Travel

3 Days in Ireland

My trip started with landing in Dublin, Ireland arriving early in the morning. Because I arrived so early, I wasn’t able to check in, but I learned that you can leave your luggage at the Tourist Office in central Dublin for a day (for 5 euros). Life saver moment!

D A Y 1
Now that I didn’t have to carry anything, I grabbed some breakfast at The Bagel Bar Coffee. I had Earl Grey tea and a plain bagel. I loved loved the tea! Throughout the whole day, I just walked around as I studied my city map.

One of the places I visited was the very well known Trinity College. The history and architecture was absolutely beautiful! What’s really special about it is the old library because it holds the The Book of Kells which was printed in the 9th Century. The Book of Kells is Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure and the world’s most famous medieval manuscript. It is a richly decorated copy of the four Gospels of the life of Jesus Christ. The book is kept in a glass case and every 3 months a page is turned.

A really great place to eat is Eden Bar & Grill. I ordered a Moroccan Lamb Burger and I’m telling you it was the best burger I’ve ever had! The atmosphere is very bohemian but chic if that makes sense. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re ever there. At night, I went to a few bars and yes I did have Guinness :) and I did enjoy it. I also had lots of Fish & Chips since that’s a common dish there.

D A Y 2
On my second day there, I had booked a day tour to visit the Cliffs of Moher and the city of Galway. It was about a 3 hour drive on a bus so the day started at 7am. The cliffs were a vision and one of the best views I’ve ever seen. The fresh smell, the sound of the ocean, the wind, of course, the views were so grand! All of this together made this experience much more enjoyable. I spent about 2 hours walking around documenting by photos, video and sketch.

Galway was very quaint and definitely a city you can spend a few hours walking around in. It was typical of cute shops and restaurants…very touristy city. I had lunch at McDonaghs Seafood where I ordered their well known fish and chips. While I was eating, I met people from California who were so nice and ended up having a nice conversation with them. It’s always pleasant meeting other travelers especially someone from the same place as you meaning the US. That commonality you both share and interaction enhances the experience.

D A Y 3
This was my free day and the only thing I wanted to do is see some art so I did visit the National Gallery of Ireland and there I saw a Monet. His brush strokes were fantastic and the way they blended together was very magical. There was a Vermeer exhibit currently going on and I’m so upset I missed. Had I done my research ahead of time, I would have bought tickets. So do your research if it’s a particular topic you want to experience while in another country.

On this day, I also walked around St. Steven’s Green which was full of “greenery.” I saw a lot of students and families strolling around the park. After I walked over to Dublin Castle and explored around. Such great architecture and what made it even better was the weather. It rained a bit and as soon as the rain stopped, the sun came up and it created a cool reflection off the wet cobblestone streets. I watched the sunset over the river to finish off the day.

A great place to eat on the go that’s cheap but fantastic is Boojum, which is a Mexican burrito. If you’re on a budget and/or if you just don’t have time, this is the place to check out. Super inexpensive, filling and tasty. Also if you are a student, be sure to bring your student ID with you. There are a lot of perks around Dublin!

Transportation:
Luas (tram/light rail system) – I bought a day ticket each day and it was about 2 euros/day.
MyTaxi – taxi app, used to be called Halo. I used this app to book my taxi to the airport. It cost me 15 euros and it was so convenient! I highly recommend it. You can take a bus also which starts running around 5am. Transportation is very convenient and easy to get around.

…next up, Scotland’s Edinburgh. Stay tuned!

Travel

Travel Inspiration

Some Travel Inspiration Your Way! Technology is a great communication tool when it helps us convey a message or a feeling. During my trip, I made sure to collect some video clips so I can share my experience with others. Before I posted in great detail how I spent my time in each country, I figured it would be helpful to visually get a feeling of my trip collectively. No word can really describe how exciting this experience was, but hopefully this visual short can help! Enjoy!

Travel

3 Countries in 9 days

Back from my solo traveling adventure over in Ireland, Scotland and Portugal (3 countries in 9 days), I find myself trying not to let those memories fade away so quickly. So, I shall keep them fresh by sharing my experience with you. I will start with the skeleton of my trip design so to speak.

I designed the trip or my holiday by spending three days in each location or city which means I tried to pack as much sightseeing and activities as I could, however I gave myself down time between each country to regroup. For me, balance is key. Also would like to mention that I walked almost 10 miles each day because of my large consumption of croissants and yummy food. Below is a formula that worked best for me:

DAY 1 Arrive from the airport and checked in at my Airbnb. On this day, I explore around the city and observe. Got a map at the tourist office and made a rough plan on some places I wanted to visit. This is my go with the flow day. It’s important because you really give yourself time to adjust to a foreign environment. I try to pick local restaurants and cafes for food all the time.

DAY 2 On this day, I plan an excursion and that might be going on a group tour exploring another city, doing something adventurous like hiking, or standup paddle boarding (SUP). This is the day where I learn a lot from a local guide and a great opportunity to meet new people from all over the world. I met so many wonderful people traveling alone!! It’s also the day that will set a tone for the next day! Whatever tips I learn today, I will use to explore tomorrow. In terms of food, use this day to explore your palette and remain open minded not only about food, but about everything.

DAY 3 If day two wasn’t available to do something active, I use day 3 instead. On this day, I aim to still explore but relax more. That still means walking around for almost 10 miles but at my own pace. I use my experience of the two days and I most likely visit museums. If I meet someone and they suggest something, I take their suggestion.

I treated this trip as an experiment and I learned that no matter what situation comes my way my attitude remains surprisingly positive. Nothing bothers me. If I miss a bus (I did), it’s okay because there are other opportunities to explore. I see mistakes as opportunities.

This was a core frame of my holiday (let’s be real “holiday” sounds better than “vacation”.) On my next blog post, I’ll talk about Ireland! Stay tuned…