alex’s travel essentials

hey hey! I had a request recently to share some of my travel essentials for the travel newbie and I’m happy to share the few things that I love and can’t leave behind on my travels.

First, let me start from the initial booking! My go-to booking site is skiplagged! It finds the flights that other airlines don’t want you to find and combines flights from various airlines as well so it’s a way to cut some corners and save some pennies! I got my roundtrip flights to Europe for $800 and have found some other great flights on the site since. Make an account and get to booking your next vacay!

Second, let me direct you to my AMAZON IDEA LIST for TRAVEL! Many items I’ve mentioned below can be found HERE! I appreciate your support when you purchase through my amazon storefront.

Now for all the things!

  • Capsule Wardrobe
    • Clothes that all work together, share similar colors, and can make plenty of outfits
    • Good accessories to add: a neutral hat, a scarf that fits in the capsule, simple jewelry, sunglasses
    • Summer shoes: highly recommend Chacos
  • Packing cubes or space saver bags
  • Neck pillow – highly recommend one with memory foam
  • Headphones
  • Microfiber towel – a perfect blanket and/or towel (in European hostels, towels cost 5 Euros)
  • Eye mask for solid sleeping anywhere
  • Good baggage
    • here’s my favorites: backpack, carry-on, and purse/fanny pack
    • RFID-blocking wallet … make sure no one can scan your credit cards!
  • Makeup Wipes
  • Baggage Locks
  • Travel adapter – a necessity for international travel
  • A good book – paperback


A Couple Reminders:

  • Travel size — if you’re flying with only a backpack and carry-on (my preferred way to travel!) be sure to downsize to less than 3 oz. bottles of all your favorites!
  • Roll your clothes — rolling your clothes saves space and allows you to stack more.

Places I’ve Been, If You’re Wondering or Want Specifics!

  • Albania
  • Rome, Italy
  • Cologne, Germany
  • Munich, Germany
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Paris, France
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Tbilisi, Georgia *the country
  • Batumi, Georgia *the country
United States
  • Much of the Midwest! (SD is home, of course)
    • ND, MN, NE, IA, WI
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Wichita, Kansas
  • St. Louis, Missouri (mostly just the Arch, though)
  • Nashville, Tennessee (though just for one night)
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina
  • Washington, D.C.
  • New York, New York
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Hollywood, Florida
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Austin, Texas
  • Phoenix, AZ (Chandler area)
  • San Clemente, California
  • Seattle, Washington
North America / Caribbean
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Cozumel, Mexico
  • Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
  • Ocho Rios, Jamaica
  • Martha Brae River, Jamaica
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico

Traveling is such a blessing & I’m so grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had to do so! For further inspiration, visit my Pinterest board full of great travel & adventure quotes 🙂


kid in a candy store

IMG_6246“I want to look at life like a kid in a candy store.”

This is how I captioned my Instagram photo earlier today, (@alexfarbie),  following a visit to an adorable little shop called Goodies Handmade Candies in Spirit Lake, Iowa during a little midday adventure as I visit a friend.

There wasn’t any long thought process that went into this caption, it kind of just came to me…. but it really got me thinking! It’s crazy how something profound can come around in the simplest way.

Think of it: a kid in a candy store. Eyes wide, mouth open and watering, and eager anticipation of what is to come. Bright colored jelly beans, delicate chocolates.. each of these can act as a metaphor for opportunities waiting to be unwrapped and savored.

It’s a new year, and it is now time to re-open our eyes to the world and see the beauty and opportunity that surrounds us to devour every worldly candy that is offered to us in life.

I am slowly learning to overcome fear and anxiety and to consume adventure and the happiness that can come from new places and experiences. Today, we took a detour to a small town candy store and it sparked not only hunger but deep thoughts in my mind.

Each day I am shown the true beauty of my surroundings and given the opportunity to scoop up life’s colorful jellybeans by the handful and not to pick out the icky flavors but instead learn to fill my next handful with more of my favorites. Maybe it’s time to add a few nutty friends to your fudge. Maybe the sticky taffy is life telling you to shut up and listen for a little while. Maybe that one’s sour, but the next one is oh-so-sweet. Maybe it’s time to have a salad… or mix a few candy flavors and call it one.

So yes, I want to look at the world like a kid in a candy store. I want to see the positive, bright colors and new flavors that the world has to offer. I want to devour the opportunities. I want a sugar high on life. I want to buzz with excitement for each new day. I want a belly ache from laughter, and hope, and love. I want to be a kid in the candy store.

FullSizeRender 3.jpg


“A bag of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. “You want to be careful with those,” Ron warned Harry. “When they say every flavor, they mean every flavor – you know, you get all the ordinary ones like chocolate and peppermint and marmalade, but then you can get spinach and liver and tripe. George reckons he had a booger-flavored one once.” 

Ron picked up a green bean, looked at it carefully, and bit into a corner. “Bleaaargh – see? Sprouts.”  – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone


“My mama always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’” – Forrest Gump


“I want candy.” – Aaron Carter