25 And On The Pursuit Of Traveling The 🌍

Today, I wrote my Fast Forward Vision.

Come again?

Ever heard of a vision board? It’s basically creating something visual (maybe even something physical or tangible) and utilizing it as a powerful way to manifest your life’s desires.

Now, imagine you’re standing in front of a 12-foot wall and while you’re standing there holding your vision board, the wind (in this case, a blessing) blows your vision board out of your hands and over the wall. What do you do now? Well, I sure as hell hope you aren’t going to just walk away and leave your vision board behind!

No, you’re going to get yourself over the 12-foot wall and get your vision board — because it’s your dreams, your greatest desires. Even if you don’t know how you’ll do it, or what the process will be like — you will find a way.

What does that analogy have to do with anything? Thisdon’t let one setback, no matter how big or small, keep you from your life’s greatest desires. 

Fast forward one year from now.

Work life and dating aside, what do I want to look back on in one year and confidently say I lived my best 365 days?

For me — travel. To travel far and often. To bucket list countries, iconic cities, and white sandy islands.

If you know me, and know me well, my one rule for 2018 is to live a life of yes. So, after I wrote my fast forward vision I think you can imagine my next move…

  1. Opened my Hopper App
  2. Searched Chicago 🇺🇸 to Reykjavik 🇮🇸
  3. “Is it under $350?”
  4. Yes
  5. Purchased. Booked. And confirmed.

Why Iceland?

It’s not all about the tropical destinations, y’all! To be completely honest — I have always been in love with the Nordic countries, ever since I can remember. Visiting and experiencing The Blue Lagoon and witnessing first hand The Northern Lights, what 25 year old passionate traveler wouldn’t want that reality!

The rest is just personal bucket list hopes and desires that I’ve chosen to make a reality within 365 days.

So, here’s to 25 — a year of yes. A year to making your vision board come to life!

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A “To Be Continued” Irish Adventure

If there is any advice I could give anyone, it would be to just do it — whatever inkling you have, whatever your heart and gut is telling you to do, do it.

For me, that inkling has been to travel far and travel often. To find a greater love in my heart for new people and places around the world; to open my eyes, mind, and spirit to everything this world has to offer.

Ireland has been the most monumental, most eye opening adventure — it’s everything I could have ever hoped for and more. To be honest, it didn’t take long at all for Dublin to feel like home. I kid you not, I maybe used Google Maps twice while I was here. The rest just came from adapting to my surroundings faster than I ever have, and feeling as if I was actually a local with how familiar I became with the city so quickly. I’m heartbroken because I love this city, can 100% see myself moving here — ever feel like you’ve stumbled into a new city, state, or country, and immediately felt it was home? Well, that’s Dublin for me.

Lucky for me, I became pretty close with a handful of people living in Dublin, so you can fully expect more Ireland adventures to come again, very soon. 😉

Out of everything I did on this trip and what I was able to experience, here are my favorite highlights:

Dublin

  • Made friends from all over the world, throwing invites to come visit & continue my travel adventures in Scotland, Canada, and Australia.
  • Became friends with several musicians playing out at the Irish pubs nearly every night.
  • Temple bar and Badass pub. Love.
  • Became a “perfect pint of Guinness pourer” certified.
  • Got kissed by my Dublin crush 😊 although, he was a British fella, not Irish. But either way, most definitely the best and favorite kiss in my 25 years. ❤️

Galway

  • Dancing and singing the night away at O’Conners Pub, where they filmed Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl music video.
  • Tullamore Distillery Irish Whiskey Tasting.

Aran Islands

  • Biking across the entirety of Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands.

Ennis

  • Playing on the edge of the seven wonders of the world, Cliffs of Moher.

Dingle Peninsula

  • Playing with baby lambs. AND getting my second best kiss on my Ireland adventure by little Beau Beau. 🐑💕

Cork

  • Receiving “the gift of the gab” — kissing the Blarney Stone.

These are just a few of my favorite new memories from my favorite country. But, everything I did, everything I saw, everyone I met along the way have easily changed my life; in more ways than just one. 🌍🍀🇮🇪

Thank you, Ireland, for teaching me that in the face of all obstacles I can follow my heart and be brave; be courageous and take the risk. Thank you, Ireland, for creating a new level of confidence in where I go next — both in travel and in life. For reassuring me of what is really important. That jumping head first into the unknown and making memories with new people in new places changes lives — not material things.

Thank you, Ireland, for showing me I can conquer anything and everything; completely on my own.

Thank you, Ireland, for opening my mind, my heart, and setting my soul on fire. Best believe I will be back again to make more Irish memories, very very soon.

Xoxo,

From The Emerald Isle

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On The Edge Of The Seven Wonders Of The World

I can’t really say I went into yesterday planning on sitting at the edge of Cliffs of Moher, taking the phrase “living life on the edge” THAT literally, but boy am I glad I did it. You’re going to think I am the craziest person in the world for saying this — I wasn’t scared in the least bit (which came as a complete shock to me as well). My thought process went something along the lines of now that I’m here, how do I experience Cliffs of Moher to its fullest potential? …😏

Apart from the experience in itself, I’m a photographer and needed to capture the perfect photo in the perfect moment — clearly as a photographer, we have a tendency to do crazy things to capture the most awe-inspiring moments that share a story to the world. More than anything though, it was exhilarating, inspiring, and absolutely breathtaking.

