The Wanderer Collective: An Interview With Alyce Pilgrim
This month we are chatting to Alyce Pilgrim – life coach, writer and traveller – about all things travel, living a life bursting with awesomeness, seeing snow for the first time, and that time she almost arrested by Homeland Security in San Francisco… #shiiiiit
This is Alyce Pilgrim.
Welcome to The Wanderer Collective, Alyce! Tell us a little about yourself, lovely.
I’m Alyce: a fiercely passionate life coach, Master NLP practitioner, writer and travel addict who believes life is too short to be living a life you don’t love the pants off.
I’m a wanderluster, adventure seeker and the founder of Life On Your Terms. I help clients to quit soul sucking jobs, triple their business revenue, create their ideal relationship and take risks they never thought possible.
Finish this sentence: I’ve got 44 stamps on my passport, but I left my heart in…
The Amalfi Coast of Italy and Mykonos in Greece. It’s a tie. I love the Mediterranean vibe: the laid back atmosphere, the food, the people, the culture, the lifestyle. Both the Amalfi Coast and Mykonos are parts of the world that I can easily visit over and over and never tire of.
We wanderers have a never-ending supply of interesting stories to tell. What’s the most memorable travel experience you’ve ever had?
Oh wow, how do I choose? There have been a few. From the time my bestie and I were pulled over by the police in Bali moments after her helmet flew off her head while riding a scooter, to being the only Aussie in a pub full of Dutch people in Amsterdam while watching the World Cup game between The Netherlands and Australia; to trying kava, exploring villages and experiencing a meke in Fiji, to celebrating New Year’s Eve in Prague and nearly jumping out of my skin every time someone fired a cracker on the street; all the way through to riding camels in Dubai, there have been so many!
The most memorable experience I have had was at the end of 2003 and I was travelling to the USA by myself on a six month adventure as an exchange student. I was excited and a little bit nervous to be exploring the big wide world on my own; I’d just graduated high school and it was my first time overseas by myself.
I arrived at San Francisco Airport and I had a connection to make so I was in a bit of a hurry. I stepped off the plane and followed the signs to immigration. After a few questions they pulled me aside and escorted me into a little room. I was 17 at the time, so I was freaking out!
Apparently in my eagerness to get to the US, I had forgotten to pack a very important letter that was to accompany my student visa information. I was told to wait in the room. One hundred and one questions were thrown at me. I gave the contact number of the student coordinator of the exchange company in the US, as well as all the other information I had on me to support my case and prove I was legit and kosher. After what felt like an eternity, a fax came through with the supporting documentation and I was granted permission into the country and allowed to board my connecting flight.
It was a bit of a bumpy start to an amazing 6 months away that completely changed my life and opened my eyes to so many things. Making the total rookie mistake of forgetting those important supporting travel documents taught me to be incredibly thorough when travelling. Now days I am some what over organised and have a checklist of what I need to bring that I go through to make sure I remember everything.
We’ve all crossed some pretty cool shit off our travel bucket lists. What’s your top 3 items of places yet to go?
1 // Copenhagen, Denmark
2 // Tuscany, Italy
3 // Lapland, Finland (to see the Northern Lights and sleep in an igloo!)
What can’t you get on a plane without?
Noise cancelling head phones – those babies are a God send!
Gustave Flaubert got it right when he said…
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
One time, I woke up in…
The world’s smallest hotel room in Paris. It was like a shoebox. But it had a gorgeous balcony that overlooked the street and bustling Parisian life below.
I was sick with mild pneumonia – I had it before I left Australia, but ever the trooper, kept my travel plans. So my partner, John, told me stay in bed and keep warm while he went down to the little bakery across the road to get some food and a camomile tea.
I opened the curtains and could see that it was snowing outside. It was the first time I had seen snow fall from the sky and I thought it was just magical. In that moment, I completely forgot that I was coughing up phlegm the size of golf balls and you know like had a not so cool infection. I opened the door to the balcony stepped outside in my PJs and I started spinning around in circles like Maria from the Sound of Music, as I was so happy to see snow fall from the sky.
