What’s Alex about?
Outgoing, funny and sociable, Alex makes friends with everybody. He’s always been interested in other people’s cultures and dreamed of being a modern explorer. This childhood fascination blossomed into a dual degree in anthropology and history from UCSB, an intellectual exercise he complemented with summer explorations of the indigenous cultures of Latin America
Alex’s good vibes got him a front row seat at rare cultural experiences like paying respects at Mayan funeral processions, warding off evil spirits by dancing el Baile del Diablo in a remote Andean indigenous village, getting an invite to the funeral of the President of Malta, celebrating Christmas in the home of Moroccan Muslims, reconnecting with the Maori traditions of their ancestral home, New Zealand their father’s homeland.
Alex finds meaning by pushing his physical limits through the challenges of nature. Starting with childhood treks into the hills of Southern California, with age he progressed into hiking the largest hills in the Sierra Nevada, riding a bike along the entire Californian coast, taking surf trips to Senegal, Morocco, and Central America, walking along the Atlantic coast from France to Portugal, and biking the entire 1,500 km loop through the Pyrenees from the Atlantic through Andorra to the Med and back.
His academic background and outdoor experience earned him a spot on a documentary expedition in search of lost Incan gold in the mountainous jungles of Ecuador, where he became fast friends with the expedition leader, seasoned adventurer and television host Ken Hames. Though they did not find the treasure they sought, Alex discovered his passion for storytelling and a natural television presence he developed by narrating much of the documentary. Over the two week trip, Ken took Alex under his wing, instructing him in the survival skills he’d honed in over thirty years as an SAS paratrooper.
Upon returning to civilization, Ken encouraged Alex to pursue a career making travel documentaries and invited him on an even more challenging trip the following year. This time, Ken wanted to shed the rest of his team and take just Alex on a dangerous hike across the Kalahari Desert in search of the lost tribe of the Himba. Alex accepted the challenge and spent his second year in Spain developing his skills as a self-made video blogger and studying travel filmmaking at MatadorU.
Together, Mark and Alex have traveled to more than 45 countries, lived in Spain, India, New Zealand, France, and Argentina, filmed three adventure documentaries, written two guidebooks and numerous travel articles. Mark – the passoinate writer pushing himself into the world of action. Alex – the witty, outspoken outdoorsman drawn toward knowledge.
What makes Alex a Vagabrother: Alex draws Mark out of his books and newspapers and into the streets. His love for physical challenge brings vitality and immediacy to their adventures, taking the two away from the city and into traditional cultures. Always up for a good time, Alex helps us appreciate those little moments that make travel so fun.