• Tumba José Alfredo Jiménez

Who is Raphael Alexander? The story of my life

Have you ever found yourself to be lost and aimless? Have you ever found yourself in a place where conformity seemed to be the best option?

Why stand out when it’s so easy to blend in? Why try to do something remarkable and risk failure? Why take the leap when it’s so easy to fall to the abyss?

Why not just settle down and let life run its course? Why not just to take advantage of those safety nets and stay in your hometown with the people you already know doing the things you already do? Why not be someone else instead of being yourself?

That was the story of my life a couple of years ago. You see, the worst part about depression is that the last person to notice it is yourself. Ever wondered how a person can go from conformity to empowerment? This is the story of the man who broke the chains. This is the story of Raphael Alexander Zoren. This is my story.

Enjoy it, my friends.

Tumba José Alfredo Jiménez

The Story of My Life

My life of boring conformity 1990-2010

Before I started my journey to the lands beyond my home, I was a very ordinary person. I didn’t hate my life but I didn’t really love it either. I was afraid of change, I was afraid of the unexpected, I was afraid of what society might think of me.

I was willing to conform, to never question authority, to finish my studies, work, get married, buy a car, get a house, raise children, die old and never do something remarkable to be remembered for. In this grave lies Raphael, an unremarkable man. He loved, he lived, he died. End of story.

My daily life consisted of going to school, socialising with friends, returning back home, doing my homework, going out every weekend to the same places with the same people. And repeat everything else once Monday arrives with the same old routine.

I never even bothered to appreciate the beauty of my hometown of Acapulco since I took it for granted. Yes, I was one of those people.

As I grew older I soon began to be aware about the social inequalities that existed in my society. You see, the only reason I was able to attend one of the top 5 colleges in my country was because of a scholarship that I earned due to my hard work.

In my college years I was a poor man in the land of the rich and instead of embracing that I decided to do my best in order to join a club that deep down I knew it wasn’t for me.

I sold out. I got students loans to buy the trendiest clothes with the trendiest watches and shoes in order to blend it and be someone I was not instead of standing out by being who I really was.

I was depressed without even noticing it and it was killing me inside.

It wasn’t a bad life. It just wasn’t life at all.

Sunset at Dubrovnik, Croatia

Sunset at Dubrovnik, Croatia

My life of doubts and transformation 2010-2013

In 2010 I was one of the selected few to take part in a student exchange to Montreal, Canada, my first time out of the country. The smile I had when I got off the plane was the first authentic smile that I experienced during my college years. Luckily, it wasn’t the last.

You see travel changes people since it makes them get out of their comfort zone and encourages them to have new experiences. It also gives you the chance to discover new things about yourself that not even you knew they existed.

It was during my time abroad (both in Canada and France) that I unleashed my inner potential. I became less materialistic as time went by and soon I stopped to ever think about what other people might think of me. I am who I am and you can either love it or hate it.

I don’t care.

People are nothing but a reflection of their own life experiences and I cannot help but wonder what could have happened to me if it wasn’t for my experience abroad.

Would I still be lost and aimlessly? Would I still be pretending to be someone I was not? Would I still be depressed without even noticing it? So many questions and so little answers but hey, why dwell back in the past if the present is much more exciting?

Travel changed my life. I found a personal meaning of what’s truly important in my own life and I’ve never looked back to the person I was before. I am Raphael Alexander Zoren, The Man of Wonders. And I welcome you to my world of unlimited freedom and empowerment.

However, at the end of day of this stage of my life there was still one doubt that remained inside of me: How can I help and empower other people to unleash their own inner potential?

My dear friends, that was the day that Journey Wonders was born.

The Man of Wonders in Slovenia

Raphael Alexander Zoren, The Man of Wonders

My life of unlimited freedom 2013-

Journey Wonders was born to document my life of unlimited freedom and to empower everyone in the world to travel abroad in order for them to unleash their own inner potential. I believe in all of you and all I need is for you to believe in yourself as well.

Tell me, are you willing to conform or do you want to achieve something else, something greater? Don’t conform. Be yourself. Be unique. Break the mold. Travel. Live. Laugh. Experience. And above all, always give back to those who need it more than you.

The only way to eliminate social inequality is through empowerment and trust me, you and I can do it together.

I know we can.

And you see, right now most of the world suffers from depression without even being aware of it. They are blinded by people telling them the things they should have instead of focusing on the things they truly need.

People are dying because of it and it’s up to you and I to help spread the word in order to heal this planet that we live on. There’s no other road to happiness than your own road, your own journey of wonders.

