Wanderful Global Member of the Month: Ahlea Isabella

by Wanderful Team

At Wanderful we’re all about the sisterhood, and we love hearing from our community! That’s why our global membership is so cool: Wanderful women from all over the world get to access the all the benefits of being Wanderful in awesome ways.

In addition to exclusive, members-only access to resources and content on sheswanderful.com, global members get access to our monthly webinars featuring inspiring women travelers, $20 off their tickets to the Women in Travel Summit, and so much more.

To say thank you to our global members and celebrate what an awesome community of women we have, we feature one global member a month.

Say hello to Ahlea Isabella!

Hi! I’m Ahlea. Aside from working in higher education and on my Master’s degree in Advertising, I’m constantly looking for new adventures all over the world and in my New England backyard. I’m slightly obsessed with maps, and I’m a lover of all things sunny, sandy, and furry with four legs.

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Enjoying Key West, Florida. Image courtesy of Ahlea Isabella.

Where are you from?

I grew up in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, but after college I moved to Boston and have been here for four years.

Social media handles:

Twitter: @Map_maiden

Facebook & Instagram: Map Maiden

What makes you Wanderful?

I think what makes me Wanderful is that I’m allowing travel to teach me as much as possible. When I moved to Boston, I didn’t know anyone here at all. I was far from my family and starting my first full-time job.

While starting out in a brand new city was a challenge, it’s also been an entirely new backyard to explore! I’m always looking for the next mini (or big!) New England adventure, if it’s trying out a new brewery downtown or getting away for a few days in Maine or New Hampshire.

Over the last few years, I’ve learned and taught myself so many different things that I never imagined myself being able to do. I’m getting my Master’s degree in Advertising, so I can regularly exercise my creative muscles; I helped run the blog for a local nonprofit organization; and I launched my own travel blog, which comes with all the fun challenges of learning how to build websites, marketing campaigns, and practice my writing skills.

I won’t lie — in between all my adventure-seeking-can’t-sit-still moments, deep down I’m a major planner and researcher. I love reading about other travelers’ experiences, devouring maps of places I’ve never been, and researching a destination like crazy. I’m working on letting myself be a little less “planner” and a little more “just figure it out!” — traveling certainly has a way of making you that way, too! So, no matter if it’s learning how to code and design a website or how to slow down a bit, I’m here to learn from these beautiful life experiences on the road and at home.

Tell us about your most impactful travel experience.

My most impactful travel experience (so far) was during my first trip to Europe this summer when I was in Ireland. This trip came with a lot of firsts — first time to Europe, first time driving on the other side of the road (Okay, my boyfriend drove, but I navigated!), first Airbnb experiences, exchanging currency, overnight flight, etc. It felt amazing to see my months of research, planning, and saving all come together.

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In front of St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland. Image courtesy of Ahlea Isabella.

Another really important part of this trip was the people we met. Our first stop was Lisdoonvarna, a small town near the Cliffs of Moher. On the second night we were adopted into a 35-person bachelor party! It was like second nature for all of them to invite us along, ask us about our lives, and to make sure we were having a great time. I couldn’t believe how quickly they felt like old friends! I’m trying to hold on to that genuine hospitality for as long as possible. [mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#36adaf” txt_color=”#ffffff”]As my travels continue, I hope to bring that same spirit with me everywhere I go and towards everyone I meet.[/mks_pullquote]

Which destination have you always wanted to visit?

The Caserta province of Italy! It’s where my dad’s family is from. I want to spend time digging into my genealogy and really understand the people and place who created this big Italian family of mine that I love so much!

What’s your travel mantra?

“You don’t have to go around the world, you just have to go.” — Spencer Spellman (in an awesome post about microadventures) 

Share your best tip for female travelers.

Talk to people! Whether it be fellow travelers, locals, shop owners, tour guides, museum staff — they’ll all help shape the experience you have even if it’s just a friendly hello.

What do you like most about being a Wanderful global member?

I started travel blogging over a year ago, and this incredible community made me feel like I found my “thing.” Everyone is so enthusiastic to help each other out, share resources, and ideas. It’s unlike any other community I’ve been a part of it, and it’s such a blast to see all of us doing big things while we travel the globe!

Get more involved with Wanderful: Be a global member!

For $7/month or $69/year, you get all the perks of free membership, plus:

  • Special perks at select events & admission to members-only events in a chapter near you
  • Access to our monthly members-only webinars featuring inspiring women travelers around the world
  • $20 off your ticket to the Women in Travel Summit
  • Opportunity to be a featured member on sheswanderful.com
  • Exclusive members-only access to resources and content on sheswanderful.com
  • Member badge for your blog or website

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What do you love about the Wanderful community? Share with us in the comments!

Featured image: Walking on a jetty in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Image courtesy of Ahlea Isabella.

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