My name is Alexandra, but you can call me Allie.

I have a confession: I haven’t always been Brave.

And I wasn’t always living Beyond Borders. In fact, I spent a long time feeling like I was trapped within walls that I had built myself. I wished and waited for a chance to ‘escape’ my life. I made the mistake of blaming others for holding me back when I had that power myself all along.

Then in 2017, I went on vacation to Thailand and it changed my life.

about-allie-hackston

Travel was more of a dream than something I could actually do, but I had to make it happen. Why not start by going to one of the most beautiful countries on earth? Does it have beaches? Yes. Is it exotic? Yes. Affordable? Yes. Dangerous? … Maybe. My family members tried to talk me out of it, but I couldn’t be stopped; not this time. I was finally taking charge of my life and doing what I wanted to do. Little did I know that my trip to Thailand would alter the course of my life!

When I returned back to Canada, my friends thought I was having a mental breakdown.

I was a changed woman. When I had stepped on the plane to Thailand, I was an insecure, shy and broken girl. But when I stepped off back home in Canada, I felt different. It didn’t feel like ‘home’ anymore. I was not living the life I wanted: I wanted to keep traveling.

So, I ended a long-term relationship that was only serving to hold me back. I moved out of my house, and tossed all of my belongings. I had fallen madly in love with the man who would become my husband in a few short months. I had fallen madly in love with travelling. And, between all of this madness, while I was in limbo, couch hopping, and quitting my job, I fell in love with myself, too…

Following this shift, I knew that I couldn’t go back to my old life. I couldn’t go back to the girl with horrible body image issues, the depressed, quiet, sad girl. I didn’t want to be her anymore.

I wanted to be Confident, traveled, passionate, and healthy.

These are the qualities that I tried to embody as I stepped into my new shoes. I had suffered from low self-esteem for a decade, but now I could look in the mirror and see myself as I truly am: beautiful and unique. I was in a job that didn’t use my full talents, so I sought out one that made me happy. I started writing!

You see, this was the woman that I was meant to be all along. I guess that is why it all felt so easy. Not being myself was painful.

But to be myself? To really, truly, embody my uniqueness?

That’s called being Brave.

About-Alexandra-Hackston

I started writing this blog as a way to keep myself accountable. It’s not always easy being Brave. It’s certainly not easy being confident. I spent many years very sick with an eating disorder, depression, body dysmorphia, and a major partying habit that I couldn’t kick. These problems left me tired, sick, covered in eczema, and the worst part? Terribly, deeply, depressed.

The main thing that I had to change was my mental attitude; I had to accept myself for who I was: my size, my shape, my features, my quirks. I had to learn to love every part of me. I have since managed to change my eating habits into something healthy, sustainable, and enjoyable! I love food, and it loves me back. I also no longer drink recreationally. (I very occasionally will have ONE glass of wine, like when I’m in France!) With these changes, I’ve never been happier than I am now.

Where am I now?

I’m a Canadian expat currently living in England, United Kingdom in the county of Wiltshire. It’s basically fairy land. I live with my husband, Justin, an island boy from Belize who is currently a soldier in the British Armed Forces. In this blog, I write all about my experiences with living abroad, travel, health, wellness, body image,and immigration.

I’m not perfect by a long shot, but I’m trying to be Brave. My goal is to inspire my readers by sharing my passions of photography, travel, and wellness.

Brave Beyond Borders is more than a blog to me. It’s a message, one that I hope you can hear. I want to inspire you to feel better, and experience more, and live your best life.

Welcome to Brave Beyond Borders.

About-Alexandra-Hackston

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