Sláinte, Ireland!

Here we are, just two short weeks from takeoff, and I couldn’t be more excited!

I’ve gotten tons of questions around this trip, so I figured I’d share a little more about how this trip came to be — where I’ll be going, what I’ll be doing, where I’ll be staying, and more.

How did you decide on Ireland?

That’s an easy question — I have wanted to go to Ireland basically since the day I saw the film, P.S I Love You. Although I was experiencing the Irish culture and world through a cinematic television screen, my curiosity and excitement for what I could experience first-hand grew immensely.

Apart from the fact that Ireland is a must-see and visit destination altogether, I have grown to admire and enjoy the Irish culture; the music, the language, the personality, the art, basically everything there is to know, learn, and love about this country — not to mention the endless supply of Guinness. 😉

Why are you going to Ireland? How long will you be there?

I have a tendency to live on the rebellious side; to chase after new adventures and push my limits. Lately, that’s involved picking a place on a map and just going. It’s just become apart of who I am. I’m passionate about exploring new places I’ve never been, whether I’m with friends or traveling solo. Some would say I do it so that I can run away, but I do it to run towards adventure.

So needless to say, one day in December I just woke up and said — you know what, I want to spend my 25th birthday in Ireland, so that’s what I’m going to do. I thought long and hard about this decision, 5 minutes to be exact. Then booked my flight for my 10-day Irish adventure, and trusted that everything else would fall into place. Risky, but that’s my life these days.

What places are you visiting?

My favorite question to answer. See my full destinations and planned itinerary below for the deets. 😉

DUBLIN

I’ll be spending my first three days and last two days in Dublin making new Irish friends and exploring all that Dublin has to offer:

  • Temple Bar
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Old Jameson Distillery
  • Dublin Castle
  • Trinity College & Library
  • St Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Church Cathedral – i.e Nick and Kaitlyn’s date on The Bachelorette 😉
  • Grafton Street
  • Ha’penny Bridge

GALWAY

  • Magical Hill of Tara – the ancient capital and once the seat of the High Kings of Ireland. Can’t wait to hear all about this mystical place famous for its fairy folk and a wishing tree!
  • Tullamore Dew Whiskey Museum to learn how Uisce Batha, the ‘Water of Life’, is made and get a real taste of Ireland.
  • Ireland’s West Coast and on to Galway Bay, AKA the ‘City of Tribes’.
  • Pub crawl inclusive of all of the best Galway pubs — including the one starred in the Galway Girl music video. 😉

INIS MÓR / CONNEMARA

  • I’ll be taking a ferry across the Atlantic to spend a whole day on Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands — so beyond stoked!
  • Most definitely chat and mingle with the locals over a pint of Guinness (i.e fluent in Irish Gaelic and known to be super friendly).
  • Explore the island and visit the awe-inspiring Dun Aonghasa, a 3,000-year-old Iron Age ring fort.
  • Stop at Kylemore Abbey for a romantic awe-inspiring story on my way to the wilds of Connemara instead — home to many sandy beaches, mountains and misty peat bogs.
  • All this obviously calls for a pint and some shenanigans in Galway.

GALWAY TO ENNIS

  • Make my way through the lunar landscape of the Burren, home to ancient tombs, fairies, and leprechauns! 😉
  • Stop in the surfing town of Lahinch for lunch before heading to the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher — stay tuned for a never-ending stream of jaw-dropping photography!
  • Ending the night in Ennis, County Clare; the renowned home of Irish music (MY FAVE). The pubs are filled with locals playing ‘trad’ music so I will be happily joining in a proper Irish jam session.

ENNIS TO KILLARNEY

  • I cannot emphasize enough how stoked I am for the breathtaking scenery and adventure on this one.
  • I’ll be traveling the stunning Slea Head Drive down to Dingle Peninsula and spend the day exploring the dramatic Irish coastline. IKR?
  • I’ll also be learning how to play hurling that originates from an ancient Gaelic game — no idea, but stoked anyways! And ending the day relaxing with the locals and other solo travelers, and taking in the stunning views.
  • This is literally on the itinerary — heading to the party town of Killarney for the night.
  • I’ll be taking a horse and carriage ride through Killarney National Park to see Ross Castle — built in the 15th century, and coming back to join the locals in a Kerry ‘Dishco’ to basically dance and party all night long. I kid you not, that part was in the itinerary verbatim. Could I be any more excited? Hint: probably yes but I think my excitement has hit the max.
  • Ending the Killarney adventures at Blarney Castle — a legendary castle was built by the MacCarthy of Muskerry dynasty and dates back to 1446…WHOA.
  • And as anyone would guess, I would not leave Ireland without hanging upside-down (at 11 meters, mind you…) and give the stone a kiss to get the legendary ‘gift of the gab’ (great eloquence or skill at flattery).

