Tag Archives: Dublin

Wrap Up: October 2017

Wrap Up October 2017 - Road Trip around Ring of Kerry, Ireland | Europe Travel

I know I say this every single month, but whoa, where did the time go? I’m not sure how we’re already into the second week of November, but here we are.

With that said, one of my goals before the end of this year is to get into a better habit of mindfulness. I want to be able to value the passing of time more, to take one day at a time, and to not always feel like I’m running one step behind.

October was bursting at the seams, which is probably why I felt so exhausted by the end of it – I barely had time to catch my breath. Note to self: slow down in November and December. Your body, mindset, and bank account will thank you.

The month started with a fun travel blogging conference, then turned into two weeks of road tripping and traveling around Ireland by myself, and finally ended with my return to California after over a year of being abroad.

So, let’s dive right in and get to the good stuff. This was my October!

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Snapshot Memories of the Week: Dublin, Ireland

Snapshot memories is a new weekly series, giving a visual glimpse into different destinations and unique ways to view them. It’s also a way for me to look back on travels that occurred before and after I started this blog, and to give each place I’ve traveled the attention it deserves. 

This week my memories go back to Dublin.

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Dublin was a place I added on to my Europe trip last minute. I decided to do one of those bus around tours with a company called Topdeck, and I had about 5 days left over at the end of that trip and my flight home to California.

I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland and England, Scotland due to my heritage and England because there are so many historical and famous places I want to see (and music festivals I want to go to), but I only had 5 days, and I simply wanted to relax in a cool place at the end of my trip, not try and squish in a bunch of sightseeing and travel.

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That’s when I set my sights on Dublin, also a city I wanted to see, especially with its live music scene and vibrant drinking culture, it was sure to be a good time.

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After enjoying a chatty ride with the nice taxi driver from the airport, I managed to make friends fairly quickly my first night in the hostel. I had a cool Aussie roommate who I immediately got along with, and who introduced me to all of his friends in the hostel.

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My first night in Dublin we did a bit of bar hopping, checking out the live music to be found at most pubs and drinking pints of Guinness. I’ve never enjoyed Guinness outside of Dublin, but while I was there, it was the most delicious beer – scratch that – meal at the pub. There’s something magical about drinking Guinness in Ireland, and most notably Dublin where the Guinness factory is located.

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Instead of making any plans of all the sights I needed to see while I was there, I spent my days wandering around the city getting lost on the cobblestone streets, and taking in the medieval feel of the city, I even saw my first castle.

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I walked down Grafton Street to see all of the talented street musicians, I found Oscar Wilde’s memorial in Merrion Square and read a variety of his quotes I love so much, I wandered around the famous Trinity College, and walked over the historical Ha’penny Bridge.

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Even with the constant grey and dismal days the whole time I was there, I loved seeing the contrast in the colorful doors and pubs to be found around the city.

I only left the city once, when my Aussie roommate and I went on a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher, also known as the edge of the world. Otherwise, I was content taking my time seeing Dublin, and finding a new band to listen to each night, or a new pub to drink Guinness in.

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If I had to describe Dublin, I would describe it by the medieval architecture, the endless nights of going to bars and seeing live music, and the contrast of grey and color you would find constantly around the city.

Dublin turned out to be just what I needed to say a proper temporary goodbye to Europe.

Medieval Architecture

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Bars & Live Music

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Contrast of Grey and Color

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Adventuring to the edge of the world

Solo female travel in Ireland, Cliffs of Moher - Europe Travel

When I stepped off the plane in Dublin, I thought to myself, what have I gotten myself into? Traveling to Ireland all by my lonesome, not knowing anyone, and staying in a hostel by myself for the first time. These were the thoughts of impending doom swirling around in my head as I made my way closer and closer to the city, imagining my roommates were going to be some sort of coke addict junkies.

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When I arrived at the hostel, the door was locked. Apparently it was a buzz system, so the guy at the front desk had to buzz you in. He buzzed, I pulled. Nothing. He buzzed, I pushed, a little too late. Nothing. Finally, he buzzed a third time and I stumbled into the hostel. The gruff Irishman at the front desk barely looked up or acknowledged me; and I was a sight to see, with my glasses, volleyball sweatshirt, and hair matted down and frizzy from the plane ride.

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He had already marked me off as an annoying American, who clearly had no idea how to travel. I made my way to the desk, struggling with the suitcase, which I realized had become way too heavy in the last couple months of traveling through Europe, and somehow managed to trip over it and almost fall flat on my face. I caught myself, smiled, and told him my reservation. With what dignity I had left, I made my way to my room on the third floor, only to realize that the stairs were my only option after the elevator made it clear it wasn’t coming. I struggled with all the energy I had left to get my massive suitcase up the stairs and into my room. I looked around and sighed, knowing from the belongings splayed out on the bed, I would be living with guys.

Even with my instinctive initial prejudice, I lucked out with Aussie Tony. He was my roommate for the week, and he was an awesome guy to room with. We connected immediately with our love of music, he introduced me to the friends he had made in the hostel so far, and we all went out for an epic night of barhopping and live music our first night in Dublin.

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One of my favorite experiences in Ireland was when Tony invited me to come with him on a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher, or the edge of the world as it’s fondly called. And believe it or not, it really does feel like the edge of the world. It was so windy when we jumped off the bus, but the beauty of where we found ourselves overcompensated for any discomfort from the piercing cold wind.

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We wondered around the cliffs, making sure to get to the best view on the other side of the “Do Not Go Beyond This Point” sign. Let’s be real, the best views are always where you’re not supposed to be.

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The edge of the world is definitely something to see and experience for yourself, I don’t think the pictures quite do it justice.