she also has a great blog where she posts frequently, with informative, interesting and of course funny articles.
We asked Alyssa 11 questions including how she transitioned to blogging, her most memorable travel story and what she misses most when she is on the road…
1. Your followers know you from your blog and social media as an adventurous traveller, but tell us a bit about what you were doing before you got into blogging and how you made the jump into it?
Well I definitely wouldn’t say that I just “jumped” into blogging… It’s something that kind of just transformed from something I was passionate about, which is the way that I still believe that all true bloggers and influencers come from.
Rewinding in order though, I was working a shit ton of freelance jobs just to be able to pay my rent in LA, and I grew to love the freedom and opportunities that online work offered. I also grew to love writing, which I did for other people’s websites until one day a friend of mine (who also happened to be a literary agent at CAA) said to me, “You know, you’re a good writer, and you’re dope, and you do all this cool shit, YOU should start a blog.”
So I did, for fun at first, and named it “My Life’s a Movie” because I’d poke fun at my life living in Hollywood. Before accidentally moving to LA in 2012, I was living in Florida after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry and Psychology (all of which I’ve done absolutely nothing with besides write checks for). My career goal in college was to become a veterinarian, but after working as a vet tech for a year, I just felt like there was a lot more that I wanted to do and was capable of achieving!
2. Have you ever had a time (or period of time) where you felt like you didn’t want to continue blogging and how did you get past that?
Not at all. I definitely have had times when I thought I was going to fail, and not be able to continue to pursue my little dream of travel blogging, but never once have I ever said, “I don’t want to” to a day of hard work as a blogger. In fact, I can’t even recall a day when I haven’t woken up in the morning and immediately checked my email, social media, and made a to-do list for the day!
3. What country (or place) would you not go back to and why?
Ehhh that’s a hard one. I don’t really like judging entire areas/places based on one bad experience, but I have to say that I was less than thrilled with how I was treated in Beijing. People were not friendly or helpful at all, and I kind of felt unwelcome there. I did however LOVE exploring the Great Wall, and trying delicious street food, so it wasn’t all bad, but definitely not on my “return to soon” list.
4. Tell us about a travel experience that has stuck with you to this day, and is the story you always tell new people that you meet (positive or negative).
The one negative experience I do share (I don’t like to share negativity but this one makes a point I swear!) is from one of my first solo travel trips in Iceland. I absolutely LOVE Iceland, it’s one of my favorite countries, but while I was there, the tourists from other countries all whispered and stared at me because I was alone. It made me feel like they were judging me, like I was a prostitute on the prowl or something, and I ended up getting so pissed off about it that I wrote this little rant you may have heard of called, “Yes, I’m Pretty and I’m Traveling Alone.”
5. What do you miss most when you are on the road?
I miss my dog! I’ve given up pretty much everything to live this life and pursue my dreams; seeing my family and friends, having a normal relationship, my apartment, car, all of my things, but what breaks my heart the most is feeling like my dog Oscar thinks I abandoned him. WHY DON’T THEY MAKE DOGGY PASSPORTS?!
6. If you had to go back to one place and live their forever where would that be?
Well, I can’t even figure out a place that I’d want to live in general right now, so I guess that means I probably wouldn’t return to anywhere I’ve been to actually live… I do like living in Los Angeles, and have toyed with the idea of living in Playa del Carmen, or maybe even Bangkok because the apartments are nice, cheap, and flights are great from BKK!
7. We know you are a Go-Pro Ambassador, but what specific photographic equipment (and / or editing tools) do you travel with and would recommend to others?
So, since you mentioned that I’m a GoPro Ambassador, I’d like to also mention that that came from them recognizing my photos on Instagram and dedication to their brand without even being asked to. So initially I started with just a GoPro Hero 3+ that I bought from a pawn shop. It takes good photos, but the quality isn’t as great as the newer cams that I’m grateful to be able to play with these days.
GoPro just gave me the new Hero 5 and it’s freaking amazing for photo and video quality, plus it’s waterproof and destruction proof. I also use a Hero 4 Black as back up, and have a comparison guide of all the cams on my site. To take my photos I usually order a cheap pole of Amazon to be honest. GoPro gives me every accessory on the planet, but I prefer a simple lightweight pole that’s easy to use. I use Snapseed to edit my photos, and finally just did a whole tutorial on how to use it as well!
8. You recently launched the ‘Wanderlust Worker’ program, can you tell us more about what this is and how people can sign up to it?
Thanks so much for noticing and bringing up my new Wanderlust Workers program! I’m extremely excited about it and so proud to already be seeing results from 30 of the people who signed up for my first group!! Essentially, I of course notice how many people constantly are asking me “How I make money”, “How they can get a job like mine”, and saying that I’m “lucky” to be doing what I do, but all of them have no idea how I actually started making money in the first place; freelance work.
Instead of writing the typical posts on “how to be a travel blogger” or “why you should quit your job to travel”, I instead wanted to design a course that teaches people how to save better, and add to it by gaining freelance jobs, all of which goes into their “luggage egg” (like a “nest egg” but for travel instead of a house, obv). It’s for people who have existing jobs, and also for people who don’t, or who are aspiring bloggers – but it does NOT teach how to make money from your own blog; instead it teaches how to use the skills you have already to work for other people while you’re building your own brand just like I did.
The backbone of the program is the motto that “Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do”, and to encourage and inspire people to work hard for what they want, instead of just waiting around for someone to hand them something, or never accomplishing their dreams. I’m just now finishing up the first group, and will be starting a second group in a couple weeks once I organize and improve from my first preliminary round. If anyone is interested they can email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Wanderlust Workers Group 2”, and include their name, where they live, and current job.
9. Its clear that you work extremely hard on your blog and we often see you post detailed reviews within days of visiting a destination, how do you manage your time and get everything done so quickly (and with so much detail!).
I’m extremely dedicated to what I do, and as you already said, I work extremely hard to do it all. I wouldn’t be where I’m at if I didn’t commit 100% to writing quality, informative blog posts with awesome photos, and I love being able to share them anyway so I always try to get them done right away. It’s also really easy to fall behind if you don’t get posts out right away, so I like to do them while the information is fresh in my head (I write all of them from memory, no notes or anything), and while I have my audiences attention!
As far as time management goes, no matter what time zone I’m in, I always try to write and edit during non-peak hours, and post/engage during peak hours. I also don’t schedule posts often or have anyone helping me with posts, I do everything on my own, and it’s become natural for me to know when and what to post!
10. What’s something you know now, that you wish you had known at the beginning of your blogging career?
How to use SEO? In all honesty, another belief I have is that if you have to ask someone else how they do something so you can do it too, you’re not going to benefit, so I’m glad to have started with no idea of what I was doing, and learn on my own what does and doesn’t work. But in an effort to be more helpful for others, one thing I wish I knew is that travel tips that people can use gain more views than personal posts. Save the personal posts for when you’ve created yourself a brand and people want to know more about your story.
11. Finally, Ryan Reynolds or Ryan Gosling?!
Ooooohh hard one! I’m more of sucker for foreign guys, but Ryan Reynolds is pretty hot and funny. I think I’d definitely be able to travel with him 😉