I have 57 minutes before landing in Dublin, the first of many stops on my adventure to cure wanderlust. The past two weeks seem like a blur, being a marathon of booking flights, checking hostels, messaging Airbnb users, and ordering train tickets, all intertwined with work and dance practice. With the help of an airport margarita, I was knocked out like a baby after takeoff.
How’ye? So the past several days in Dublin have been immaculate. I’m overwhelmed by the beauty and culture here, and already, it has led me to be at ease and challenge myself at the same time.
Off the bus from the airport, it was sensory overload. The accumulation of jet lag, hunger, and heavy bags was negligible compared to the excitement I felt. Walking down Dames St. in search of the hostel, the cobblestone alleys peeking out and historic buildings were reminiscent of why I loved Europe. The stares received on my end were hilarious, as I can only imagine what three exhausted-looking gals with huge backpacks and maps in their hands, look like in the middle of lunch time in city center of Dublin.
I was taken aback by the left-side driving, beeping crosswalks, the wide sidewalks, and the busyness of it all. There’s this refreshing jolt of anxiousness I get when I’m curious about a place, and I got this déjà vu gut feeling of the love of traveling — YES!
Fast forward a several hours, my travel buds, Liz and Veda, are sight-seeing. Liz is my analytical, highly intelligent friend, and Veda is this spunky, daring, down-to-earth girl so the three of us is powerhouse on this trip. We saw the Dublin Castle, went in a library, Bank of Ireland, took a campus tour of beautiful Trinity College, and ended the night with cold Guiness on tap. I stayed in a different hostel than them, so my night gave way to more discovery as I walked along the river and getting the bearings on a different side of town.
Our third day, we made a trip to Galeway and the Cliffs of Moher. Not sure what to say except WOW. Galeway is a quaint little festival town on the opposite side of Dublin. The Claddagh ring originated here, Christopher Columbus prayed at a church here, and this town was home to a handful of royalty. Being the most fortified city in Ireland back then, the town had this intriguing and liberating vibe of relaxed flow now. Oh, they also love JFK here. Proceeding the best seafood chowder I’ve ever had was hiking the Cliffs of Moher. Google it, and yes, they really do look like that. It’s surreal physically being there, though, I’ll say that. Mother Nature put in serious work for this.
Back to Dublin, the rest of our time here was spent exploring Grafton Street, stumbling through the little streets, going to Ireland’s oldest pubs, hitting up parks and museums, and learning Irish folk songs and enjoying live music everywhere. Drink-wise, we had Guinness by day, cappuccinos with lunch, and wine and ciders at night. Not traditional of what we’re used to, but I’m certainly not complaining. The lifestyle here was like a mental massage and gave me clarity to just how important it is to treat yourself and not be so tense and work-focused. A lesson for us all, perhaps. I mean, when you’re in a busy pub and everyone is clapping to a song about crying cockels and mussels (I don’t know, either), all your worries don’t seem that big of a deal anymore.
I love the small streets, pubs and restaurants that spill over every corner and alleyways. I love the graffiti and art on random buildings. I love the historical buildings and monuments that stand so bold, yet so nonchalant to the everyday local. I love that they say, what’s the criac? like we say hello. I love the people here. I’m such a sucker for nice people and while I thought Coloradans were nice folks, the Irish are genuinely kind, kind souls. I already know I will be back.
Ireland was the perfect start to my travels, and I’m anxious to see what’s in store! Next stop: London!
Ciao for now,
Before dosing off into a position only forgiving via window seat, I remember looking out five minutes into takeoff. Seeing the geographical quilt that my window quaintly framed, put things into perspective for a second. It was bizarre to be thousands of feet in the air going 550 mph, when it was just two hours ago that I was on solid ground, driving 65 mph to DIA. It was bizarre it was just this past weekend I danced at the last Mammoth game of the season with my teammates. It was bizarre that I am sitting here right now staring down at this view, when it was just a fortnight ago, I decided in a split second to follow through with something I’ve been wanting to do for two years now.
The green and brown squares and circles showed no visible signs of civilization, and it made me realize just how small we are in the grand scheme of things. What surrounds us every day and what occupies us that keeps us busy seems trivial from this view. I dig this. I dig the anonymity, and it brings a special kind of serenity. We are so small in this massive world, and I am so ready to see it these next six weeks.