About Alexa Rae

My name is Alexa Rae Johnson. You can call me Alexa Rae, X-Ray, Zaagi, Lex, Lexa, Lexie, AJ, ARae, or any other combination you come up with…

I look something like this.


I grew up in a small community in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in a town called La Verne, California – less than an hour outside of Los Angeles.

When I was two years old I would point to the television and proclaim that I was born to be on the big screen.

Five years later that dream came true. I booked my first work in the entertainment industry, a commercial for corn dogs (thank goodness that was before the YouTube era). Sadly, at the age of thirteen, my parents suggested that I take a break from the film & TV industry to focus on school and plans for college.

Around the time that I was being escorted from audition to audition (thanks Mom!), I was also obsessively reading travel books, particularly about Hawai’i. My mom briefly lived on the island of Oahu as a teenager and her stories about working nights in the Dole pineapple factory and spending her days snorkeling on remote, private beaches romanced my young imagination.

Cultures in general always intrigued me – maybe because I was clueless as to which culture I am genetically linked to (by the way, I was adopted). During high school I submitted my DNA to the National Genographic Project and discovered that my mitochondrial DNA showed I belonged to Haplogroup X. Come to find out, I am part Native American (Ojibwe/Chippewa tribe). In fact, that is where the name “Zaagi” comes from. In the Ojibwe language the word “zaagi” is a verb meaning “to love; or to treasure” something.

Alexa Rae of the travel blog, Zaagi Travel, posing with a glass of Kvass in Riga, Latvia during the summer of 2013 via ZaagiTravel.com A few months later, on December 17, 2008, I was accepted as the first student of the Class of 2013 at San Diego State University, my dad’s alma mater. Go Aztecs! I graduated from SDSU in May 2013 with a degree in Communication and a minor in International Studies.

During college, the Spring 2011 semester to be exact, I studied abroad on Semester at Sea – a program sponsored by the University of Virginia that allows students to travel to multiple countries while living on a cruise ship. During some of the best four months of my life I visited twelve countries across South America, Africa, and Asia.

Today, I have visited 41 countries.

My favorites…

  • Sweden
  • Italy
  • France
  • New Zealand
  • Austria
  • Great Britain — Ireland/England (haven’t been to Scotland yet…)
  • South Africa
  • Ghana
  • Brazil
  • Cambodia
  • Vietnam

Where I want to go next…

  • Greece
  • Sardinia
  • Portugal
  • Turkey
  • The Maldives
  • Thailand
  • Costa Rica
  • Peru
  • Kenya
  • Uganda
  • Morocco
  • Back to all of my favorites above!
  • All the other countries in the world… seriously.
Visiting the village of Egyam, Ghana

 So what is my life about right NOW?

After graduating in 2013 I gained experience during an internship as the Social Media Account Manager over at KEEN Digital Summit (Keeping Entrepreneurs Engaged & Networking) — a conference for entrepreneurs, particularly in the digital media industry.

After that I became a freelance writer over at The Daily MailOnline, the world’s most popular online newspaper.

In 2015 I moved to Auckland, New Zealand became the Social & Content Editor at Yahoo.

I spend my free time planning my next trip, catching up with friends near by and around the world, taking pictures, and cooking/dancing in my kitchen.

One of my most random hobbies is learning ASL (American Sign Language).

If you’re still curious… here are some other things about me.

Things I Love:

  • My family and my dogs
  • Anything to do with the ocean
  • All forms of dance
  • Photography
  • Foreign men — blogs are about honesty, right?!
  • Healthy eating — except for my few guilty pleasures
  • Ice cream (especially Gelato), french fries (especially poutine), chocolate, and potato chips
  • American Sign Language
  • Fitness and nutrition
  • Instagram
  • Comfy beds
  • The LA Lakers, LA Dodgers, Minnesota Vikings, and the SDSU Aztecs!
  • Reading magazines and other blogs
  • Cooking and baking
  • Heavy eating utensils and pretty coffee mugs
  • Turquoise and pink
  • Aviators and riding boots
  • Nordstrom and random boutiques
  • Belgian whites and hazelnut macchiatos
  • Golden Retrievers and Quarter Horses
  • “Switched At Birth” and “Downton Abbey”
  • “Pride & Prejudice” (the Keira Knightley version)
  • Angelina Jolie
  • “Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake & “Brave” by Sara Bareilles
  • Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge in Big Fork, Montana
  • Christmas and summertime

Things I Definitely Don’t Love:

  • Bees – I’m allergic
  • Being cold
  • Split ends
  • When someone bails on plans
  • Close-minded and judgmental people
  • Leashes on children

My life motto:

“When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance…”

This lyric is from “I Hope You Dance” by LeeAnn Womack, a song that reminds my family of my Grand Dad, because it describes the way in which he viewed the world and chose to live his life before he passed in 2004. It holds a special place in my heart and plays a big role in my own life now.

One thought on “About Alexa Rae”

  1. Hi Alexa!

    My name is Tony Argyle, my wife Leanne and I have recently started a Travel Podcast called The Expat Chat. We interview expats, digital nomads, 45+ retirees, solos, couples, families who are travelling the world or moved to a new country.

    Our mission is to inspire people around the world to realise there is more than ‘the normal’ option available when it comes to living your life and to get out there, explore the world and other cultures and (most of the time) that it is cheaper and easier than their old life at home!

    Our podcast, launched just over 4 weeks ago and we are thrilled with the response so far…number 4 on new and noteworthy already!

    Here is a link to our website http://theexpatchat.com/
    Or i-tunes https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/expat-chat-lifestyle-travel/id1039954169?mt=2

    We upload a show 5 days a week – We are always around 40 podcasts ahead and would love to add you to the list.

    We would love to have you onboard so please let us know if you are interested and I will send you the link to our interview calendar so you can book your spot!

    Many thanks
    Leanne & Tony Argyle
    The Expat Chat
    Gold Coast, Australia

    PS We are actually kiwis so love that you are living in our fantastic homeland!
    Tony & Leanne Argyle recently posted…Episode 24: My German Adventure – A Lesson in Lifestyle Choice; Margo EggelingMy Profile

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