 

I’ll be sharing bits and pieces of my Irish adventures via blog and Instagram — so be sure to check-in and follow along with me! XoXo

 

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A Life of ‘Yes’

I’m not big on writing down New Year’s resolutions.

The many years that I spent writing down New Year’s resolutions, actually became a roadmap, a checklist, a plan for what I thought my life should be; what I thought my life should look like — from the outside looking in.

So what changed? Well, simply put — life happened.

These continuous, monumental ups and downs that I was learning how to understand and navigate, completely changed my perspective on life altogether; changed how I view the world and everything in it. These extraordinary, yet terrifying, life circumstances surrounding doubt, fear, love, and loss affected me immensely. So much so, that the only way to pick up the remaining broken pieces and continue living a better, healthier, and happier life was to press restart on Chapter One, and to start a new beginning. 

To change my mindset; to find a new perspective — to live a life unplanned; to live a life by one rule; to live a life of “yes”.  

It took just shy of a quarter of a century before I came to realize that so much of my life already had its own instruction manual and expiration date. It took just shy of a quarter of a century to put two and two together; to realize that while time passes by all too quickly, it can still be cherished; it can still be imagined and believed to be everlasting. It took just shy of a quarter of a century before I came to realize that for many years, I really hadn’t been living my best, most fulfilling life. Not even close.

So what changed? Perspective. And a reality check with a nice little kick in the ass, to be quite frank. 

Perspective — that sounds simple enough, right? Well, I can’t tell you that life will somehow manage to get easier or that your greatest desires will suddenly fall into your lap by changing your perspective. But, I can tell you that it will lead you to discover a better life for yourself; a better sense of understanding, happiness, purpose, and contentment. It will lead you to discover the life that was destined to be completely and unapologetically yours.

Perspective — it will teach you to become more compassionate towards others; towards yourself, towards strangers; and to share that compassion with the beauty of the universe. It will teach you to discover where your underlying happiness and strength comes from; adventure, taking risks, putting unknown and curiosity to chance. It will teach you to seek out your greater purpose, to believe in your faith, to keep learning, to enjoy each moment as you’re living it.

Perspective — a constant reminder to become passionate about the world and the varying ways and walks of life surrounding our everyday lives. To challenge life’s setbacks, to change your mindset, to encourage positive change. Perspective — a constant reminder to say yes to living your most unapologetic, fulfilling life.

Perspective — it’s what is taking me from coast to coast and around the world. Fearlessly, passionately, unashamedly, serendipitously.

‘It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.’ – Bilbo Baggins

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20 Things I’ve Only Been Able To Learn By Being Really, Truly Single

“I was told I was dangerous…I asked why? They said, because you don’t need anyone. That’s when I smiled.”

— The Idealist

Single.

One word; six letters that for some reason, countless individuals around the world fear. Something so simple, yet something quite often perceived as dreadful or intimidating.

Anuptaphobia — now I bet that one made you stop and think for a sec. Da fuq? Anuptaphobia; the fear of being single. One word; 12 letters that today, I’m hoping to change your perspective on.

Everyone knows I’m a sucker for love; all for finding your person and conquering the world and life’s obstacles together as one, hand-in-hand. But, what happens when life showcases its twists and turns and you have to be okay on your own, alone? What is love actually worth if you aren’t able to find it; to believe in it within yourself? What does love actually mean if you aren’t able to find purpose and passion in something other than just one person?

While I am, and will always be, an inspired hopeless romantic, I am also a realist. This is my reality — one I’m sharing because the truth is, I love being single. It seems like such a strange thing to say out loud, but that’s my reality, and this is my story.

I was you.