Words can’t even begin to describe the high I got from pure excitement; literally standing on the edge of the seven wonders of the world. Seriously, how many people can say that? 🌍

I don’t have enough words to share to describe the experience, so here are photos and videos to help tell that story in more detail for y’all to live vicariously through, while I take a sec to recover from yesterday’s activities and major adrenaline rush. 😜

I’ll be uploading more over the next several days, but this was all that would load for the time being haha.

If you want any immediate and current photo stories — head over to my Instagram @alexaraeloebel or Snapchat @alexaloebel. 😊❤️

I can’t tell you how many people asked how I was able to take the photos I did and do the things I did. TBH, that’s just how I live my life — 110% completely, unashamedly, and unapologetically on the edge. I have a ridiculous tendency to chase after the adrenaline rush and thrill of new adventures.

If I’m not pushing myself to the greatest of limits in all things, then I’m failing myself. This is me, this is my life, and this is how I choose to live it — living fearlessly on the edge, every single time. 💕

Xoxo,

From Ennis

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Little Galway Girl

It’s no secret that I have fallen completely and madly in love with Dublin.

My second night in Dublin, I ended up back at Temple Bar (no surprise there), and got together with the Canadians I had met the night prior. You can probably guess how the rest of the night went (I.e lots of Guinness, pubs, Irish song/dance, and another very late night).

Me and the two Canadian boys met two Scottish sisters and we all hit it off instantly. My invite to come and stay in Scotland came within the first 20 minutes, so looks like that may be where I’m headed to next! Seriously, the video below is me with the Scottish gals, you’d think we’d have known each other for years. 😜

We pub hopped in Dublin with the 5 of us (mind you, we have all known each other for 2-12 hours at this point…), sang and danced the night away from one point of Dublin to the next, and had the time of our lives. Yet again, another 5am night in the books. I was also challenged to Irish Jig through the streets, where a stranger was kind enough to capture this God awful moment…

Dublin to Galway

The next morning, I headed out to Galway, where we had a full itinerary set for Irish Whiskey, Guinness Beef Stew, Biking around Inis Mór – largest of the Aran Islands, got kissed by a horse, and quite literally stood at the edge of the world.

  • Irish Whiskey Tasting and tour at Tullamore Distillery
  • Hill of Tara
  • Aran Islands
  • O’Connor’s Pub (AKA Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl music video pub)
  • Galway pub hopping
  • Cliffs of Moher (tomorrow’s adventure)

Amazing. Eye opening. Inspiring. Moving. I don’t even know what other words to use to describe this experience other than monumental.

The sights, the people, the songs, the experience — every single day and night something new and something so much more impactful; so much more monumental in making this trip exactly what it should be. And to top it off, every day is a never ending supply of Guinness and worldly adventures with everyone — from Americans, Canadians, Australians, Swedes, and a million more!

We stopped at Monroe’s Tavern in Galway for some trad music and more Guinness, when I was pulled onto the dance floor into traditional Irish trad 🍀 with 80-year old men and a few other youngins like myself. 1.) It was a blast and 2.) I looked like a frog making its way across the road. The Australians gave lots and lots of compliments, which was quite funny because if you have ever seen me dance, you know how God awful it is.

Someone has a recording of it and I’m attempting to get it from them so it never appears on the internet again. It was quite the experience, but hey, when in Galway ey!?

We also drank at O’Connors Pub — which is where Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl music video was filmed. It. Was. So. Cute. Seriously, the ambiance was perfect, the people were fab, and the live music was phenomenal. After some fun, pints, and singing, we all went out pub hopping around the heart of Galway (it never ends!), for wait for it…more live music, song, and dance! I met more cute Canadians who I will now be meeting up with in Dublin on Friday. 😂

Another night of <4 hours of sleep, thriving, and ready for Cliffs of Moher!

Make sure to keep up to date and follow along with photos and videos on Instagram @alexaraeloebel and Snapchat @alexaloebel. 😊

I learned several things in these past 48 hours.

1.) Whiskey In The Jar is my favorite song in the world. Friday to date. I have about 3 classic Irish songs memorized. ✌🏻

2.) Fish & chips (from Europe, not America…) are a blessing from God.

3.) There is no bar in this world whose atmosphere and lively spirit compares to that of a true Irish pub.

4.) I F*CKING LOVE GUINNESS. And not American Guinness. Ireland Guinness. There is a HUGE difference. Ireland Guinness is 10000x better and 10000x stronger.

5.) The Irish prefer Mayo over Ranch. The only Ranch I was able to find was at McDonalds. And that wasn’t even a proven fact — that’s just an assumption since the McD’s we tried to go to at 2am was closed. So current food status: no Ranch for me.

6.) Irish accents > everything. Although interestingly enough, the boys I have found myself chatting with every night have all been Canadian…that’s two for two.

