Livin' The Dream with young entrepreneur Alexa Glazer (USA)
Updated: Oct 9, 2019
I thought I was one of those lucky ones. You know the type of person that nothing bad ever happens to them. The ones who seemingly coast through life without a scar to show off or their entire heart in tact. Growing up I thought that would have been the definition of my life. I thought that the stuff you heard about, the bad, the ugly or just the lesser of the good wouldn’t happen to me. I don’t know why I felt so privileged other than the fact I just grew up with a lot of ease.
I’m more than willing to admit I was super naive but I don’t blame myself because I hadn’t faced any major tribulations yet. I hadn’t faced heartbreak, or loss, any betrayal, or lack of purpose. In fact, I didn’t really have any purpose quite yet.
I now believe that there is no such thing as the lucky ones. I actually don’t believe in luck at all because I think we’re the ones that create the energy, that we create our own luck. In life, shit hits the fan for everyone, in time. No one is safe from hurt, heartbreak or reality. No one is safe from those gut checks of life however it’s important to understand that that’s okay. That it’s necessary. That without those moments life would be boring. Without those moments we would be numb to the world and never live out our dreams like they should be lived.
It was January 27th, 2014 when my “when moment” happened. When everything changed. When everything I thought I knew dramatically shifted. The moment I knew I had a purpose just wasn’t sure exactly what it was yet besides changing the world in some way, my own way. It would be creating a legacy of my own all while keeping one alive. By making people feel like they are a somebody and connecting whole heartedly to those humans, all of em.
This was the day that my dad passed away. The day that I finally realized what he meant when he said he was “livin’ the dream …” every single day.
This is when the universe decided to test me to my core. To take my dad away, end an 8 year relationship and end it badly, for me to dive deep into the party scene just so I could numb myself, get caught cheating in college, have my spinal problems reach an ultimate high, blow the transmission on my car. Life continued to show me that life is not easy, it’s not supposed to be easy and it’s never going to be easy and that is how it’s supposed to be. That my life had become a series of unfortunate events in the few months following my dads passing.
I realized that there was two things I could have done … I could let those things make me or break me. I decided to let them make me. This is when my lightbulb moments began happening … and have continued to happen. I would do anything to have my dad back, trust me, but reality is … I can’t, so I have to do what I can to keep him alive, to ultimately keep me alive.
Things started to turn around. I stopped drinking so much, I was focused on graduating, getting my body and back healthy, having a better balance of life and I eventually found a new man. We dated for a couple years and in those years I was happy constantly laughing and doing things for others. Eventually that new man of mine didn’t want to be with me anymore and I was devastated. I was devastated, heartbroken again but decided I wasn’t going to chase this one.
That I needed a much needed relationship with myself. Thank you universe because this is when the gypsy in me came running out of my body full force and I began road tripping every free chance I had.
Initially I was running from my problems because I didn’t want to run into this ex of mine but what I realized is that I was running straight into new opportunities. Opportunities that began changing my life.
It was The Grand Tetons in Wyomimg. I had tunnel vision on on these massive mountains, jaw dropped by how small I felt. How small me and my problems were. That relationships ending is part of the process. That if I could lose my dad I could absolutely lose a boy that didn’t want to be with me. So there I was acknowledging everything around me for the first time in my life. The cool air hitting my face, the sound of nothing but Mother Nature, how fast and slow my heart was beating. It’s when I realized there was more to the world than Disney World and that the real world was the most magical place ever.
These new opportunities made me realize all the thought bubbles I was having for years needed to come to fruition. That all life is, is a bunch of full circle moments just piecing the puzzles together.
I decided I was going to create a movement about livin’ the dream (Livin’ the dream … THE MOVEMENT) THIS would be MY imprint on the world, the impact I was going to make. To remind people that you have to live until the day that you die and not just exist. That my dream is different than yours and that that’s okay. That it’s not your end all be all, the glitz and glam of life but that it’s every single day. That life isn’t that unfair if it’s unfair to everyone, that’s what makes life so fair, unexpected and beautiful.
That movement turned into me writing a freaking book. Now, this was not some childhood dream of mine. I hated writing English papers in school but I started to write as a coping mechanism. A way that I could see and read where I was and where I was going. This book became my first baby. I poured myself into every word, every page and every chapter. This is when I knew that changing the world was all about people telling their stories. People connecting with one another and creating an army of humans who share similar passion projects and beliefs of all sorts.
In the midst of all this I knew it was my mission to connect with as many humans as I could. I had just got back from Iceland, one of the most magical places I have ever been. I got back to the states to speak at a student leadership conference in Arizona. This is where had my next life changing conversation happened because it’s the conversation that brought me to my current situation — living in a 2014 Mercedes Sprinter van named Billie.
I now travel full time getting lost and chasing my curiousity whole heartedly. I chose this life so I could continue to make a movement move — literally and figuratively. To tug at peoples heart strings and make them feel something so that they too could have lightbulb moments of their own. To chase as many sunsets as I could and to live the dream, my dream.
My entry into vanlife was truly something. Basically anything that could have gone wrong, did. I got stuck in soft sand the day I bought her, and then a few months later in the mud. I lived my first 7 weeks, amish. My electricity was non-existent and let me tell ya this taught me to unplug and to be more efficient with how I was handling my screen time and time in general. I got sand fleas from only god knows where that covered my entire body making me as itchy as can be turning into bruises and scabs and a lot of discomfort in wondering if they would come back or not. I was calling Triple A on the regular because no one could figure out why my girl Billie randomly wouldn’t start. Yes by the way Billie is a girl. She’s super temperamental, always hungry and you never know what’s wrong … I’m a girl so I am allowed to say that those are all female traits. Anywho, I eventually had to fix my air conditioning because my compressor was broken, get a new battery, alternator and ground wire, and rebuild my entire electrical system. 2,500 dollars later, two and a half weeks without being able to sleep or drive the van, she now works good as new but boy that took a toll on me.
Basically I thought that living in my van would give me a lot of alone time, it would teach me silence and solitude and that I would start learning a shit ton about myself by myself. Boy was I wrong. I have been surrounded by good hearted humans. Connecting with one after another. All teaching me these life lessons, all digging deep into who I am and who I want to become.
What I learned in these first couple of months on the road is that you don’t learn about “you” by being alone you learn about “you” by being around people and then reflecting on that alone. Sure, I do what do to help others but it’s amazing what you get in return without even expected a damn thing. I’ve learned to slow the heck down and that my greatest fear is time — fear of running out of it, fear of not having enough of it. Sure these things weigh heavy on my heart, something else I have noticed being on the road but things I work through daily, or try to.
I am Alexa freaking Glazer (a self-proclaimed pure awesome old soul). I have a heart bigger than I can handle which is why I try to give pieces to everyone I encounter and trying to live until the day that I die. Here’s to continuing this trip of a lifetime, the trip with no end date, no plans, just following the yellow brick road.
Words & Images by Alexa Glazer - USA