“I grew up thinking that I was going to go to university after high school, find a husband and get married by the time I was 22. I've completely chosen a different path and I often struggle with the fact that I'm creating my own path instead of following the pack.”
Alexa Cress has some pretty wicked stories to tell. The Canadian-born lady has quite the travel bug and made a trip to Paris that would make any Millennial jealous. Miss Mill Mag welcomes Alexa as the next #LikeaGirl Interview.
Miss Millennia Magazine: Tell me a little about yourself!
Alexa Cress: My name is Alexa Cress and I was born and raised in a small village in Nova Scotia, Canada. I graduated from college with a diploma in finance only to find that this job field wasn't what I wanted to do with my life. Instead of starting a career in something that I knew wasn't going to make me happy I bought a one-way ticket to Paris where I worked as an au pair for the year. My goal for the year was to hopefully find what I wanted to do with my life and also travel across Europe on my weekends off. That being said more importantly than those goals, I knew that I needed to improve my health by finding a sense of balance with nutrition and exercise. I can happily say that after 11 months I am on my way to becoming a certified health coach, have gained 20 pounds of health and am happier than I've ever been.
M3: Why did you start the Mindful Maritimer?
AC: I started an Instagram account a few years ago for motivation and guidance with my health and fitness journey. Once I started seeing a larger audience, I decided that it was time to use my love for writing and to create a blog for my viewers! I used social media as a way to document and share my journey of overcoming my eating disorder and writing was a self-help tool that I found extremely helpful. I started incorporating my travel stories into my weekly blog posts and I found that my readers loved following my journey.
M3: What is a “Mindful Maritimer”?
AC: A Mindful Maritimer is a resident of one of the Atlantic provinces in Canada who lives a mindful lifestyle in all aspects. Being mindful means having the awareness with your thoughts and reacting on them with the proper actions and even though I'm constantly traveling I'll always be a loyal Maritimer.
M3: What has been your favorite place to travel to?
AC: I lived abroad in Paris for the past year and used that as my hub for the other countries that I traveled to. In 11 months I was able to travel to 8 different countries and to be honest, I have a hard time picking just one place that I can call my favorite. That being said I really enjoyed Italy and absolutely loved Venice and the never ending streets.
M3: What has been your inspiration?
AC: I prefer to use the word motivation to reason why I made the decision to change my life around. I was tired of seeing the disappointment and worry that I brought my family and friends and decided that enough was enough. My turning point was when my au pair child looked at me and said in her French accent, “In my opinion you are too skinny.” I was supposed to be her role model and here she was thinking of me in a negative sense. That was when I knew that things were about to change.
M3: What has been your biggest struggle?
AC: I've found that the biggest struggles in any aspect of my life always have to do with comparisons and how I view myself in relation to those around me. There were times when I would be eating triple what the others around me were eating and, of course, that was mentally difficult for me to process. Another struggle has been comparing my life decisions with my peers who have chosen a different path. I grew up thinking that I was going to go to university after high school, find a husband, and get married by the time I was 22. I've completely chosen a different path and I often struggle with the fact that I'm creating my own path instead of following the pack.
M3: Any tips for Millennials who want to travel?
AC: Don't over think it and just do it now. I've always dreamed of traveling after having the opportunity to travel to Alberta with my mother when I was 12. As I grew older and had to start making life decisions traveling got pushed to the back and education and thinking about my career took center stage. When I finally stopped living the life I felt I had to instead of what the one I wanted to, I finally found happiness and it was as if the world opened up.
M3: Top advice for a Millennial woman?