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Happy Friday everyone!  I am SO pumped to introduce one of my “ride-or-die chicks”Alyssa Bybee, Singer and Songwriter from Blood & Lime.  This girl and I go way back!  Alyssa has been pursuing her passions in a way that has shocked – and inspired us all!  She’s been living spontaneously and I’m dying to know more!  In this interview, Alyssa shares some valuable travel tips including her experience with AirBnB, and her beautiful version of ‘XO’ by Beyonce/John Mayer.  Check it out! 

Hi Alyssa & Welcome!

Happy Friday!!

Thanks for having me! Haha, we definitely go way WAY back.

So many great memories!

Thanks for joining us!  First, can you describe some of the things you are passionate about in life?

Man, hitting me with the tough ones off the bat.

The answer to that question, for me, is so undefined because I’m continuously finding new experiences and people and things to be passionate about.

It changes over time, from year to year. In this phase of my life, I find my passions have revolved around spontaneity and being a “yes!” person; opening as many doors as I can and trying most anything. Too much is never enough!

What have you learned about yourself while pursuing your current passions?

It took me a long time to understand that I needed to start living for myself first. I always knew I was fascinated by the world and its diversities, but I didn’t know where to start.

I made a lot of excuses for myself and was waiting for someone else to “go” with me. I think by finally allowing myself to be selfish, without an overhanging guilt, I was able to experience what ACTUALLY makes me feel a sense of fulfillment.

I crave uncertainties and have a “I’ll just figure it out as it happens” attitude about life. Don’t tell my boss that though, as an accountant that’s probably not a personality trait she’s eager to hear about. Haha!

That’s great! We won’t tell. Why and how did you decide to start traveling?

My first solo trip actually was a fluke. It was Cinco de Mayo and after some research and some celebrating (a common denominator in a lot of my trip planning) a friend and I decided Iceland was topping our list, so we bought flights that night for August. Later on, my friend had some life conflicts come up and couldn’t go, so I ended up going alone and I couldn’t be happier it worked out the way it did. It forced me into something I had no idea I was ready for. I met some of my best friends there, one of which I’ve met up with several other times around the world!

After Iceland, I was starved for more. I came home and immediately planned a solo trip to Europe for the following spring. I highly recommend that to everyone: at some point, spend some extended time alone with yourself. Talk to the people around you. They’re the only other people in the world that will be able to share in that experience and that particular moment-in-time as eye-witnesses. It’s a surreal feeling to look back on.

Can you describe some of your most memorable travel experiences?

I think I would be here all day trying to choose a favorite! My most memorable experiences come from the people I’ve met throughout the course of my travels. I’ve seen so many beautiful landscapes and historical monuments and museums, but my favorite memories always include these connections you can make with people in some hole-in-the-wall bar that no tourist would ever think to stop into.

I guess one story that always makes me laugh is when I was in an Irish pub in Madrid with a friend of mine from Portugal. We ended up talking to this couple from Toronto and spent the entire night out drinking and eating and talking with them and closed down every new place we went into until we realized the sun was coming up and none of us had ANY idea how to get back to where we were staying! We couldn’t stop laughing at how lost we’d gotten in such a small city.

You’ve mentioned before that you use AirBnB to travel.  Thoughts?

I love AirBnB! My advice would be to take advantage of the plethora of information your host will have! They’re usually very familiar with the area and probably live nearby so they’re able to tell you the best local spots, what’s convenient, food recommendations, what to avoid, etc. I’ve always found that to be VERY helpful when planning for day trips or exploring the area.

I’ve even met up with some of my hosts and they’ve personally showed me some of their favorite areas. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help, especially if you’re traveling to another country.

That’s awesome!  Where are you headed next?!

I had a really hard time deciding, actually! I had touched based on 4 continents just last year alone, so I knew it would be hard to top that. I’m heading to Austria, Hungary and Czech Republic at the end of the summer and I’m trying to coordinate a Thanksgiving trip to Asia for my birthday!
I try and travel a lot domestically as well, so I have a few weekend trips planned for LA, Philadelphia, Houston and a couple up to Chicago for some festivals!
That’s the thing people forget: this country is absolutely jam-packed with beauty. If you want beaches, deserts, forests, plains, mountains, we’ve got it all!

In addition to Alyssa’s zest for spontaneity, she pours her heart and soul into her art as a singer & songwriter!  Let’s hear a little more on Alyssa’s passion for music.

Singing: What kind of things are you working on?

I feel like I’m constantly in “writing mode.” I don’t know what I would do if iPhone ever did away with the Notes or Voice memo apps! They’re so useful when I think of something randomly.

Most recently I’ve debuted an acoustic duo initiative with my younger brother, Taylor, which has been a dream come true, honestly. We call ourselves Blood & Lime and we’ve played several venues in Bloomington and are starting to do some weddings! It’s a lot of fun. I’m really close with all of my (4!) siblings in very different ways, but with music being the forefront of my artistic and emotional expression, it’s been really cool to share in that passion with my own blood.

I’m a lone-writer usually, I’ve never really done well in a co-writing situation except with him and I think its due to a level of trust that we’ve subconsciously been nurturing our whole lives.

We would love to hear one of your tunes! Have any?

Of course! Here is a cover I did of “XO” by John Mayer (who covered Beyonce’s version):

There are multiple other covers and originals on that same youtube page!

LOVE IT!  🙂

When Can We Catch You Live?!

Memorial day weekend, we’ll be at The Tap in Bloomington, IN on Saturday May 27!

We start an 9 and usually play around 3.5 hour set.

It’s one of our favorite venues in town because the stage is above the bar and it has a really swanky vibe to it.

It’s a great atmosphere!

How do you deal with people that don’t understand your lifestyle?

Great question.

The short answer is that I don’t, really.

I know there are plenty of people that think I do things recklessly and that traveling on my own is a dangerous endeavor. The funny part is that the same danger is waiting just outside your very own doorstep.

The older I get, the more I know myself and what I NEED out of life and this is a huge part of it.

Everyone prioritizes and manages risk differently and that’s okay! 

Wishing you all the best, Alyssa!! Thanks so much for doing this interview 🙂

Thanks so much for having me!!

Don’t forget to check out Alyssa’s band, Blood & Lime performing LIVE at The Tap in Bloomington, IN tomorrow, Saturday, May 27th at 9:00PM!  Can’t make it? Go ahead and follow them on Facebook

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