Coffee Bay, South Africa
Enjoying the sun and the ocean breeze in Coffee Bay, South Africa. These were my first footsteps into the Indian Ocean!

In a nutshell

My name is Alissa Murray, the brains and the brawn behind In Locamotion.

I love travel, foreign languages, dancing, and quiet self-reflection over my journal and a good cup of coffee. I am 25 years old and I am from New York, by way of Baltimore, by way of New York. Confused? Me too, because I feel very much from both places. However, I am currently based out of New York City, and occasionally out of my big, blue backpack. When I’m not working, I am living life to the fullest, and enjoy local and international travel at any chance I get.

What’s this blog about?

Oh, so many things! In Locamotion is a travel blog, and is also so much more than a travel blog. Here, I write about travel from an intersectional, social justice lens. I write about culturally immersive, ethical, people-centered travel. If you’re looking for airfare hacks or city guides, you’ve come to the wrong place. However, if you’re looking to read vulnerable and honest travel narratives that make you feel as if you’re strolling city streets and meeting real people of places far, far away, then this is the blog for you. I write about the simple interactions and observations that one may make while traveling. I also write scathing essays analyzing travel experiences and travel culture from a social justice perspective. Also, I write about dance. Something for everyone!

Don’t know where to start? Let me help you!

  1. Looking for resources on ethical travel? Check out Is Travel Exploitative? 9 Tips For Responsible Travel.
  2. Looking to laugh? Check out Dubai, Part 1: Sex Toys And Scandals.
  3. Feeling lonely? Check out Confronting Loneliness In The Mountains Of California.
  4. Feeling lost in the world? Check out Searching For Home In San Francisco.
  5. Looking for something scandalous and sexy? Check out Kissing, Consent, And Empowerment In Antigua, Guatemala.
  6. Looking to learn about travel writing and travel culture? Check out Why I Don’t Believe In Encouraging People To Travel.

And what exactly is locamotion?

While I write here about many forms of travel, the majority of my traveling I have done solo. I consider myself a solo female traveler. The fact that I am both a woman and a traveler is relevant. It shapes the way that I navigate the world and the way that others receive me. It affects the risks that I take or don’t take, and the potential consequences of those risks.

I am claiming locamotion as my unique brand of movement, both through the world and (ha!) on the dance floor. (After all, what’s an energetic salsa without some arm flailing and poorly attempted body rolls?) And why locamotion? Loca is Spanish for ‘crazy woman’. The use of the word crazy to describe a woman is a tactic of manipulation and control. It is a word that is used casually and in abundance, typically to describe a woman who is acting in a way that the accuser finds inconvenient. The use of the word crazy exempts the accuser from any responsibility for their own actions and contribution to a conflict. It also requires that the woman branded crazy defend herself and prove how “not crazy” she is before her perspective can be taken seriously.

As a culture, we rarely use crazy to describe real mental health issues, but rather as a casual dismissal of a woman’s feelings and perspective. Because of the stigma behind this word and its use as a tool of women’s oppression, I have chosen to reclaim it in my blog name.

A critical evaluation of the language that we use on a daily basis is an important part of fighting oppression. I encourage everyone to analyze their language choices and ask themselves how certain words alienate, belittle, and perpetuate violence towards certain marginalized groups of people. For more information on ‘crazy’, language, and other important topics in social justice, see my Unlearning page.

My locamotion is my choice. The risks that I take, while traveling and otherwise, I take because they are right for me. What’s crazy to some is tame to others. Crazy is arbitrary, and it is not a word that I will allow to control me.

So, I can only be me, Alissa, loca or not. That’s for me to decide.

Restless feet around the globe…

I’m slowly but surely making my way around the world. I have been to the following countries/regions:

  1. Africa: Lesotho, South Africa
  2. Central America: Guatemala
  3. Europe: Belgium, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland
  4. Middle East/North Africa: Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco, United Arab Emirates
  5. North America: Canada, Mexico, United States
  6. South America: Colombia

…and on the dance floor

love to dance, and starting in my twenties dance has become a central part of my life. Now, it also changes the way that I travel. I try to dance whenever and wherever I travel. Salsa dancing is my favorite, but I have tried other styles of dance and have many more on my list to try. (Tango in Argentina, anyone?)

Here’s where I have danced and the different styles that I have tried. I’m looking forward to adding to the list!

  1. Salsa/Latin Dance: United States (Baltimore, Miami, New Brunswick, Los Angeles, New York City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Providence, San Diego, San Francisco, South Bend, Washington D.C., White Plains), Guatemala (Antigua), Mexico (Guadalajara, Guanajuato, Mérida, Mexico City, Morelia, Oaxaca, Playa del Carmen, Puebla, Puerto Escondido, San Miguel De Allende), Colombia (Bogotá, Cartagena, Medellín), Spain (Cádiz, Sevilla)
  2. East Coast Swing: United States (Baltimore)
  3. Contra Dancing: United States (Baltimore, Grand Rapids, New York City, Washington D.C.)
  4. Blues/Fusion Dancing: United States (San Francisco)
  5. Sevillanas: Spain (Sevilla)