Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bad@ss Traveler - Sasha Juliard of

~Meet Bad@ss Traveler Sasha Juliard ~

Sasha was one of my very first Montana friends. After roadtripping from Georgia to Montana, a newfound coushsurfer, I was determined to meet like-minded folk. Soon after arriving in Bozeman, I met Will, Sasha, and Scott, newfound friends of a lifetime. We spent a winter romping around, milking goats, and eating caramel. These three outstanding gentleman even came down to Buenos Aires to visit me after I moved there, totally suprising me and just showing up in my hostel bed one fateful day (where I was living at the time). Best surprise ever!!!

Sasha came into this world an explorer. Two weeks after he was born in the States, his Swedish and American born parents moved him to Haiti. After 2 years there, 5 in Morocco, 4 and a half in Madagascar, and 1 and a half in Senegal, he attended boarding school in PA for his high school education. Afterwards was a year in Sweden to learn of his mother's native land, followed by a degree in Global & Multicultural studies (and minors in Japan Studies and International Business) from Montana State University here in Bozeman, Montana. Oh, and he also studied abroad a year in Japan and has family in Portugal.

Rome, Italy 

Sasha now splits his life between stability in beautiful Colorado and traveling and/or ski bumming for the rest of it. 
He uses several sources of income to 'fund this strange life', as he so likes to put it. Quite the creative entrepreneur, Sasha founded and runs an online custom suit shop (which he gained inspiration for while visiting Thailand back in 2009), does freelance web development, and acts as a part time caretaker in CO.

One thing that always stands out about Sasha is his love for and ability to really connect with people (I especially love the 'People Are Beautiful' part of his website). I believe his soul is here to truly empathize and connect with others, especially given his background. Everyone seems to be an equal, worthy of understanding and perception, through the viewpoint of this incredibly bad@ss traveler. 

Only someone who has traveled and lived in the world as much as he has can share it in such a unique, compelling, and inviting way. I invite YOU to share a little bit of his world here, and be inspired by his many tales, total honesty, and very approachable and humorous way of living. If you ever get the chance to meet him, do yourself a favor and just do it (and in the meantime follow him for a constant plethora of stunning visual delight).

What does the word travel entail to you?
Travel means freedom. The responsibilities of your at home life disappear and you wake up every morning with endless possibilities on how the day will turn out. I find it even more liberating when I know little to nothing about the place I am visiting. I am not following a schedule outlined by Lonely Planet but wake up every morning and start my day from there (**talk about presence!**). What to go see and do is often found by either wondering around until I find something interesting or by talking with locals and other travelers. I don't like to make lodging reservations in advance so when I arrive in a new place I step off the train/bus/plane and see and infinite number of possibilities in front of me all leading to different experiences. That first step embodies freedom.

How have you created your life around your travel & your travel around your life (and made it sustainable)?

I am not sure how it came to be. When I was in college I knew where my priorities laid. Traveling and enjoying my youth, for me, was a higher priority than stability and good pay. So once I established my priorities, all of my subsequent decisions were based on incrementally getting me to them. I had a lot of support, which helped me dearly, so I was able to concentrate on really establishing myself. With freelance and entrepreneurialism there is a lot of time spent initiating projects that aren't going to pay off in the short term. I had a support system that allowed me to put in the legwork. I am also modest about my spending during my travels which allows me to take trips more often and for longer.

What’s one travel memory that had a truly lasting affect, a total life changing or ah-ha moment?

My most recent trip through Greece had me staying at a hostel for over 3 weeks. It was a family run place and I exchanged my web development services for food and lodging. The purpose of the trip was to see if I could somehow combine work and travel into a continuous rolling package where I could sustainably romp around the world. My time there showed me that it is possible and I am hoping that in 2 years time I will make it a reality. But more important than the verified proof that sustainable perpetual travel was possible, was the family that I came to love, the family that owns the hostel. They were welcoming, genuine and loving and knowing that those people exist makes me happy. 

What’s one thing that you love to do in any new place?

Hmmm, I'd have to say drink. Most all countries drink. And they each have a unique drinking culture that I find very interesting and almost always fun. It is a social lubricant that helps you get over language and culture barriers and lets you connect with someone on a strange but also very personal level. It also lends an excuse to explore a new place as you are walking around day or night. "That place looks cool, lets pop in for a drink."

What was a travel situation you found very trying & how did you pull through it?

When I was younger I could travel for 36 hours sleeping sitting up in a bus with a shot suspension that smelled like diesel. I have recently started feeling the "I am too old for this sh*t" feeling when moving between places. I took an overnight bus from Istanbul to Greece that sucked and have been stuck in cities trying to catch a flight home for multiple days. I often fly stand-by and being stuck in a place is no fun. The uncertainty of not knowing how long you will be there and the daily need to commute from the city to the airport and back takes up nearly the whole day. Doing that for several consecutive days just wears you down. I often get through these times by a "keep your head down and power through this" mentality.

Calisthenics in Greece

How do you feel you inspire others?

Well I hope I can inspire others through example. Our new world revolves around media and people are media hungry. Instagram and Facebook are prime examples of how its all about the pictures. A picture can communicate so much in a short period of time and with fast internet, smart phones and short attention spans, you have to grab peoples attention quickly. This is where photography merges in nicely with what I am doing and why I have continued with this discipline. I want people to see my pictures and consequently want to go visit that spot, stand on that beach or mountain, or even just go out and explore something local.

What’s something that inspires you to keep exploring?

I get antsy if I stay in one place too long. Nothing conscious, its a feeling that I have to go and do something new.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone who feels stuck in their current life or afraid to take that first step?
Fear of the unknown is natural and I whole heartedly advise pursuing your passions. I read an interesting quote that said our parents generation were out to get the American Dream, our generation is our to get our personal dream. You've got one life and you gotta use it in a way you WON'T regret. BUT I want to stress something that does not often get said when people say "pursue your passions, live life to the fullest, you fail 100% of the chances you don't take etc...". 

Hard work mixed with plenty of play!
People quote those ideas all the time and it's fine and true, but the flip side is it's gonna be hard work. Like painfully hard. You gotta want it and unless you are a trust fund baby, no one will give it to you. Many people say they really want it but won't come home from their regular job to put in another 8 hours developing their passion. You need dedication that will cost you time with loved ones. When the other guy is sleeping, you gotta be working, learning, growing. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it and yet a very small percentage of the population is doing it. Motivation and dedication are the real keys and if you keep putting in the work someone will notice you making waves in the industry of your passion.
How does photography shape your travels & your travels shape your photography?

Photography has definitely encouraged me to explore more places, especially in my immediate surroundings. If I am taking a walk and see I high point or something that could be interesting, I will take little detours in case there is a photo op there. I will also plan certain outings around certain times of the day when the sun is doing what I want it to do. 

My travels inspire a lot of my photography. The first few days that I am in a place I am much more trigger happy. Everything is new to me and therefore fascinating and beautiful. It's a great way for me to stay inspired and keep shooting.

How can people get in touch with or follow you?

- Right now I am loving Instagram. @sashajuliard

- For more personal stories and pictures of my life, follow my Facebook profile.

- And of course there is my website/blog: 

Photos by: Sasha Juliard

**And if you feel like buying a truly bad@ss suit, check out his suit company at:**

Jess & Sasha partying @ La Bomba Loca in Buenos Aires

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