Travel is one of the most rewarding experiences because it allows us to discover people and places that we are unfamiliar with and teaches us how to be comfortable even in new situations. But travel can also be overwhelming, and it can be hard to decide where to go, what to do when you get there, and whether you should save or splurge on your accommodations. When we learned about The Nomad's Direction we knew had to interview the company's founder Alexandra Spergel to hear her story and see how we could get involved. If you're interested in seeing how you can travel somewhere new, even if you're on a budget, Alexandra has the answers.
Q: In one or two sentences, what is The Nomad's Direction?
The Nomad’s Direction is a service-based travel company that creates custom travel itineraries fit each clients' budget and personal travel style. We cater to the individual, making detailed yet flexible guides where the client can experience a new destination in a way that fits their vibe.
Q: What was it that made you decide to start The Nomad’s Direction?
I’ve been a frequent traveler since I was 18, and now at 25 I am currently hitting my 30th country, Morocco. Over time, social media friends caught on to my steady travel habit. My DM’s, messages, and texts would blow up regularly from friends and acquaintances asking me for travel advice and I realized there was a specific need for my unique travel knowledge. I first launched The Nomad’s Direction to show other young people that they don’t need to be rich to see the world. After being in business for a few years, it has snowballed and we now coordinate corporate travel, retreats, honeymoons, family vacations, and more. Even for the experienced traveler, if you have a full-time job or are busy planning a wedding, you may not have the time to plan it all out. I take that pressure and stress away from my clients.
Q: There are so many types of travelers, interests, and budgets, how do you find the perfect trip for each of your clients?
When visiting our website, each client fills out a questionnaire telling me who they are, where they’re going (or thinking of going), their budget, and the dates they would like to travel. They then fill out a form and rank different travel categories on a scale of 1-10 like going out to restaurants, visiting museums, hiking, beaches, and so on. I use the same formula to plan my clients’ trips as I do my own, so it doesn’t matter if I have been to the country before or not. Most of my clients are young women in their 20’s and 30’s, and many are looking for a similar experience which helps me streamline my services. I always get excited when I get someone completely out of that demographic because it allows me to learn more about a country through someone else's eyes and discover new parts of it I may not have known about before.
Q: What can someone expect from a consultation with The Nomad’s Direction?
In-person and virtual consultations are available for our clients or potential clients who want to get to know me on a more personal level before committing to paying for the itinerary. During these meetings, I like to share personal travel stories, show them examples of itineraries I’ve made in the past, pull up a map and plan a possible route they can follow. Sometimes they just need to meet me or hear my voice tell them they’re more than capable of taking the step for this trip that's out of their comfort zone, and I love that.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is young and wants to travel but is worried about their budget?
You don’t need to be rich to travel, you just need the balls! Sometimes saving the money means giving up some dope parties to work instead, but it’ll all be worth it in the end. I managed to travel solo through 12 countries within four months by myself when I did my Eurotrip and only spent $8,000—including all of my food, my accommodation, my transportation within the countries (plus some tattoos and some wild meals). I honestly probably could have done it even cheaper than that, but I’m a big believer of “treat yo’self”. It’s all about how you prioritize.
Q: What is your favorite trip you have planned for a client?
My two favorite kinds of clients to plan for are newlyweds and first-time solo travelers. There is so much emotion that goes into both of those kinds of vacations which is what really drives my passion while I’m creating. I truly care about giving the client the best time and wow-ing them with the activities and adventures I send them on. Those are two kinds of trips that I know the client will remember forever.
Q: Do you have a favorite trip or traveling experience?
It's hard to choose so I'll share two.
When my father died, my family did a two week road trip through Colorado and Utah. I didn’t really travel growing up, and my extended family has never done a trip together, so this was really special. As much as we were all grieving, it re-established the strength between us all. We spread his ashes at Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah which remains one of my favorite places in this world (and it’s 10 times more beautiful than the Grand Canyon and everyone should see it).
My second favorite would have to be my post-grad backpacking trip through Europe. When I graduated college, all of my friends moved straight to the city and Brooklyn and got awesome jobs in their field. I busted my ass in a restaurant and saved 18,000 to backpack for four months. At one point I was working 23 days in a row but I just kept picturing myself in the Alps and I was actually able to go there and just be. I was in Austria for 12 days but for four of them I stayed in a tiny village where no one spoke English. I got up that mountain and I sat there on what felt like the edge of the world howling and laughing and crying out of pure joy. I could almost feel my dad beside me, patting me on the back like, “You did this! You got yourself here, and you only have yourself to thank for making it happen.” I don’t think I’ve ever loved myself more than I did in that moment.
Q: Do you find that a lot of people do solo traveling with your company?
Yes, I encourage it! Right now I’m working on an itinerary for a young woman in her late 20’s taking her first solo backpacking trip for seven weeks and she is also exploring Europe. Some family situations have kept her tied down, and she felt like she has lost herself in the process. Our consultation felt more like a therapy session, and I loved that I was able to contribute to the confidence she needed to just buy that flight. I’m so proud of her.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about your job?
It was hard to find all of my passions in one job title, so I created my own. I studied photography in college, I became an event producer after school, and I love to travel. My favorite thing about my job is that I have created my own life that keeps me happy, keeps me on the road, and provides me with an income. I photograph my travels to highlight different places around the world, creating itineraries and working with clients is similar to the customer service I engaged in with my event planning career, and I still am getting that rush of seeing a new place for the first time. The fact that I get to guide others through their travels is a perk and my way of giving back what I feel like I’m receiving from the universe. I believe life’s purpose is only as meaningful as the purpose we decide to give it, and I want to give mine passion, chaos, and freedom.
Q: I’m sure you get asked this a lot, but because you have been to so many places, what are some places you haven’t been to yet and would love to travel to?
My goal is to travel 4-6 months per year. Currently, I’m making my way through Portugal, Spain, and Morocco for one month. In the winter I’ll be doing a little Caribbean tour—starting in Cuba and ending in Trinidad and Tobago for two months. Other places on my travel bucket list include Japan, Chile, South Africa and the Canary Islands.
Q: How do you practice self-care while traveling and running a business at the same time?
Self-care is one of the most important parts of solo travel. One of the biggest things to accept is understanding that you will not be in your highs every single day. You're still you, living your life, just in another place. Sometimes when you travel there's pressure to do and see everything, but you need to listen to your body and honor its needs. I keep a schedule for myself and I've found that working at nights is best for me so I don't miss out on a beautiful day. Lastly, yoga! I'm an empath which means it's very easy for me to absorb the energies around me. When traveling in a city, even if I'm in a café working on my laptop, I'm still so alert and conscious of everything happening around me. After sitting at a table for five hours I have still walked out feeling absolutely exhausted. Finding a local yoga studio helps me harmonize again. It's also a really cool experience to take an international class, like the first time I accidentally took an aerial yoga class taught entirely in German!
If you are inspired to travel now and The Nomad's Direction is just the thing you were looking for, check out their links down below!
If you are interested in hiring Alex for your travel needs, use this code to get 15% off any service!