Interview with Alexander Biro
My name is Alexander Biro. I am in my 30s, a senior talent manager for a global intelligence firm by career and an avid traveler by passion, I own and run the travel page called Spread Your Arms Wide (@spread_your_arms_wide on Instagram).
I was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe and moved to the UK at the age of 15. My mother is Zimbabwean and my father is Hungarian, interestingly he was a trapeze artist in the circus and traveled the world performing.
From my earliest memories as a child I can remember amazing family trips, traveling to Europe or America by plane to visit family or to different parts of Africa on road trips.
By the age of 15 I had pretty much traveled both hemispheres but that was under my parents guidance, I think it’s truly what sparked my interest in traveling and exploring and it really sparked this burning ambition that I still have to see what is out there in the world.
I began traveling alone around the age of 17, my first actual solo trip was on a squash tour to Guernsey (a beautiful channel island near France) and I straight away felt at home being by myself in an unknown place, in the world of travel. Ever since then I have managed to touch down in some of the most amazing locations and experienced some of the most amazing cultures and cuisines, it’s really what inspires me!
This is where the Spread Your Arms Wide journey began, as I started to travel more and more, everywhere I went I would always take atleast one photo spreading my arms with a beautiful scenery behind me and post it to Facebook. It was kind of a running joke that I was really running with, fast forward a few years and my friends started nudging me about this platform called Instagram and to open a page, thankfully I caved in after a while and decided to do it again as a joke.
So I opened my account in June 2016 and as i said It was still very much continuing as a joke or fun thing, didn’t think that it would catch on but to my surprise within a few months I had grown to few thousand followers and then I realised that I had a real platform that I had to explore and utilise, by 2019 I had reached 8000 followers and when covid hit I grew to around 11000 followers and today I am at around 13,000.
The most amazing and inspiring thing about it for me is the beautiful pictures and videos that I get sent everyday and as I grew the account I made a decision to change it from being centered around me personally to becoming a sort of community of people exploring and feeling free but with me we the focal point.
I started selling merchandise during the 1st lock down in the UK and I have now sold over 100 hoodies, similar amounts of shirts and all of this is through word of mouth and people supporting me.
I am in a really amazing position where I have friends who are in the social media industry and they have really helped me to realise the potential and how to monetize by creating a platform for people within the realms of travel. I make sure to use their expertise as much as possible.
SYAW has now turned from my page, to a travel community and I hope in the future to be able to find ways to turn it into something even more special and even bigger.
I feel my background and experiences well as my professional career put me in good stead to really take this idea of travel, freedom and motivation mixed together and turn it into something for anyone and everyone. It’s one of the key reasons why I chose to use the name of Nelson Mandela’s book as the SYAW motto “The Long Walk To Freedom” .