Aside from the interesting work, I think I'd fallen in love with the idea of being in Amsterdam for the summer - steeling my nerves for cycling, connecting with friends and a network of THNKers and capitalizing on the airport hub for extreme weekend warrior-ing!
Shortly, I will spring into action and start my outreach campaign to generate new leads but for now, I'm disappointed and need to sit with that experience. Like the Dalai Lama once said, “Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck” so I'm practicing patience, resiliency and drinking wine. After all, my motto for the year (which is not quite as brilliant as the Dalai Lama's) is "if everything goes according to plan, it doesn't go according to plan" so I'm getting exactly what I planned.
Gentlemanly regulars are nested in the snug, reading papers or betting on horses. Gaelic football is playing on the TV but the volume is low, so the conversationalists won’t be disturbed. Irish pubs know that you can't be in a place where it's too noisy to talk, because the talk and the drink go together. The requisite Guinness taps are on overdrive. Locals buying rounds for the entire table; everyone waiting patiently for their Guinness as bartender attends to the almost-sacred two-step pouring process that requires time for the beer to settle. The hum of Sláinte (pronounced: SLAWN-chuh), accompanied by the clink of glasses, rises up over the trad musicians playing in the corner. It is a balanced ecosystem until late when the crowd gets rowdier and periodically you can hear the uniting celebratory roar when a pint glass slips and breaks.
People visit Ireland to experience the pubs. People visit Irish Pub to experience Ireland.
After a month of settling into Sligo and establishing new routines, it dawned on me just how fast four months was going to fly by. With that, I booked a weekend trip to Dublin to making a dent in my Irish must-see list.
At the risk of sounding completely strange, I’m going to go ahead and say it: trains make me a better person. No, seriously. Long train rides remind me to be patient and watching the landscapes roll past my window allows time for reflection as the train chugs rhythmically along to its destination.
Unlike planes, boats, and buses, on trains I actually enjoy the “getting there” portion of the journey. Trains are simple and cut out all of the rigmarole of air travel: you don’t have to show up early, you get lots of space and you won’t be screamed at for forgetting a bottle of moisturizer in your purse.
Three hours of gazing longingly at the emerald green landscape speckled with sheep, I pulled into Connelly Station. Strong literary and political history has coloured this city, so that it shines with the passion of the past, from the physical evidence of the 1916 uprising at the General Post Office to the banter of Oscar Wilde, quoted many times over on Dublin’s streets and stages. From Guinness and gruel, whiskey and Wilde, there’s plenty to experience in Dublin – but sometimes it isn’t all good ‘craic.’
Nice to meet you...
I'm Andi (hence the blog name). I'm a travel aficionado, passionate eater, tireless explorer of internet rabbit-holes, and amateur thinker. Join me as I give it all up (ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration) and go around the world on a mid-career "soul sabbatical" & year-of-learning to figure out what to be NEXT when I grow up. Won’t you grab a cup of chai and stay a while?
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