Meet Ally Sztrimbely


Ally co-creates individuals that liberate themselves through strenght, thought and heart. She is a liberator.

Her Many Hats

Traveller / English Teacher / Communication, Disasters & Risk Management Educator / Editor / Aerial Silks Instructor / Trekker

Country counter

89 UN countries visited

first moment of enlightenment

I've always known I needed to see the world, explore, and learn as much as I possibly could. I started travelling on my own when I was 16 and never stopped. People have been trying to tell me for years that it might be time to settle down, but I've never really internalized that message. For me, this is settled down - settled into what I want to do. I may not be using my initial degree in anthropology and archaeology (or any of my subsequent degrees in biological anthropology, international relations, and disaster and emergency management) in the conventional manner, but slowly working my way around the world, experiencing and living it, is basically just applied anthropology in so many ways.

For me, it was more a slow slide into the realization that everyone else thought I, and what I was doing, was nuts... and the comfort of realizing the freedom that comes with that.

If anything, I fell into teaching more than had any moment of enlightenment. It was initially just a way to live abroad for longer and experience life in other parts of the world in a deeper way after completing my first masters. It wasn't until later I realized I'd pretty much always been doing it - teaching dance throughout high school and university, TAing anthropology during grad school, and lecturing friends excitedly about any new bit of info I learned pretty much at random.

For me, it was more a slow slide into the realization that everyone else thought I, and what I was doing, was nuts... and the comfort of realizing the freedom that comes with that. I mean, if people already think you're crazy...

Ally lives in Kyrgyzstan! If she’s not travelling, she's dangling 15 meters in the air from an aerial silk, just like me!
Thank you Country Counters for connecting us.



Problem solving and 3D spatial analysis - skills that come in remarkably handy for travel, RM and circus purposes!

books that transformed her life!

Anne of Green Gables, Alanna (Song of the Lioness) - I may have initially read them as a kid, but I still re-read them annually!


About Her

one of the hardest moments of her life?

Oh, no! This is the part where we realize I'm terribly boring and have led a very privileged life! I can't think of one. I've always been lucky enough that challenges have been things to embrace and learn from as much as anything else. I feel like nothing ever looks as bad in retrospect as it does while you are slogging through it, and it definitely helps to know you have the love of friends and family to fall back on, even when you are too far stuck in your own head and it doesn't seem like it.

What used to terrify her?

The unknown? I think that's what terrifies all of us. Learning to embrace uncertainty was definitely something I got from travel.


School, Dance, D&D Camp (yes, that last one is a thing...)

F*ck this shit moment

Definitely have those at the start of every early morning or late evening training session, new academic adventure, new academic year or long distance trek. Takes anywhere from 20 mins to a couple of days of intense activity to get over the hump and remember that I do these things because I love them.


About her Business

About her business (5 words or less)

Learning, growing, being.

biggest leap of faith taken in her business?

I'm a risk manager to the core. We don't leap on faith. We leap on informed estimates of how likely we are (not) to fail ;).

most thrilling "high"? most challenging "low"?

Empowerment is a powerful drug, and it's an awesome experience to be able to share it.

The most thrilling high is watching people become excited when they realize what they are capable of - whether it's because they never thought their body could do that thing or never thought that piece of work would make it to publication or never thought they could master that skill. Empowerment is a powerful drug, and it's an awesome experience to be able to share it. For me the hardest part of teaching is how draining it can be. I love my all of my students, but teaching really is one of the most exhausting professions.

false advice being taught in her industry?

That higher education is absolutely necessary for success.

How did she overcome her fear of selling??

I didn't. I can only sell things I truly believe in or feel that people actually need. Then there's no fear.

hardest part about being a trailblazer?

Fighting against people who try to get in the way of your going any further. Or people who want you to explain but don't listen.

What's next for her?

Currently teaching English, Risk Management, Natural Disaster Management, and Aerial Silks in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Connect with her 


(First Published apr 13, 2018)



Having navigated 131 countries, 87 emotions, 46.5 traumas, and 16 careers, Ellany Lea inspires and guides phoenixes, overachievers, entrepreneurs and wayshowers to live fierce, fulfilled and free.