My life calling is to give you the motivation and guidance to explore the many wonders that this world has to offer and to improve your life in every single very positive way so please, DO send me e-mails with all your questions and I’ll get back to you.

Also, remember to subscribe to our Newsletter of Wonders in order to be the first one to get the latest articles and exclusive offers.

Travel helped me grow to be a better person and now it’s my time to help you. Let’s embark a new journey of wonders together and empower the people of the world!

The Man of Wonders is a Dragon

I am the Dragon of Wonders. Hear my roar and tremble! Grrr!

May 1st, 2015|Categories: Travel Inspiration|
Raphael Alexander is a Nomadic Digital Marketer and Travel Influencer who overcame the chains of the local economy and found a way to achieve his dream of having a professional life while traveling the world non-stop. His goal in life is to inspire the people of the world to unleash their full inner potential. A perfect day for him includes exotic animals, ancient pyramids, breath-taking waterfalls and tasty tacos. Lots of tacos.


  1. African Girl December 12, 2014 at 5:40 am - Reply

    Really nice to read how you started out!

  2. Jameela Deen December 12, 2014 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    Inspirational all right, i hope many breaks their chains and trust you… it is possible to live the life you want and indeed Travel is the best first step away from your old life, there is no better learning curve than travels. It doesn’t have to be far or expensive, just get out! out of your town, your circle of friends… it is true the grass is always greener on the other side, no matter what side of the world you’re on. Funny how you Raphael felt you needed to leave Acapulco and ended up in Clermont Ferrand when for many people France would consider Mexico a “dream” or at least exotic destination. So yes the grass is definitely always greener somewhere else lol just go wherever you want.

  3. Jameela Deen December 13, 2014 at 3:02 am - Reply

    Inspirational all right, i hope many breaks their chains and trust you… it is possible to live the life you want and indeed Travel is the best first step away from your old life, there is no better learning curve than travels. It doesn’t have to be far or expensive, just get out! out of your town, your circle of friends… it is true the grass is always greener on the other side, no matter what side of the world you’re on. Funny how you Raphael felt you needed to leave Acapulco and ended up in Clermont Ferrand when for many people France would consider Mexico a “dream” or at least exotic destination. So yes the grass is definitely always greener somewhere else lol just go wherever you want.

  4. Marcellus December 13, 2014 at 10:25 am - Reply

    Congratulations Raphael, bot on your own journey and being excited about the journeys of others. I applaud you for implying that travel is not just for the rich! My impression of your site is that it is an appeal to the middle class, and I also believe that anyone can embark on their journey, even the poor, I too am on that cusp, the bottom of the middle class. I would like to be part of a discussion on travel opportunities for the low income or no income, physical safety and money, and embarking on the journey without ever leaving your home.

  5. Michele December 13, 2014 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    What a journey and to have realised so young is a credit to you. Keep enjoying your adventures and sharing your experiences 🙂

  6. Glamourous Traveller December 19, 2014 at 1:31 am - Reply

    Wonderful post. You’re right, usually the person depressed is the last one to realize he/ she is depressed. And taking yourself out of your comfort zone, out of your routine and schedule can easily disrupt and empower you to take charge of your own life.

    I’m about to start on my journey again, hope to bump into you on the road

  7. Kevin Rainey January 21, 2015 at 12:56 am - Reply

    Raphael Alexander, what a terrific blog! I love your gorgeous site layout, vivid photos and memorable stories. Keep it up!

  8. Karina Noriega February 4, 2015 at 11:28 am - Reply

    I am so happy for you! Breaking out of ordinary existence is incredibly difficult, specially coming from a Latin economy and society. I truly congratulate you.
    Plus your site is incredible. Can’t wait to get better acquainted.
    Karina @ http://www.karinasextraordinarylife.com

    • Raphael Alexander Zoren February 9, 2015 at 12:43 am - Reply

      I agree but in a way, the struggle makes the journey even more interesting and exciting 🙂

  9. (Rufus) Berris Reid March 5, 2015 at 11:31 am - Reply

    Raphael, You are an inspiration. Your story of awakening your inner person and insight is great for those of us on a search for self. All the very best in your self actualization. Thank you!

  10. Cassie Seen April 13, 2015 at 12:19 am - Reply


  11. Marlene April 24, 2015 at 8:48 am - Reply

    More power to you Raphael and looking forward to receiving your travel updates.

    Cheers !

  12. Toni | 2 Aussie Travellers April 26, 2015 at 3:49 am - Reply

    I am pleased for you that you have found what makes you happy and are able to live that life.

