The other day I was given a huge reminder of how important it is to immerse yourself in your surroundings while you're out exploring.

Joey and I took a road trip from Dublin down to County Kerry, during which we drove through the beautiful Conor Pass. It's a very majestic drive with incredible views, and one particularly beautiful point where you can park and take it all in.

Right next to the parking spot is a LOAD of extremely climbable rocks on a steep hillside. Once we parked, Joey immediately wanted to climb up, get a better view, and see if there was anything at the top of the rocks. As he escalated to the top, he kept yelling down for me to join him. Now don't get me wrong, I love a good hike - BUT - I need to be prepared, and I need to be in the mood. I want a backpack, good shoes, water, snacks, first aid kit, sunglasses - the works. The older I get the less spontaneous I become, sadly. So when I heard him calling for me to make the full climb, I told him to buzz off. I was happy taking photos from the bottom and letting him experience the climb without me, but he would NOT back down.

That is the face of a man with determination. 

Eventually I caved and huffed and puffed my way up the rocks, being very grumpy and sweaty and unhappy along the way. I really just wanted to get to our destination, I did NOT want to be hiking in the sun. But when I finally got to the top, my mood took a VERY unexpected turn. 

We discovered, at the top of this rocky hillside, amongst large mountainous terrain, the most incredible fresh water lake - completely baron of people. 

It was the most incredible experience, being in this mind blowing landscape that was entirely ours to enjoy. Because I was grumpy and irritated, I didn't bring my camera with me (these photos were taken on my phone) and I could have KICKED myself. But we did spend a good half hour just sitting and enjoying the sun and the lake, and it was one of the best parts of our trip.

After that, I realized I really need to be diving deeper into the opportunities that come my way. Had I of just sat at the bottom, I would never have experienced the tranquility of having a beautiful lake to myself.

The next day, a similar oppotunity occurred while we were exploring the beautiful Muckross House.

Which, as you can see, is house GOALS, complete with an animal sanctuary and sprawling gardens.

The minute I saw the patch of floral bushes above, I knew I wanted to head over and get some photos. While snapping away at the flowers, I saw this -

Through the thick, wirey foliage, I saw a bed of what looked like majestic pink petals waiting to be photographed. Normally, I would have admired the petals from afar and moved on. But on this particular day, I felt inspired to make this photoshoot HAPPEN. So I made my way through the brush, bugs, and spikey objects scraping my ankles to find THIS:

HO-LY crap. A Disney princess pretty much danced through here.

& fairies DEFINITELY live here.

It was clear that I was the first person to enter the bushes because the petals were in perfect condition. It was the dreamiest thing ever.

It was a bitch & a half to get in and out of there, but SO worth it. It's the little things in life, ya know?

County Kerry by the way is a real life fairyland. If you're ever in Ireland, the Ring of Kerry is a must if you're a nature lover. Muckross House is a perfect place to stop and enjoy the area, as is Torq Waterfall:

And the incredible perch that is 'The Ladies View'

Next time you're out an about, do yourself a favor and jump into something that's a little past your comfort zone! It doesn't have to be anything huge (baby steps are key) but I guarantee that once you do it you'll feel invigorated!