So last week I went to a Bible Study group at a friends house. I was a little underwhelmed at the content and interaction. I was disappointed, more in my expectation or hope then anything else. That is ok. The thing is I went. If you have something you want to try and it doesn’t work out-that means you actually tried something. Its a good thing. If you don’t try you will never know. This can be as simple as trying new food, app, or going to a new store. You might surprise yourself and find something you really enjoy.
Well, through an evil coworker I was shown a new airline that is promoting cheap flights. For less then a weekend in the states I was able to go to Dublin. I’ve never been to Ireland before and I was looking forward to a long weekend away. So that is how I ended up in Ireland.
I arrived at about 8am. I was able to find the bus to an Airbnb I had reserved. I recently discovered that google maps lets you download area maps. This was amazing and I easily found the place. I was renting a small room that was within walking distance to downtown. It was a very brisk morning more cool then I expected it to be but bundled up and a quick walk kept me warm. I worked my way towards Phoenix park. In the park was the Dublin Zoo. I am a sucker for zoos and aquariums. With such a cold morning most of the animals were
inside their warm homes. However, a few brave creatures were out in the sun soaking up the rays. Jet lag hadn’t set in yet and I worked my way towards downtown. I passed Jameson and Guinness breweries. Followed the River Liffey to a pub for lunch. Beer and soup. Yummy. I continued to wander around looking at ancient cathedrals, Dublin castle, and the Chester Beatty Library. This library holds some of the oldest manuscripts ever found. Antique Bibles, Qurans, and Buddhist texts. The artwork alone was amazing but to actually witness these documents was humbling. To think these writings from BC and AD made it long enough for me to witness them. It was wonderful. Starting to get a bit footsore I worked my way back to my home-stay for a nap.
I did get up for a bit to have a fabulous dinner at a local pub. However, I had an early day for a ride to Northern Ireland. In case you forgot, Northern Ireland is a separate country from Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and uses the Sterling Pound for currency. Ireland is part of the European Union and uses the Euro. I have to say I had to be reminded of this fact. We worked our way north to the Carrick-a-rede bridge. This bridge was constructed so that fisherman could get a bit farther out from shore. The bridge is constructed of two 2×12 boards and about 100 feet long. I must admit I got a bit weak kneed halfway across but I managed.
After the bridge we went toward the Giants Causeway. Now this is a natural formation of basalt rock. The story goes that a Scottish Giant (the formations go all the way to Scotland) came across the causeway to conquer the Irish giant. Through the wisdom of Mrs. Irish Giant the Scottish one was sent running home with his tail between his legs. The formation and the walk to the causeway is amazing. Huge cliffs and roaring sea add to the the giant atmosphere. We past this ruined castle on the way back to Dublin. Ireland, it seems, holds more ancient structures then I ever expected.
The Bushmill Brewery, which we also passed, was founded in the 1700s and is one of the oldest working brewery in Ireland. Just amazing. Just wow.
The next and my final full day in Ireland I went to all the museums and touristy sights that I didn’t get to on my first day. The natural history museums had some of the most antique specimens I have ever seen. Many from the early 1900s or late 1800s. The grouping of creatures was amazing. Not just one twig of the species tree but whole branches. The National Gallery held such wonderful works of local artists. I brought home a reprint of J.B. Yeats White Horse, among others. My final last half day I visited the Botanical Gardens and the Gasnevin Cemetery. Both were beyond imagination and quite fantastic. The entire trip was perfect getaway. Great way to recharge the batteries. I recommend checking out Norwegian Air in your area. The one bit advice, be aware that the 10kg is for both of your bags. So either check (extra fee) or pack extremely light. Now back to the daily grind. I might have accidentally, on purpose, signed up to work the next three weeks straight. I will be on midnights so that should be fine. I will just be a hermit. Until my next trip… which might be Costa Rica.
Life is stressful. That is part of life. There is always something going on or something to do. It is important to take moments to relax. I booked a trip about 6 weeks ago to Dublin. I had no real idea how busy my life would be at the time of the trip. Really it probably isn’t the best time to leave. However, it is only for the weekend and nothing will burn down while I am away. It is important to take opportunities as they present themselves. Instead of being stressed that I am leaving I will focus on enjoying my weekend. Hope you enjoy yours.
Take the time to stop and smell the roses. I am in Washington DC for work. I walked by a fountain that was just awesome. It was similar to water over very shallow rocks. And I stopped and made my day so much better. You might not be somewhere so nice like that but you can find beauty anywhere.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalms 91:11.
I was watching Dune the other night and there is a quote father to son saying, “… a person needs new experiences. They jar something deep inside, allowing him to grow. Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens.” I find this to be very true. Now, if you are not a traveler I am not attacking your choice. There are many ways to travel. Our technology allows us to stay home but visit far away places.
I travel a lot. I am always looking for new places visit. I enjoy new foods, cultures, and sites. I want to tastes, touch, and feel the places I visit. I want to be so far away from all that is “home” because to some people that IS their home. I am sure if they came to see my home and traditions they would be strange and odd.
To travel as such, you have to go beyond your fear. It is wonderful to know that God promises to watch over me. That promise gives me some comfort that regardless of the outcome the angels will be with me. Keep that in mind when you travel. You are cared for, if only, by benevolence of the universe.
So after a long and frustrating day today I thought I would talk about something happy. So in a few weeks I will be going to Thailand. So super excited! I have never been to Thailand but went to China last year. I try to go somewhere new once or twice a year. I think it is very important to see different cultures and try different foods. If you spend time seeing how other people live you will get new prospective on life. So far I have been to China, Australia, Fiji, Mexico, and Canada (if you consider that a foreign country!) I have come to appreciate my home and way of life. However, I must say there are things I wish we had over here. In China, the food is fresh and purchased every day. In Australia, everyone is laid back and friendly. Fiji is a very poor country and still has a class system. Mexico holds family in very high regard. Canada love their outdoors and outdoor sports. Taking a little piece away with you helps you understand that the world doesn’t revolve around you.
Every place has a history, a story, a hope for a better future. The people are good and bad. Just like anywhere else. I feel that America is so out of touch with our roots and upbringing. China really opened my eyes to the Zen around you. They spend time walking the parks and spending time in self-reflection. In Mexico you are always family. I have been invited to the homes of people I just met. “You are new here? Come, we will have dinner!” Such good food too. Everyone surfs in Australia. EVERYONE. I noticed school children in wet suits for their PE class. Not fair! It is things like this that make me realize that the world is so much bigger that my little town, state, or country.
I have many more places I want to visit. Katmandu and Casablanca are high on my list. Yes, it is because of the song and movie. But hey!? Why not? Why not say I went to all of the gin joints in Casablanca but couldn’t find Rick. Where would you go if you could go anywhere? Why? Have you been to Thailand? What is one thing I have to do?
I will be using this Travel Group for my Thailand trip. I hope it will be a great experience. I am open to other travel companies if you know of any. I realize that traveling alone in today’s world isn’t safe. However, it won’t stop me from traveling. I just travel smarter now.