Today we’re spending some time with the man behind the brand, solo travel blog and YouTube channel; Lucid Kiwi. Alex Gillespie gave up his comfortable life as a handy-man in New Zealand (aka. paradise) when he realised that unless he left it all behind and chased his dream to make a living doing what he loved, it would probably never happen.
Alex is currently his own CEO and completely location independent – the dream, right? I pinned him down in his precious free time to prove to you that it really is possible for anyone who puts the work in!
What made you decide to leave your old career and make it as an influencer? Was it always on the cards?
It was never really on the cards. It came about by boredom and unfulfillment. I grew up in a small town in the central North Island of New Zealand and left school at the age of 16 to pursue a career in carpentry.
I began an apprenticeship and instantly loved it, I was always one for the outdoors and the adventure. So being out of the classroom seemed ideal for me. I was earning good money for my age, while most of my friends were at school barley making anything. But as the years passed and the Monday- Friday work week kept coming around in a continuous cycle I began unhappy, unfulfilled and thought to myself, “is this it?”
I wanted more out of life, so I decided to book a one-way ticket overseas and travel the world. I quickly realised that selling everything to travel the world is only a temporary fix. I would have the time of my life, but I would come crashing back to the life I was trying to escape at some point. So, I literally typed into Google ‘how to make money while traveling’ From there began a series of events where I began attracting mentors into my life which has essentially all snowballed to now.
“I learnt how to market online and use social media to the point where I began making thousands of dollars.”
One thing led to another and I am now at the point where I work with huge international companies as an influencer. I never initially intended this to be my life, but it become a dream of mine. I just sent positive vibes to the universe, trusted my gut and acted accordingly!
Doing what you do means location independence. Where is your dream destination to live and work from?
I have lived and worked in many places around the world. Mostly in South East Asia. It’s hard to pin point a dream location. At the moment I tend to travel fast paced for a few weeks or a month. One night here, two nights there. Then I will park up in a location for a month. For example, I travelled 30 days straight through Vietnam and then parked up in Pai (North Thailand) for a month. I like balance.
In saying that I have many dream locations I want to live/work from that I will tick off in the coming years like Colombia, Cape Town, Rio, Hanoi and Eastern Europe!
Do you prefer solo travel or bringing a friendly face along with you?
Again, it goes back to balance for me. I enjoy both aspects. I value my alone time and independence, so I LOVE traveling solo in the way that I can literally do anything I want at any time and I don’t have to worry about other peoples plans. You are never really alone so you are always meeting new people and making new friends that you can just say goodbye to whenever you’re ready.
But on the flip side, I do enjoy traveling with the right people. It’s cool to share a prolonged experience with a close friend or a like-minded person that you’ve just met at a hostel or somewhere – For me they go hand in hand.
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I cherish every experince in life, but sometimes that experience goes beyond expectation. I find myself on another level of absoulte happiness and ecstasy. ⠀ Fraser Island is the lastest on that list. 3 days, 2 Nights driving a 4×4 around the Island with a solid bunch of backpackers. From cruising down the worlds longest beach passing packs of Dingos to driving through untouched rainforrest en route to Lake McKenzie. ⠀ Some of the most beaitiful scenery I have ever seen. But it's not just the landscape, that's only half of what makes moments like these unforgettable. ⠀ Travel brings like minded people from all around the world, differnt cultures and backgrounds together. We cooked meals together, laughed together, camped out in middle of no where completely offline. Removed from online chatter & noise. ⠀ You learn so much from simple conversations, pick up different philosophies, learn about people's stories and situations. All from a non judgemental point of view. No one has a shield or an ego up. You open become best friends so quickly, in what would months back 'home'. ⠀ It's moments like this I pinch myself and feel so grateful for everything and everyone in my life. ⠀ Thank you @loka.travel for bringing people from around the globe together and producing some epic experiences! ⠀ #lokatravel #thisisloka #bettereastcoaststories #eastcoastaustralia
Which adventure has been most memorable on your journey so far? Do you prefer to be social in hostels or keep to yourself when on the road?
OMG…. My most memorable adventure? … That’s like asking me my favourite country, I cannot choose!
One that will always be up there is a journey my best friend and I did, starting from Sri Lanka, travelling over-land through India (from South to North) and into Nepal. Beginning in the tropical beaches of Sri Lanka, entering the craziness of India and ending in the Himalayas!
Again, it goes back to balance for me, I am a very social person and can get along with everyone… plus, I do like to party. I will generally stay in hostels until I get the feeling I need a break from it all, find a guest house or Airbnb for a few nights, refresh, and then jump back into hostels. Hostels have got to be the best places in the world, right?
What can you see happening for Lucid Kiwi in the next few years?
So much! I have a huge vision for myself and Lucid Kiwi. I can see it continually evolving from what it is now and getting BIGGER AND BIGGER.
I don’t want to say too much as I have a quote that I’ve added to my philosophy …
“Tell the world what you are going to do … but first show it.”
I think a lot of people live the other way around… but never get round to showing it. So, you will just have to wait and see! But it’s going to be epic, I can promise that.