Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. ~ Franz Kafka
Russian-Armenian-American solo Nomad.
I’m a Writer, Photographer, Actress, Dancer, Model & a Dual Citizen.
I have backpacked solo through Africa, lived in 8 countries and traveled close to 30, in 4 continents.
On my journey I got to share dinners & laughs with everyone, from homeless people, to Presidents, Hollywood icons & Royalty.
I’m an adrenaline lover. ( “junkie” is too overused )
Here’s a couple of highlights;
I walked with lions in the wild
Bungee jumped into a river full of alligators, got in a fight with a female baboon, zip-lined, ATV’d, hang on the edge of the most dangerous pool in the world.
My jeep got chased by a lion.
I used every public transport imaginable in Africa. ( matatus, buses, camels, horses, jeeps, canoes, shared taxis and boda-boda’s anyone ? )
Got really, really close to gorillas in Uganda.
Missed planes, trains, buses and will probably miss my own wedding. ( anyone said “wedding”?!! oh shit!! well, who knows, crazier things have happened )
Stepped over the railing at “The Peak” in Hong Kong. ( those who’ve been there, probably having a heart attack as they reading this )
Jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, in the middle of one of the coldest winters in Russia. ( who skydives for the first time in winter?!! )
I’m a self-made woman.
I don’t wait for life… but run towards it with my soul wide open.
Even though life has kicked me around and dragged me through mud on more than one occasion,
it taught me how to dance without ever touching the ground…
And for that, I’m forever in her debt.
( Click on the highlighted areas below for a story )
1. I have a Russian Soul.
3. Bilingual – Russian & English ( would really like to learn French )
4. I’m unmarried ( most of the time, happily. ) & it’s complicated
5. Turned 18 when I lost my father to cancer
6. I’m a Cultural Chameleon, but not a Russian spy ( so stop asking )
7. Love being on the road with as less stuff as possible & embrace solo travel.
9. I believe in Compassion & Giving back
10. I’m not good with planning, but know how to Travel The World on the cheap & got rid of my “bucket list”,
TV, facebook, myspace and twitter.
17. Got up, close and personal with monkeys in Bali.
18. Zip-lined in Costa Rica
19. Almost got married several times and one of them was to a beautiful woman
21. I am a true Minimalist ~ My closet is always half empty, because I recycle clothes & choose to spend money in thrift stores. Buying hundreds or thousands of dollars stuff in order to look classy, stylish and expensive won’t work, if you don’t know how to wear a 20 dollar dress and look like a million bucks…
22. Attended all major Hollywood Red Carpet events in $5 – $20 dresses bought in thrift stores ( i dare you )
23. Persuaded a manager of the bank to open it on a Sunday morning in Zanzibar.
24. What I love ; coffee, Frank Sinatra, Juliette Binoche, dancing, black color clothing, people watching, Honest Films, ARTIST’S , antiques & Blues. But not a fan of
shopping & beauty salons — do my own hair, nails and make up, thank you very much.
25. Quit smoking “cold turkey” in 2008 after smoking for 10 years and have been smoke free ever since. (however, I do miss a good cigar sometimes)
26. Stepped over the railing at“The Peak” in Hong Kong.
27. Have 0 interest in having a mortgage, credit cards, “beach proposal / wedding”, retirement fund, 9-5 job, huge SUV’s &
( Maybe this is the “American dream”, but it’s definitely not my dream. )
28. Spent my 28th Birthday in the highest dunes of Sahara, survived sandstorm at Giza Pyramids & visited Cleopatra’s wedding gift. Saw one of the best Flamenco performances in the world. I became a Dual Citizen. Traveled through and lived in Morocco. Shared food with a Nomad family in the desert. Experienced a contact high in Chefchaouen & stayed at the WORST hotel in the world. Explored Tangier with a French writer and was invited to a home of a descendant of Russian Nobility. Fell in love with Catalonia. Lived in Moscow for 3 months after 9 years of absence. Experienced Russian Extreme. Cut and donated 17 inches of my curls to charity. (28, I will miss you dearly…you were one of the best years of my life)
29. Will be on 4 month journey through Europe and Asia (May-August 2013) , Trans-Siberian Adventure, Moving from Los Angeles, California to Manhattan, NYC (September-November 2013) Tasted freedom of the Greek Soul.
“What in your life is calling you? When all the noise is silenced, the meetings adjourned, the lists laid aside, and the wild iris blooms by itself in the dark forest, what still pulls on your soul? In the silence between your heartbeats hides a summons, do you hear it? Name it, if you must, or leave it forever nameless, but why pretend it is not there?” – The Terma Collective
Social status has never been a goal or a priority of mine. I can’t tell the difference between jimmy choos and prada. To me it’s just a shiny wrapper with no substance or real value. Our world today has more important issues to deal with, than a decision making of what brand of shoes to buy this afternoon or what color the highlights should be.
We get bombarded with slogans that scream at us that we’re not good enough, cool enough, young enough, beautiful enough…fill in the blank…
→ You are enough! ←
You are beautiful and unique in your own amazing way!
Don’t ever let anyone sabotage or doubt that… not even yourself.
What matters at the end of the day are not things at all … It’s all those shared moments of laughter, joy, love and everything in between with people we love.
It’s about creating yourself, discovering the world around us and helping each other along the way.
And it’s also about dancing while the music is being played…
Don’t just dream the dream… LIVE it!
Elena Levon xo
Word of Honor:
Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer now dead, and I were at a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island.
I said, “Joe, how does it make you feel to know that our host only yesterday may have made more money than your novel ‘Catch-22′ has earned in its entire history?”
And Joe said, “I’ve got something he can never have.”
And I said, “What on earth could that be, Joe?”
And Joe said, “The knowledge that I’ve got enough.”
Not bad! Rest in peace!” – Kurt Vonnegut
” Feather to fire, fire to blood, blood to bone, bone to marrow, marrow to ashes, ashes to snow…” - Gregory Colbert
Please keep in mind, that this is not yet another “travel blog” that gives you the trivial rundown on what to see, do, eat, where to stay, what/how to pack, how to travel on $20 per day, how to quit your cubicle and travel the world, etc.
There are a few tips here and there, but most of it are stories from my life on & off the road.
This is not a 1-2 times a year vacation, a “gap year” or “I quit my job to travel the world” type of thing.
This is my LIFE & WORK.
I write about my journey, with all it’s heartbreak, passion & joy.
This is a personal memoir.
ps – all the juicy and really naughty parts are going into the print version…
Let There Always Be A Road…
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