I used to dread the thought of being single and alone. I used to fear rejection. I used to fear that emotions, actions, vulnerability, and passion wouldn’t be reciprocated. That is, until I learned to step out of comfort, jump into challenging, and come face-to-face with exhilaration. Whatever it was that I lacked or feared within my past, I developed and strengthened more than ever by just learning to simply love being on my own, alone — to be present, to live for my passions, to chase after the adrenaline rush of life’s uncertainty.

What I very quickly realized, quite frankly, was how much I learned to really, truly love being single in my mid-twenties.

Why? Well, here are my top 20 lessons I’ve learned through being alone; being really, truly single:

  1. Simply put, I actually enjoy my own company.
  2. Realizing that I laugh a little too hard at my own jokes, and have come to admire the fact that I will never take life too seriously. 
  3. Netflix & chill is just as fun solo + our good friend, Pinot Noir.
  4. Traveling alone is one of the most sensational things you have the ability to do in this life.
  5. Prioritizing trust in God’s plan before putting trust in anyone else brings a whole new level of faith and reassurance into life’s playbook. 
  6. Getting lost in this beautiful, serendipitous world is so much more meaningful than to do so in another individual.  
  7. Learning to appreciate what comes from failing and trying again and again, because of the motivation, determination, and perseverance that comes with it. 
  8. Learning to love how to be alone is the farthest thing in the world from lonely. It’s eye-opening, inspiring, monumental in shaping who I am; who I have become.  
  9. Finding a level of confidence and pure happiness that I never even knew existed. How could someone possibly be so content with being alone? Try it and maybe you’ll find out why. 😉 
  10. Trusting myself and what I know I’m capable of. Knowing I can fend for myself, fight my own battles, and influence positive change. 
  11. Learning to believe in myself and to say yes to great opportunity. Living with zero regrets, and pushing my limits with every chance I get. 
  12. Taking risks and leaps of faith — putting adventure and unknown to chance because it’s what makes life that much more exciting.  
  13. Finding the greatest love I’ve ever known — in myself, in friends, family, poetry, history, physics, science, astronomy. Everything and anything that at one point in time didn’t matter in the least bit suddenly has a greater, extraordinary meaning.
  14. Immersing myself in passion, creativity, and adventure, as if my soul had once been hidden in this dark and mysterious corner. Yet, somehow managed to find its way back, right where it belongs. 
  15. Falling in love with the high and adrenaline rush that comes with spontaneity, fascination, and curiosity. 
  16. Cherishing my freedom and independence. Being selfish in creating a life specifically designed to make me a better person every day.
  17. Learning to live wholeheartedly by the phrase, “It happens for a reason”. Things happen — but believing that it does so for the better significantly transforms your way of life; creating an open door for life-altering moments of realization and contentment. 
  18. Learning to keep going, to keep fighting, to keep seeking greatness. Learning to chase after new and breathtaking experiences.
  19. Being single has been a complete blessing. Being single has forced me to become my own biggest fan, my own backbone, my own superhero.
  20. Realizing that there will always be so much more to life — always. 

By learning to appreciate life as it comes and learning to understand how I view the world; all ways and walks of life within it, I’ve found a deeper meaning of love; a deeper meaning of life, and the potential each one has. I’ve become fascinated with every person I cross paths with — intrigued by everyone’s own unique story. Their struggles, their successes, their creative talents; learning so much about someone who is so different from me, yet to the core we’re almost identical.

The realization that at this moment, there are billions of people on this earth who I have yet to cross paths with — to hear their stories; to feed off inspiration; to create new moments and adventures with. Billions of people who I could potentially fall in love with. I’m not ready to press pause on this chapter of my life, in sharing my love and passion for this world and its to-be-continued journey. I’m not ready to give my heart to just one person because at this exact moment I have too much love to share with too many things in this world.

A world that continues to spin and shine all too brightly, all too quickly, to allow any significant person, destination and opportunity pass me by.

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How To Be With A Woman Who Loves Being On Her Own

I have this theory —

Men can be intimidated by strong, fiercely independent women. 

Whether in a business professional setting or as it pertains to dating in the 21st century, men seem to find undeniably confident and independent women sexy and intriguing, yet some men still struggle with the fact that they find these women intimidating, sometimes even unapproachable. 

