First on El Pasoan behind the viral '360 degree selfie'

Franklin HS and UTEP grad Alex Chacón talks to ABC-7 about his international travels

Around the world in 360 degrees

EL PASO, Texas - Around the world in 360 degrees.

The travels of Alex Chacon, 26, are going viral.

The El Pasoan has spent the last three years on the road, documenting his international trips and posting the pictures and videos online.

He spoke over the phone to ABC-7 Thursday from Austin about his three-minute video that is creating a buzz online and in the national media.

"As a little kid I remember going to school in El Paso and looking at a globe and thinking, who lives around the world?" Alex said. "Who is surviving, how are they surviving, and what is their daily life like? And how are we different and how are we similar around the world?"

After graduating from Franklin High School and from UTEP with a biomedical science degree, he set out to find the answer.

Alex's family wasn't too pleased.

"I think any good Mexican mom or grandparent would be very scared about letting their child off into the unknown," said Alex. "I was faced with a lot of challenges leaving."

Three years and 30-plus countries later, he still considers himself a "citizen of the world."

While he admits his mother would argue he has a home in El Paso, he told ABC-7 he doesn't have one place he calls home.

"Most people have the misconception that I must be loaded. But the fact is I sold everything I had after college -- including my car and my clothes to travel as much as I could," Alex said. "Camping everywhere, eating canned beans on a daily basis, just huge money-saving tactics and only eating essentials allowed me to travel for so long."

Alex relies on some sponsors -- his website lists nine companies, including the camera company GoPro, Kawasaki, and Oakley -- but he told ABC-7 when his money ran out most of his help came through the kindness of strangers and his developed nomadic skills.

"The happiest times I have in my life are the times when I had absolutely nothing," Alex said, loosely referencing a Buddhist philosophy about the more you have, the more you suffer. "It's great to leave everything behind and appreciate the small things in life."

The modern nomad said didn't set out to create a following. But now he does have a message.

"I think one of the most amazing things we can do in life is disconnect from this world we live in. It's so technologically heavy. Many months I had no cell service, no Internet. It's so liberating," Alex said. "It takes the blinders off your eyes to allow yourself to see the world in bare form, the goodness to see what it's really about."

As for his  next adventure, Alex didn't want to elaborate -- simply saying to stay tuned.

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