7.) Daily stressors are one single grain of sand compared to an entire universe…moral of the story is there are too many amazing people and places to see, and too many things to experience to allow something so minor dictate your emotions, mental state, goals, etc. This realization came full circle as I stood on the edge of the world taking in everything I could be missing if I allowed myself to.

8.) Americans care too much about their reputation. Put down your worries and egos and just live your life how you want to live it. Eat at a nice restaurant alone. Drink a beer alone. But a beer for a stranger and have a conversation. Open yourself up to the world.

9.) The importance of being present. Enjoying each moment as it comes; follow your heart; and follow your gut.

10.) This world has no limit — I have no limits. And I love pushing my limits with every ounce of my being. Hence photos/videos below:

I wasn’t afraid. Everything in me was pulling me closer and closer to get the best view of one of the most iconic locations — Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands.

There are no words to describe how something like this felt…literally sitting on the edge of the world. It was so exhilarating, while slightly terrifying. Not to mention it was super windy so watching this video back kind of gives me anxiety TBH haha. But — what an experience.

Disclaimer: I may have blacked out while moving from top rock to middle rock on the Cliffs…but it was so worth it for these videos and photos! UN-REAL.

Tomorrow I head off to Cliffs of Moher and Killarney, so expect to see just as many fun and exciting photos and videos to come!

Xoxo,

From Galway

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Dublin: Part One

LOL. Omg.

The two words that describe yesterday and last night to a T.

As anyone could imagine, the second I got to Times Hostel (8 college – highly recommend), I put everything down and shamelessly wandered around Dublin as if I knew exactly what I was doing and exactly where I was going. I didn’t, obviously, but I pulled it off exceptionally well.

Lucky for me, I am right next to Trinity College and less than five minute walk to Temple Bar, so y’all know where I was in the first half hour. 😉 I’ve also got the infamous Grafton Street to my left, so really there was no losing whichever direction I ventured in!

Temple Bar exceeded all expectations. TBH we ended up back there three times yesterday haha. And if you’re a beer lover — holy hell. You NEED to try Guinness from Ireland. Not only is it a million times stronger, but it’s a million times better.

After shamelessly wandering around for the first few hours, I met up with Caroline along with her boyfriend and his friend who are all lucky enough to live in Dublin — she took me to (once again, Temple Bar!) and literally every single pub in Temple Bar (it’s also the street/district name of the area).

I LOVE THE IRISH. I literally cannot stress this or say this enough — I really don’t even hate to admit it because I will say it probably five times a day. Irish > Americans. Ireland > America. Irish pubs > American Irish Pubs. I am just going to say with complete confidence that I am Irish ☘️ because I just love them so much. And Imma need to get a drum roll for the Irish music. I love Irish music in general, but seeing and hearing it play in Dublin is so surreal. Everyone is so energetic and welcoming, like there is absolutely no comparison to anything when it comes to the Irish and Dublin that’s just how amazing it is and the people are. You will never be bored either because everyone’s just happy and wants to have a good time, no matter what hour.

And man, do the Irish love to drink. Not only did we see maybe 5 or so stag and hen (bachelor and bachelorette) parties, but they wanted us involved in every single one of their drinking shenanigans, and this goes for the Irish of all ages; from 15-70 basically.

Mind you, the Irish start drinking around noon on the regular, so odds are you are 100% in for a very entertaining and event filled evening once you’re out.

Oh, and the Irish made me sing in front of everyone…I mean ev-er-y-one. I did it, because 1.) When in Dublin, 2.) Just karaoke, yes, and 3.) They would probably have dragged me to the center of the dance floor with one solo spotlight if I didn’t. But, that was also after three pints, so I thought the sky was the limit at that point. 🤷🏼‍♀️

After bar hopping to essentially all of Temple Bar, we ended up night club hopping (I don’t even want to think about the amount of Euros I spent last night…) to three different places. Each one was super fun, no surprise there. We sang and danced like the fools that we, along with every other person, looked like. We didn’t go to bed until 6:00am.

Also, the amount of times I was told “You have such a strong American accent” was insane — thank you Dublin for not letting me forget it. 😉🍀

So, I am currently running on 5 hours of sleep within the past 48 hours and there’s a 95% chance I am just delirious at this point. I’m supposed to go on a date with a Canadian fella we met last night — we are going to go to the Guinness Storehouse (can’t get enough), probs go to Temple Bar (again, because duh), and eat lots and lots, and LOTS of food. 🥘

Oh, but update on Alexa food status: they have the cados 🥑 BUT like, no one eats Ranch here. I asked if someone had ranch and they said, “is that the white stuff…”.WHAT? I gave him a 5-minute+ lecture on why Ranch is amazing and why they should invest in a bottle while I’m here and for the rest of their lives. This was approximately 6 pints in. Anyways, long story short, they’re team Mayo.

Tomorrow morning I head to Galway, and from all of my conversations with the Dubliners, they are stoked for me because it’s one of their favorite spots! Certainly more to come…

Xoxo,

From Dublin

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