  13. Jennifer April 26, 2015 at 4:07 am - Reply

    What a wonderful, touching and inspiring story. Very excited for you accomplishments and all the more power to you in your journey.

  14. Saana / Always Abroad April 26, 2015 at 5:02 am - Reply

    Your story is somewhat similar to mine – travel really changed who I am. Most importantly, I stopped caring about what others might think, and my life became easier and funnier immediately 🙂

    Visiting your blog for the first time and loving it already!


  15. Escaping Abroad April 26, 2015 at 11:38 am - Reply

    This is a familiar sounding stories I think many long term travelers can relate to! Inspirational, keep spreading the word and sharing your stories!

  16. Claudia April 26, 2015 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Great story!

  17. Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru April 26, 2015 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    It’s a huge “lightbulb moment” when we realize we do not have to walk the expected, conventional path. Consider yourself fortunate that this realization came to you at a relatively young age. Life is intended to be rich and vivid, and you are making it so.

  18. zof April 26, 2015 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    It’s great to have a dream and not to be afraid to follow it….

  19. Valerie April 26, 2015 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    I never had a crazy desire to travel until I went abroad for the first time when I was 21 (to Uganda). It opened my eyes to a new world and since then I have been overwhelmed with wanderlust. I didn’t know I was missing anything until I took that first trip, like you. I can’t imagine a life without travel now.

  20. Joe Ankenbauer April 27, 2015 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    Lovely post! I really enjoyed it. Great idea as well, helps relate to your audience.

  21. Anita May 17, 2015 at 4:51 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing your story with us, it was very inspiring! Love your blog 🙂

  22. irvan May 28, 2015 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Hi raphael! Your blog so inspiring.. i love traveling but just dont get a chance.. lol.. btw i have a plan to move cancun next year! Can u share some of your tips to become traveler

  23. Art Klep August 14, 2015 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    Very inspirational words and life story. I appreciate your honesty and bravery in telling it.
    Cheers to you Raphael!

  24. Adonis Villanueva March 7, 2016 at 2:34 am - Reply

    Dude. I’m glad I found your about me page. I’m feeling down from my struggles of travel blogging and reading your story is an inspiration. Follow your dreams and never conform!

    -Adonis V.

  25. Ama April 29, 2016 at 3:26 am - Reply

    You are living proof that traveling is fun. Some people are so afraid of traveling, one relative of mine thinks that if he leaves the US he will become abused by the police. Seriously, the police in India and Nepal are really nice and helpful. I’ve had a few occasions where I needed help and they were great in both countries.

    Traveling is a great way to let go of fears, build confidence and become a world citizen. Here’s a blog post about our village police and how they are struggling after the earthquakes. http://bit.ly/21NdUCy

  26. D June 4, 2016 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Reading your blog has brought a nostalgic tear to my eye… I could have written it myself (had the internet been invented when I first left my home comforts behind!). Huge thumbs up to you for encouraging others to get realistic and follow their dreams!

  27. Marco Mtui September 5, 2016 at 9:34 am - Reply

    It Amazing way of travel, Congratulation Raphael.
    when you plan to visit ”Tanzania” Contact us. http://www.borderlesstours.com

  28. Vaughn Scriven September 21, 2016 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    Raphael, thank you for sharing your story with us. I only wish I had known of you and your work while I was living in Guadalajara (April 2014-Sept 2015). I went there to do a TEFL certification course with the idea of teaching English to supplement my travel but my long term goal was travel photography and blogging with Mexico and Central America as my first subjects. So, if only I had known about you then maybe you could have given me some insight. I am back in The Bahamas and anxious to resume traveling again next year so, I will be reaching out to you for any guidance that you can give me. In the meantime, all the best in all of your endeavors.

  29. Joshua October 10, 2016 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Hey Rafael
    Inspirational stuff; especially the manner how you earned the key to the door of success. Love your enthusiasm in encouraging the depressed that travel is certainly not for the rich. Will certainly follow you to encourage myself to spread out my wings to places, which my family and I so love to do but are financially constrained.

  30. Airam November 15, 2016 at 3:41 am - Reply

    I just read your story about Kakslauttanen Artic Resort. Would really love to talk to you more on this. Thanks, Airam

  31. Rick February 21, 2017 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    Wow! What an inspiring account! And you started all that when you were in my hometown, Montréal ! Read a few of your travel logs and found them quite lively… makes you wish to be there. Take care and keep on enjoying life!

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