Photo Credit: Fernweh Tale Photography
I’m a writer, traveller and pizza enthusiast who loves 90s music and pop culture slighltt more than is healthy. My writing is primarily about underdogs finding their voices and bad 90s nostalgia. My unpublished novel What Would Joan Jett Do? has been longlisted for the Comedy Women in Print Prize. I am currently unagented and would be happy to send my query and sample pages to agents interested in representing an author who mainly writes books with whip smart, foul mouthed female leads.
My writing has been featured in The Hofstra Windmill, Lunch Ticket, From Arthur’s Seat and The Selkie. To get a taste of my style please check out a selection of my publications.
When I’m not working in prose I’m writing, directing and producing plays like an unhinged, feminist Orson Welles. (But cuter!) I’ve got two full length novels knocking around and I’m open to commissions, collaborations and multi-media projects of all sorts. I’m also a certified educator with years of experience working in schools all over the globe as well as teaching dynamic online workshops in writing and theater for everyone from tweens to full grown adults.
I completed my MsC in Creative Writing with Distinction at University of Edinburgh in 2019 and I am currently pursuing my Doctorate of Fine Arts with the lovely folks over at the University of Glasgow Centre for Creative Writing.
Before I shifted my focus to the more creative side of writing, I was a teacher and travel blogger living the expat life in Switzerland. If you’re curious about that, read on!
So… How did all this get started?
This blog was born in 2014 to chronicle my big leap into expat life with a move from Boston, MA, USA to Zürich, Switzerland. It started out as a way for me to chronicle my adventure abroad and share travel tips with family and friends. Soon I started hearing from readers all over the world and realized there were a lot of people out there like me, people who wanted to take the plunge and change their lives but weren’t sure where to start. This truth ignited my passion to write my experience from the heart and share it all here with the goal of empowering others to follow their passions too. My life in Switzerland was abundant with friendship, adventure, and fulfilling work, but deep down inside I knew there was something missing and it was time to take my next step. In 2018 I took a big leap of faith, gave my notice at my job in Switzerland and set out to follow my dream of being a writer.
For the first time in my life, I am 100% focused on my creative work. It is the most liberating, gratifying and terrifying feeling in the world, but I’m learning to roll with it. My life may have more marathon writing sessions at home in my bathrobe than exotic global adventures in it now, but I am still intent on sharing my experiences here with you on the blog. Alyssa O Writes will still be a blog for travelers and dreamers, chronicling the offbeat adventures of an expat writer.
What Makes Me Different Than Other Travel Bloggers?
I was born this way, baby. I’ve always danced to the beat of my own drum, and I explore the world on my own terms too!
I’m a little bit different. I always have been. If you have the itch to travel independently, get off the beaten path and move beyond generic tourist experiences, I’ve got your back! I am not all about bucket list travel, ticking off landmarks and snapping selfies in all the “right” places. I want to help you discover unexpected experiences that chances are you won’t find in the guidebooks. (No offense to Guidebooks, they’re a great resource!) I’m especially interested in discovering the artsy/cultural and quirky/ DIY sides of the places I travel. Want to know the best place to catch a burlesque show in Krakow? Find a cozy ruin pub to hang at in Budapest? The coolest off the grid music venues in Copenhagen? Stick with me, kid!
A Fresh Take On Expat Life…
From Bostonian to Bavarian, I’ve embraced the local culture and want to help you do the same!
If you’ve been thinking about making the transition to life abroad but don’t know where to begin, I’m here to support you. I moved to Switzerland not knowing a soul and learned everything I know about expat life the hard way. Whether it’s making friends, learning the language or dealing with culture shock, I’ve made all the mistakes so you don’t have to.
A Big Old Hammer To Smash Your Self Doubt And Unlock Your Inner Wandering Goddess!
Most of all, I’m here to help you break free from those lingering excuses that hold you back from traveling or living abroad so that you, yes you, can start living your dreams!
Here’s the facts…
Solo Female Travel Isn’t Crazy Or Dangerous!
In fact, it is one of the most rewarding, boundary-pushing things you can possibly do. You will have incredible experiences, meet amazing people and grow more than you ever imagined. Curious? I’ve got tons of resources to help you get started.
You Don’t Have To Have A Ton Of Money To Travel
I have financed all of my travels for the past four years on a teacher’s salary. Sure, it means making certain lifestyle choices; I’ve moved to a new continent that I want to explore (cheaper flights!), I don’t own a home or a car or expensive electronics, and I am very, very far away from my family, but these things don’t feel like sacrifices to me at all because I’m living a life that I love. I specialize in mid-budget travel. That means I tend not to stay in hostels, but I’m not into luxury hotels and fancy food either. I’ve got tons of tricks and tips to have an authentic travel experience on a budget.
Travel And Expat Life Is For People At All Ages And Stages!
Four years ago I was living in Boston, unhappy with my life, but convinced that it was “too late” for me to make a big change. (Read more about what inspired me to finally take the plunge.) Well, I’m here to tell you that your story is never truly written and if I can do it, you can too! Taking a gap year when you’re young is great, but travel is not just for 20-something backpackers! I am a woman (ahem!) approaching a certain age… I didn’t move abroad until I was over 30… but I am ROCKING IT! It is never too late to make a change in your life and start following your dreams. I’ve done it, and I’m here to share everything I’ve learned with you.
This blog is about big love and living your life with courage even if you aren’t quite sure where that courage is taking you. It is that tiny whisper in your ear telling you to go for it… whether for you, “it”, is trying a new yoga pose or selling all of your stuff and moving somewhere you’ve only ever seen on a map. One of the most common things I hear from people about my life abroad is, “I would love to do that, but I could never!” Well, I’m here to tell you that you can do it. Your dreams are not crazy! Real people live their dreams. Let’s be those people together.
Where Will You Wander Today?