Dreary, Sunless Nostalgia

Although it resembles a past life, it’s been a mere six months since I was knee deep in tourism, budget airlines, and tea time.

It wasn’t too long ago I was in England, where the sun barely shines and the clouds seldom uncover the rays.

I could count the sunny days on one hand. And I’ll be the first to say it was a much better day when I could dare to wear my canvas shoes without the risk of ruining them in puddles (which sadly was the demise of my favorite Toms). I dreamed of brighter days. Warmer days. I dreamed of the sun and its rare visits.                                                             

Since rejoining the beautiful USA, I haven’t thought once of the sun or when it will be around next. It wasn’t even until this past week, when autumn weather finally made its appearance, on a rainy, dreary, windy day, that I appreciated the sun. It wasn’t until this day, that I looked above at the bleak shade of grey, and yearned for England.

I missed the bustle of the cities and the sheep-filled countryside. The homey villages and the dignified mansions. I missed those English accents and the frequent lingual mishaps.

But what I have missed and cherished the most recently: Those dreary and sunless days. 

British people don’t wake up to another, typical rainy day only to stay in bed netflix-ing the latest guilty pleasure or mull around town grouchy.

They move on.

They go on with their days. Still happy. Still loving life. It was as if they didn’t know it was raining. Which, at times I wondered if this is true.Image

(Taken by the talented Meagan)

Their inspiration is unruffled. J.K Rowling began writing Harry Potter in a small coffee shop, looking out this very window. I imagine many days her view of the Edinburgh Castle was similar to this. If she can find inspiration in the rain, not only am I impressed, but I’m encouraged.

Can we be like the British? Ya know, I think so.

I hope to not be an emotional rollercoaster based on the weather. I hope to wake up, glance out the window – rain or shine – and move on with my day. Move on with my day inspired again. How great would that be? Imagine a world full of cheerful people. Every. day.

That can be me. That can be you.



The Hopeful Weather-Watcher


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+.  





Surviving a Rainy Day


With the warming weather of spring and the blooming flowers comes the promise of more rain. I’ve been warned that I have yet to see a hint of all the rain to come. The positives to this? I love rain. (I hope I don’t regret saying this after experiencing “April Showers”) I love the idea of falling asleep to pattering rain. Waking up to rain drops splattered across my window. Walking through puddles. The brighter greens the grass paints. I also love the excuse to stay inside, cuddled up with the essentials.

So, what are the essentials to a day full of upcoming rain?

Tea. Well, obviously. My tea of choice currently is the ever-popular English Breakfast, or the Cranberry, Raspberry, and Elderflower-infused. Keep the kettle on all day, it’s necessary.

A Solid Read. This probably shouldn’t be the book that you’ve picked up dozens of times since the New Year, chances are a full day won’t change your attention span. Your best bet is to chose one that’s interesting, thought-provoking, and one to keep your focus. On today’s list: Forgotten God by Francis Chan.

Embarrassingly Comfy Clothes. I say embarrassing, because I know I have a nasty pair of sweatpants, complete with holes, and a dingy look – but let me tell you they are the best pants I’ve ever owned. A rainy day is a perfect time to skip the shower, and toss on your favorites.

Jammin’ Music. Turn this on in the background during reading time. I’m going for Iron and Wine, Bon Iver, and James Vincent McMorrow. Soothing, talented, and the ideal tunes to pretend you’re in a movie, staring out the window with the rain falling, dreaming of sweeter times.

A TV Series. For when the book becomes dull, your eyes become glazed, and the words blurred. This could also be swapped out with a tear-jerking movie, but I prefer a series to keep me busy for days. This way I feel much more accomplished after completing 7 series of Gilmore Girls, rather than one screening of Dirty Dancing.

Stationary. Snail Mail “rox.” Bringing it back to the days when technology didn’t dominate life. To a time when words were more than a vessel for dramatic misunderstandings, but a way to encourage, cherish, and spread joy.

The essentials.

These are my personal essentials for the day. Lucky enough, I have no coursework to finish, and no plans. Eventually, I’ll probably have to add some snacks to the list, but for now am enjoying the looks of this day.

I’ve come to the conclusion that rainy days in England must be looked at differently. Instead of recognizing the times when the rain will stay for hours and dreading it, I’m finding it easier to expect the rainy days and be surprised by the sun. This way, when the sun comes, it’s more like a gift than a given.