I’ve Been Missing… Nature

Having never lived in a large city, I was always familiar to the idea of a town that also had local areas for nature – parks, running trails, hills…. I love nature but it wasn’t something I thought I could actually miss, actually long for. I’ve gone running here to search out any form of open roads, but it’s been without luck. On all my traveling adventures so far, they’ve been to cities with thousands of people, shopping centers, students in colleges. When going to Dublin, this was no different.

My friend and I decided we needed a change of scenery – away from all the people, all the bars, all the stores. We needed nature. After choosing a day trip to Wicklow, a town just south of Dublin, we slowly became more excited. This was the day I looked forward to the most.

And it prevailed. While we were mostly on a coach tour bus and it was snowing or hailing most of the time, there was still time to walk through the valleys, past lakes, sheep – stepping into nature.

I was also able to see the power of prayer at work on this day. For my level of excitement to be so high, the weather was a complete letdown. The tour went past a waterfall in the mountains, but due to the snow we were unable to see it. I was bummed so I began praying. Praying that when we stepped out of the coach, the sun would shine, allowing us the enjoyment of our 45 minutes outside. The skies grew grimmer, but low-and-behold, when we stepped out of the bus, the winds died down, the sun came through, and it was a beautiful time. Only seconds after getting back on the bus from our walk, the clouds darkened and the snow returned, but for that short time it was perfect.

Don’t doubt the photos, it was that sunny out when we were outside.

I’m a nature-lover.

xx

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Craic Happenings in Ireland

Craic – pronounced like crack – is Irish fun and enjoyment. And let me tell you, Ireland is full of craic!

Dublin, Ireland

Home to just about every Irish stereotype: over one thousand bars, short/red-haired/freckled people, potato-lovers, even a few of those cute kilts. With the weather much lower than average – a rainy, windy, freezing combination – it was difficult to fully experience some of the outdoor entertainment over the weekend. We did, however, swallow in the best of the bests. Trinity College, famous university whose library holds The Book of Kells; Temple Bar, a section of town basically filled with bars and clubs; Guinness Storehouse, a museum detailing the making of Guinness beer – complete with a complimentary pint at the end; a day-walking tour, able to take in the majority of this great town from a hilarious tour guide. Our last day in Ireland was spent a little different, a story for another time. The hint? Nature.

Our three days in Ireland were a blast. Skipping over the miserable weather, my friend and I enjoyed ourselves. It was my first stay in a hostel, which turned out to be better than expected.

We stay both nights in Isaac’s Hostel, only blocks away from the city centre. The place was clean, considering the dozens of traveling 20-somethings invading the hostel. We opted to sleep in a room with 8 females total. It wasn’t the worst, let’s just say I’m thankful to be somewhat narcoleptic and able to fall asleep at the drop of a hat. All in all, as a young traveler, I was pleased with the hostel.

As for Dublin, I should have expected the rain. Something unexpected – the friendliness. I still cannot believe how friendly Irish people are! Two separate times, our waitresses talked our ear off about Dublin, our travels, recommendations, and America. We even made friends sitting at tables next to us or in passing. Before we could even ask for directions, there were numerous people seeing if we needed help.

Overall rating: A+ Ireland, A+.  

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