Alexandra has traveled the world has developed a substantial following on her Blog.
In 2006, you took a trip around the world. What was the most interesting place you visited? What did you find so interesting?
There were so many amazing places I had the opportunity to visit in the different continents so it is very difficult to choose a favorite. But the experience that most affected me mentally, emotionally and physically was when my sister and I spent five weeks driving around and camping in Australia.
We drove along the coast from Bargara to Sydney with a detour to Dubbo in the desert. The only thing we had was a car, a small tent, cooler, gas stove and sleeping bags with us. We did not have any GPS, internet access or TV during this time, except a few visits to internet cafes. We navigated around with an old traditional map, woke up when the birds started chatting and went to sleep when the sun did.
The reason this experience had such a deep impact on me was because I unexpectedly realized that I had never felt so free or healthy in my life as I did during those five weeks. And ever since then I make sure I spend time in nature as often as possible to remind myself of the beauty and simplicity of life. So I feel like really learned a valuable life lesson on that camping trip.
I, like you, work on the phones. In your opinion, what is the most difficult thing about working on the phones?
I started to work with phone surveys in 2007 for a market research company. The most difficult thing really is to sit down inside in one place all day I think. When it comes to the actual phone conversations, well sometimes there are certain questions that I might feel are a bit odd to ask. Unfortunately though I still I have to ask them.
Nowadays however I work mostly from home with transcriptions and translations for the same company. Something which gives me more flexibility with work hours and I am home with my dog all day.
How are your aspirations coming for your blog being successful? What low points have you experienced and how did you overcome them?
I have reached many first step goals I set from the beginning like having loyal visitors, comments on each post and good search engine traffic. This means that even on those days I am unable to be very active in cyberspace I still get good activity on my blog. I also reached 1000 followers on Networked Blogs a few days ago, which was quite exciting. Another goal of mine was/is to make money with my blog and I do receive requests from companies that want to advertise on my blog in different ways.
So all these things indicate to me that I am on the right path on how to make this blog my main income source. Although of course I am constantly working on getting more of everything I have mentioned here.
Low points, well I have actually have a few of those recently on my blog, and by this I mean that I have not had as much time to spend on my blog which means that I have fallen behind in certain areas that I had planned to develop and I have not been able to publish posts as often as I would have liked to.
Another issue of course is that due to lack of time I have not managed to be as active in Social Communities and on other blogs as I usually am, which is quite important actually. But I make sure I post at least 1-2 times a week, although I prefer to post 4-6 times, and I make sure to prioritize to return visits and comments first to those bloggers that always come by my blog. Because loyal, active readers are priceless and if there is a way for me to show my gratitude and appreciation to them I certainly want to do so.
What has been the most exciting thing that has happened through your blog?
Of course it is always great when anyone offer me money to advertise on my blog. But I also truly love receiving mails and feedback from people who have found my blog helpful to them in some ways. Either of these two always makes me very exciting.
You have another website dedicated to your best friend, Lisen. Tell us a little about her.
Lisen is my beloved dog and best friend. She turns 11 years old this week and she has been with me, well she came to us when I still lived at home, since she was an 8 week old pup. So I have a very strong bond with her. Lisen is a very stubborn, playful lady who loves to swim, run around/eat grass/roll in disgusting things in the forest and eat. She also loves to carry around shoes, her leash and other toys.
I am very grateful to have Lisen in my life and I enjoy every minute I have with her, except when she wakes me up in the middle of the night because she wants her breakfast. And she will not leave me alone until she gets it. Lol!
(Some Questions on Sweden)
How is living in Sweden unique to the rest of the world?
Well we do have it very good in Sweden when it comes to healthcare and education for instance. Healthcare is free for all children until the day they turn 18 years old and dental care is free for all children until the day they turn 20 years old. Education is also free, even College and University for all Swedish citizens.
If someone wanted to move to a new country, why should they consider Sweden?
Although we might have a bit higher taxes than some other countries we do have a pretty good living standard here in Sweden I think. Like with the health and education system I mentioned. But also in other aspects like work conditions, people have many benefits when they work or if they lose their jobs.
For instance if you work you are guaranteed five weeks vacations per year, whereof four weeks must be cohesive. Another integrating thing is that when you have a baby both parents have the right to combined parental leave of 480 days with pay.
What is Walpurgis Eve?
Walpurgis Eve is known as Valborgsmässoafton in Swedish. On Walpurgis Eve we have big bonfires all across Sweden. Before the bonfire is lit somebody usually makes a speech and after that a choir sings in spring. Then we burn up the past year’s junk, which is what the bonfire consist of, and say hello to spring time.
Originally this was a German tradition. Germans believed that witches had witches’ Sabbath on Walpurgis Night and therefore they used to lit bonfires to keep witches away. But fires were also lit to chase away predators and supernatural beings before animals were placed on pasture for the first time.
In 2010, the World Economic Forum ranked Sweden as the second most competitive county in the world behind Switzerland. Why do you feel the county is so competitive?
I really do not know much about this. All I do know is many people I have talked to often confuse Sweden with Switzerland and I have just thought is because the names sound similar, but maybe we have more in common than I think?
Are there any last words you would like to give to our readers?
You are all very welcome to stop by my blog, ropcorn.com, and I hope to see you there. It is a personal blog about me, my dog Lisen and our life in Sweden with lots of photos and updates. I am also very grateful for any feedback and if anyone has questions for me I will do my very best to answer them.