Random Traveller #32

by Poi on January 21, 2011

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Welcome to round 32 of ‘Meet a Random Traveller’. The series dedicated to bring attention to fantastic people all around the world doing their thing.

Random Traveller #32

Kirsten - Meet a Random Traveller

Kirsten Alana

Who are you?
My name is Kirsten Alana, I’m a newly-single woman entering my thirties who decided somewhere in my 29th year that this was going to be the decade I stopped doing what everyone else wanted me to do for all the wrong reasons and start doing what I wanted to do for all the right reasons. I’ve always considered myself a photographer, who likes to write. Now, I use those skills and a passion for philanthropy to travel the world and inspire others to see the beauty in everyday life – even in the least expected places!

What’s the Deal?
I’ve been blogging in some form or another since the early 2000’s. I’ve always tried to make my photographs the focus since I only saw myself as someone who liked to write but didn’t have any talent for the craft of writing. However, people were telling me they enjoyed my writing and that I needed to write more. Now I use photographs and words to share my travels and the lessons I learn both on the road and in my daily life in Charlotte to, hopefully, inspire others regarding how important it is to be present in life – and alert for the miracles that happen all around us no matter where it is we are.

Meet a Random Traveller photo

Kirsten in California


You enjoy volunteering so whats been your most rewarding experience so far?

No matter the task, I am passionate about helping and caring for other people. On a larger scale, I think the most rewarding experience I ever had was in a hospital in rural Jamaica. We worked with, essentially, hospice patients – to try and give them a little bit of comfort and hope before they passed on. It was the most gut wrenching work I’ve ever done but as I was only a teenager at the time, truly life changing as well. Barely a week goes by where that experience doesn’t come back to me. On a smaller scale, every time I can help a friend or stranger – even if it’s as simple as giving someone directions, the experience always feels very rewarding to me!

When did you become interested in Photography (what started it?)
I became a photographer for so many reasons. However, there were definitely two situations early in my life that cemented my love of photography as a craft: it was looking through my parent’s travel photographs from their college years in Europe and the curiosity that provoked inside me about all these places I’d never been; but also the experience of seeing Steve McCurry’s “Afghan Girl” cover for ‘National Geographic Magazine’, there was something about his cover photograph which made me feel as if I knew that girl. The power of McCurry’s photograph is something I’ve never gotten over. I feel this need to create images that will inspire in other people the kind of wonder his photographs still create in me.

Kirsten Alana Photography

Lake Mead – Hoover Dam, Nevada

What’s the one destination you’re yet to visit that keeps popping into your mind?
Paris, France! My mother and god-mother both speak French and have my whole life. Though I’m part Swedish and part Spanish – it’s Paris which has always had this tug on my heart because of their constant French infusion. I also remember hearing that quote by Gertrude Stein very early on, “America is my country, but Paris is my hometown” and thinking that sounded so incredibly romantic. I had to see how it could be true for her, and if it could be true for me! I definitely have a desire to travel to Sweden and Spain as well, but I decided to spend the first two weeks of March in Paris, as my thirtieth birthday present to myself.

A big thanks to Kirsten for taking part, great to have you.

Be sure to check her out:
Blog: Kirsten Alana
Twitter: @Kirsten_al

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Andi January 21, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Sooooo excited to read this! Kirsten is a shining star within the travel blogging community. 🙂
Andi´s last blog post ..Happy New Year!!!

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Kirsten Alana January 21, 2011 at 9:47 pm

You are sooo sweet babes!!!! Thank you for commenting!!!!
Kirsten Alana´s last blog post ..California Highway 1 Daytrip

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Kirsten Alana January 21, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Poi & Kirsty, thank you so much for interviewing me and asking such great questions! I really enjoyed the chance to give people a deeper peek into my life. Many blessings to you both! Hope to meet you in person one day.
Kirsten Alana´s last blog post ..California Highway 1 Daytrip

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Poi January 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Pleasure to have you Kirsten! Hopefully one day – we’ll be in Asia for a while….

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Brenda Shurter January 21, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Kirsten we will be thinking & praying for you as you journey to Mexico, Paris and other great places in the world. You have a God given talent that you use in a amazing way! Love your beautiful pictures!

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Kirsten January 22, 2011 at 4:25 am

Thank you Brenda!
Kirsten´s last blog post ..Friday Five for 12111

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Kim January 24, 2011 at 11:14 am

Oh, I haven’t found Kristen’s blog yet so thanks for the tip! Can’t wait to see her beautiful photos and read her writing. Safe travels, Kristen!

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Poi January 24, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Another great blog to add to the list then – enjoy!

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Kirsten Alana January 25, 2011 at 6:58 am

Thanks Kim!! Look forward to following your adventures as well!
Kirsten Alana´s last blog post ..Friday Five for 12111

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