Hey there, my name is Alyssa, and welcome to my website! I’m an American writer, traveler, theater maker and educator. Nine years ago I packed up my life and moved to Switzerland where I started my career as an international teacher. Now I make my home in Scotland where I’m a writer, theatermaker, and doctoral candidate who teaches university students. Moving abroad was both the biggest risk I’ve ever taken and the best decision I’ve ever made. Now I want to help you take that risk too! My passion in life is helping other women live their solo travel and life abroad dreams. I moved abroad solo and so can you.
Did I mention I’m a writer?
My unpublished novel The Rebel Grrl’s Guide to Love was longlisted for the Comedy Women in Print Prize. In 2023 my script made it to the top 10% of the BBC’s Open Call and I was shortlisted for the BBC’s Scottish Voices.
My fiction has appeared in Hillfire Press, Lunch Ticket, and the Hofstra Windmill. My travel writing has appeared in Matador Network and Urban Matters. If you are here to check out my writing, please take a look at my writing samples to get a sense of my style.
Be a part of a community of badass women building thriving lives and careers abroad: Join my email list!
Finding my passion for photography on Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh
If you’re here for the support to dream big and travel large… keep reading!
I’ve had so many people ask me if over 30 is too late to move abroad. Of course it’s not too late! I didn’t move abroad until I was in my 30s. Because of this, I’m especially keen on creating a space for women to discover the power of solo female travel and life abroad over the age of 35. Living in a new country and exploring this big, beautiful planet isn’t just for twenty-something backpackers. You can move abroad at 30, 40 50, and beyond. Living abroad is for all ages and stages of life.
Why travel with me? I’ve got a decade of life abroad and solo female travel under my belt and I’m just getting started. I know how scary it is to push beyond your comfort zone but I’m here from the other side to tell you you can do it!
I’m an experienced solo traveler and career expat with a talent for sniffing out what’s unique, offbeat and truly authentic about every place I visit. My specialties include; art, culture, music, nightlife, alternative scenes, vintage shopping, thrifting, vegan, gluten-free and alcohol-free travel.
I’m especially keen on empowering solo female travel over 35. Just go for it! Society tells us that travel, adventure and self-discovery are only for the young, but that’s simply not true. I didn’t start my life abroad until I was in my 30s.
Starting your journey with solo female travel over 35 is totally possible. It might be even more rewarding to solo travel over 35 because you’ve got a stronger sense of self than you did when you were younger. You know who you are and what you want out of life.
Now is the time to make it happen.
You’ve got all the skills. It’s time to take the leap.
The fact is, it’s never to late and you don’t have to wait for that magical job or partner or green light from the universe to go for it.
But if you’re looking for a sign, I’ve got one for you:
I moved abroad solo and traveled the world on my own and so can you.
Really, you can do it.
Discovering my inner Wonder Woman in Zürich
Let’s Stay Connected: Follow me on Instagram for daily life in Scotland.
Want to learn how?
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? It’s possible to discover all these things as a solo female traveler. 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!
Staying balanced in Yorkshire, England
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, being a solo female traveller 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 experiences as a solo female traveller 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 solo female travel experience on a budget.
Travel And Expat Life Is For People At All Ages And Stages!
Nine 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.) Now I’m a solo female traveler over 35 and loving every moment of it.
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! You can become a solo female traveler over 35…over 45…over 65…solo female travel is for women at all times of life.
I am a woman (ahem!) of 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:
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