Why? Well, I can’t say I can fully and completely answer that question, or understand it if I’m being completely honest. But, I can give you some insight as to why, based on my personal experiences with this when it comes to men. 

She doesn’t need you.

She doesn’t need you in order to be herself. She doesn’t need you in order to feel accomplished or fulfilled. She doesn’t need you in order for her life to make sense; to have meaning and purpose. She doesn’t need you to fix her broken pieces — she does it on her own. She would love to share her life and adventures with you, but she knows she doesn’t need to. 

She doesn’t put up with games.

Whether you’re the type who likes to play the dating game, the mind game, the texting game, or whatever games millennials have come up with as it pertains to dating these days — you know she won’t put up with it. Simply put, she knows what’s worth her time and what isn’t. 

She radiates confidence & happiness.

She’s the one her friends admire and the one the guys want to have in their life. She’s ambitious and driven. She’s mysterious. She’s successful. She’s stubborn, yet intriguing. She’s not single out of bad luck, rather, she’s single because she has too much self-love and respect to settle for anything less than what she deserves.

She puts her dreams and passions first. 

It’s what keeps her going — she has a list of things to check off of her list before life passes by too quickly. She’d love for you to be apart of it along the way, but not taking away from this list in any way, shape, or form. She has lofty ambitions, and many of them…if you want to be apart of her life you need to accept, respect, and support her putting her dreams first. 

She doesn’t necessarily need your help.

She rarely asks for help because she likes to learn new things — through failing, succeeding, trying. 

She’s okay with time and space being a necessity.

She enjoys spending time with you, but she loves her alone time — time to herself; time with friends; with family; with this world, just as much.

She tends to live on the adventurous side. She lives for her freedom. 

She dives head first into her biggest fears and greatest challenges because that’s what keeps her on her toes. In order to fit and align with her world, you need to push her and challenge her just as much as be that person to lean on. She needs and wants tough love just as much as understanding, passionate love. 

She’s not scared of getting her heart broken, she’s scared of breaking yours.

She’s experienced a lot more than you think in this life already, which has made her appreciate all things in every form — the good, the bad, the complicated, the ugly heartbreak. She’s not concerned about her heart breaking because she knows she’ll be just fine. But, she still fears there’s too much she has yet to learn and experience — she still fears she’ll be the one to break your heart. 

She shares her love with everyone in her world. 

She lives compassionately and loves passionately — it’s what draws people so close to her so easily. She’s a light and a voice for the people she admires most in her life. She has too much love in her heart to only be willing and capable of sharing it with just you. Learn to respect and admire that she has worlds of love to give to someone, to something, other than just one person. 

She knows exactly what she wants. 

For this reason, her standards are high and they won’t be coming down anytime soon. Because of this, don’t be butthurt if she chooses not to introduce you to her family — she most likely doesn’t introduce just anyone to her family unless she’s serious about them. 

She sticks to what she believes in.

She was either born a stubborn beauty, or been through hell and back in order to become her own voice and light. Either way, she won’t let you steal her thunder or transform her way of life. She will never apologize for who she is, for her fragile heart, or for how she views the world. #NotSorryBoutIt

She is “the chase”.

One of the biggest thrills about modern dating is “the chase” — some women, and men for that matter, play hard to get to keep the chase alive and well. But when it comes to strong, fiercely independent women, they just are plain and simple — hard to get to begin with. So yeah, I can see that being slightly intimidating to men. 

She’s her own biggest fan; She’s her own superhero.

She admires you and the love & support you bring to the table, but at the end of the day, she knows she can depend on herself; she can live for herself; she can support herself. She has more appreciation for this life than you could ever imagine — for being present in each and every moment, and not giving that up for any reason.

But all that said…a strong, fiercely independent woman still desires love in her own unique way — rather than seeking a fairytale romance, she yearns for passion, equality, and inspiration; building one another up and taking on the world hand-in-hand. Owning each other’s differences and similarities; exploring contrasting passions to keep the excitement of life alive. Encouraging one another, challenging one another, pushing one another to aspire to be the best version & bringing that out in one another. Living and loving to your maximum potential, both individually and together as one, because you each have worlds of love to give and share with the world. A strong, fiercely independent woman will make you step up your game to be better for yourself first, so you can be stronger together — an unstoppable force conquering this world, as one

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