Next, I did what any extremely excited person would do who was seeing snow fall from the sky for the first time – I opened my mouth and started catching snowflakes on my tongue. It was at that moment that John walked back into the room saw what I was doing, arms flinging, twirling around and mouth open. He burst out laughing! To say I was a little bit excited about seeing snow fall from the sky was an understatement.
Instagram or Twitter?
Instagram for sure! I have a thing for pretty pictures. Taking them and crushing on other peoples.
Hotel or hostel?
Hotels all the way. More and more I am finding I have a penchant for comfort. During a recent trip to Banff in Canada I stayed at Fairmont Banff Springs, and seriously, I thought all my Christmases had come at once! It was something else, so amazing and a bit special. Hotels and funky apartments on Air BnB are part of my staple diet while travelling.
Best travel tune on your iPod?
I don’t think I could narrow it down to one; I like to customise my travel tunes on my iPod to wherever I am going. Sounds corny, but I create a bit of theme and soundtrack based on where I am heading. It totally gets me even more excited for my destination. Think: Empire State, Angel of Harlem and New York State of Mind for a NYC trip. The Beach Boys, Summer Paradise by Simple Plan, anything UB40, Jack Johnson or some smooth reggae beats for a summer island getaway. For European trips, I like to mix it up with local tunes from where I’m travelling to: for example if it’s Italy, Giorgia and Eros Ramazzotti get thrown into the mix; or if it’s Holland, I can’t go past a bit of Anouk, Nick and Simon or Blof. See what I mean about themes? I have such eclectic music tastes it’s not even funny. I find creating customised playlists for my travel destinations gets me pumped and excited for the trip more than I already am.
Travel/lifestyle bloggers who know their shit?
Brooke Saward from World Of Wanderlust. Gorgeous photos, great tips and hints. I love her stuff.
Next on your travel itinerary?
I have a few trips planned this year, for both business and for fun. I run 1:1 intensive days around the world for my VIP clients, where I work with women who are ready to make their mark. I help them combine strategy with soul so they can get paid for doing what they love and truly live life on their terms. This year, the first stop for the intensive days is Paris and I have intensives planned in a few other awesome locations around the world also. Then I’ll be heading to the US for a few months (love it there and go there regularly) – I’ll be spending some time in LA, Las Vegas and New York. This year we’ll also be going back to Amsterdam to see family; my partner is Dutch and we go back at least once a year. We’ll be tacking on a trip to Copenhagen for sure while we are there.
A final question before we leave you: If you could give one piece of advice to first-time wanderers, what would it be?
Be prepared to go with the flow. The best laid plans sometimes don’t always work out exactly the way we hoped, but really, that’s part of the fun! There might be delays, cancellations or bumps in the road during your travels – go with the flow and just enjoy the ride. Become best friends with change and going with the flow.
I think we tend to live with the notion that we will always have tomorrow. The truth is one day, we won’t. So just book the ticket. Go see the places you’ve always wanted to visit. Make it a non-negotiable. Too often we ‘someday’ ourselves. If you want it, find a way to live it. You won’t regret it. The experiences you have on the journey will forever shape you and enrich your life. Travel changes you. You learn so much about yourself and others. It moves you. It opens your eyes and lightens your soul.
More About Alyce //
Alyce is a fiercely passionate life coach, Master NLP practitioner, writer and travel addict who believes life is too short to be living a life you don’t love the pants off.
A wanderluster, adventure seeker and the founder of Life On Your Terms she has helped clients to quit soul sucking jobs, triple their business revenue, create their ideal relationship and take risks they never thought possible.
Her stories and tips have been featured in AWOL (Qantas’ youth travel site), Inspired COACH and I Am Woman.
When she’s not chasing adventure around the globe or helping her clients bust through procrastination, doubt and fear so they can tap into their zest, you can find her planning her next globetrotting stint, at the beach or spending time with the love of her life.
She has set herself the challenge to live on her terms and is incredibly driven to help others to do the same with their lives. You can connect with Alyce or find out her coaching programs and upcoming workshops at Life On Your Terms, Facebook, Instagram or via email.