Alright alright, I know I should update what's going on but I am really tired. Today was one of my travel days (Dublin to Paris) and those take a lot out of me. Plus I'm running on about 2 hours of sleep. It's all worth it, trust me. Staying up late, waking up early and navigating my way through foreign countries is all worth it. Today was definitely definitely worth it. :)
I feel like I'm slowly but surely getting to a point where I am able to revel in the experience meaning I am enjoying myself more and also the entire process. Before, when I would get lost or something wouldn't go as planned, I would let it get to me or stay focused on what I should've done, etc. But I now feel that I am growing into the shoes of a true traveler. I soak up everything I do like a sponge and constantly find myself literally smiling at the situation; I still can't believe I am over here, living a dream. A dream that seemed so out of reach and yet here I am, just have finished a pound of beef tartare, croissant au buerre, cheeses and a fresh crepe all washed down with vin rouge while sitting in a Parisian cafe after seeing the Eiffel Tower. Yes, it's just day 1.
But let's recap, shall we?? Dublin Dublin Dublin! My gosh!!! What an experience. After arriving, I realized right away that there wasn't a whole lot to do there. Don't get me wrong, it has a lot to do if you live there, but as a sightseeing type of trip, I only had 3 priorities: Guinness brewery, Jameson distillery, pubs. My friend Vivien, who I haven't seen in about 8 years, told me her friend Jens (Yens for you very english speaking people) lived in Dublin and that I should contact him because he would be a great tour guide. So I figured, why not? Jens and I met for coffee and talked and then he proceeded to give me a detailed walking tour of all Dublin! He is awesome! He knew so much information on Dublin and he was down to do whatever I wanted and willing to show me around. We walked for a few hours and stumbled across this restaurant that was built inside an old church. Ok, for those who know me, about 2 years ago, I took a class in college where I was assigned to create and thoroughly develop my own restaurant concept and guess what I created??? A restaurant in an old gothic looking church!! So seeing this made my mind go crazy! It was my concept, here, in Dublin! We ate there and it was awesome and then he took me to a local pub to meet his friends. Ohhhh man!! These guys were great! True Irish guys, sitting around and drinking beer after beer after beer. They really do know how to drink a lot and I tried to keep up (why not?) but I hit a wall around my 7th pint. =P (yeah so what, don't judge. I was in Ireland.) The beer was great and the company was hilarious. Harry, a true Irish guy, told me the way in which he viewed the world: Irish start drinking at the age of birth, Paris wouldntt be worth it because Mona Lisa doesn't even smile, and if a city could be a hangover, Belfast would be it because you get sick just looking at it. Funny guy
The next day, Jens and I started the day with our Jameson distillery tour. I volunteered myself for a whiskey tasting, comparing whiskey to bourbon and scotch (Irish whiskey won) and then we walked through a few cathedrals. Haha. I then ventured off by myself to see the Dublin castle (awesome) and met up later on with my two Irish friends, Mia and Róisín, that i roomed with in my london hostel (Jens joined us too). We went to the Trinity College pub where I was introduced to Devils Bit and black currant, a cider beer mixed with a black currant syrup. I'm not a fan of sweet drinks but this was SO delicious!! I met with Mia and Róisín's friends and a bunch of people they didn't even know. After 3 cider drinks and a few jaager bombs, we dropped by a few other pubs and ended our night drinking Kopparburg cider (best cider in the universe!), listening to live music, and singing in unison at the top of our lungs. C'mon, I'm in ireland!! And it was a surreal experience, to be surrounded by two girls I essentially just met and a bunch of people I don't know and still feel like I'm loved and appreciated. If there is one thing I take away from Dublin, it's that everyone is family. It doesn't matter who you know here. If you drink, talk, and are willing to have fun, then you're family.
Róisín and I met the next day to tour the Guinness brewery (and drink a free pint on the 7th floor bar overlooking all of Dublin) and then to her house. She offered me her house to stay in on my last night, as I previously wrote about, and how could I say no?!? She was so gracious for taking me in, feeding me, letting me crash in a bed and fixing me up with a taxi the next day to the airport. Honestly, I wish everyone was like people like Jens and Róisín. They didnt HAVE to do any of what they did. But they took me under their Irish wing and guaranteed an amazing experience. They understand the world of travel and what it's like to know no one and to live in a community house out of a suitcase. They get it. And for their generosity, I am forever grateful for I would not have had th same Dublin experience if it wasn't for them.
This morning, I caught a 630am flight ( ridiculous, right?) to Paris where I then caught a bus to central city and then a metro to the hostel. I had some troubles and had to ask locals for directions which they responded to my lack of French with their broken English. Quite honestly, it was fun. I was nervous I would get lost or that I would take far too long but in the midst of my worries, I threw up my hands and said "forget it". Why not? Why not forget being worried over situations that are bound to happen? Why not forget things that are out of my control? I knew with absolute certainty that finding my way wouldn't be the easiest, so I accepted it. And I let myself feel every emotion as I navigated and wandered. I took it all in as interpreted signs as best i could and took the subway in the wrong direction. :)It was an adventure. And it was fun. I finally got to the hostel after what seemed like forever and saw Ashleigh for the first time in almost 2 weeks and cried as I hugged her! We had both been through a lot over the last few weeks and I knew through a hug, I didn't have to say a word. She understood and I was overwhelmed. It was so good to see her
We roamed around Paris today with our new Australian friend Hamish and ate and ate and ate and ate. My god. Sitting underneath the Eiffel Tower, as it lit up, we spilt our popcorn everywhere and laughed ourselves sick. It's so good to be back with the girl I started this journey with. Thinking of where we started back in LA to now really just blows my mind. We were crazy to create this whole adventure and more crazy to go through with this whole adventure. But why not?
Ashleigh just read me a quote today: "Life is an adventure. It's not the destination we reach that's most rewarding. It's the journey along the way. So write it down and treasure the memory forever". There ya go :)