by Erin Elaine
It’s now evening in Galway, Ireland. I spent the day exploring the town and even got a little pink on accident. I have some pretty intense tan-lines from this trip, despite all the sunscreen I’ve been applying.
The last 8 days of my 6+ week trip are being spent in Ireland. It’s such a beautiful country. Green everywhere, old stone houses, sheep, cows, horses. Pubs. Lots of those. My favorite part of Ireland so far was the Giant’s Causeway:
It’s such a unique place, and surrounded by such beauty. I took a bus there from Belfast, and it took us all along the Antrim Coast, so I didn’t just see the Causeway, I got to see a lot of the backcountry of Ireland, and it was really stunning. It feels so nice to just sit with the wind in your hair and enjoy something created by nature. (Or by giants, depending on which story you believe).
Tomorrow I’m taking a day tour all around County Clare, including the Cliffs of Moher. It’s the first guided day tour I’ve done this entire trip, but the less-inhabited areas of Ireland are pretty difficult to get to without a car.
Including tomorrow I have two full days left in Ireland. The day after that I have nothing planned, just waking up late and making my way to the Dublin airport, where I will fly to Madrid, wash my clothes and sleep, and fly to Seattle the next morning.
I have seen so many amazing places on this trip, and I’ve had so many unique experiences. I’ve sung along to “Sweet Home Alabama” in a hostel full of tired hikers in the Swiss Alps. I’ve sampled Belgian beer and learned why they prefer such a thick head. I’ve walked an ancient road that Caesar himself walked. I’ve tried more flavors of Italian Gelato than you can shake a fist at. I’ve listened in on Irish people giving each other directions solely with local pubs as the landmarks. I’ve had semi trucks and electric trams and pedestrians all yield to me while riding my bike in Amsterdam. I’ve seen Michelangelo’s David. I’ve used 4 types of currency in 6 weeks. I’ve danced till dawn in an awesome Berlin club. I’ve slept in an actual medieval castle. And so much more. It really has been an amazing trip.
But, I’m also at the point of my trip where I’m almost constantly tired. I think visiting 3 different towns in 4 days in Belgium really took it out of me. Immediately after that was Paris, and I got out and saw a lot, but my back was killing me really badly. Once my back started feeling better, the aching transferred to my legs. My thighs and calves just ache all the time. Strangely enough my feet seem to feel better each morning after a good night’s sleep, but not my legs.
Amazingly, I’ve kept up with writing in my journal. The entries have definitely gotten a lot shorter during the trip, but I’m still writing them. Also I’m taking less pictures. I’m still taking plenty, just less.
I feel like a lifetime has passed since the beginning of my trip only 6 weeks ago. When I think about a normal 6-week period of time when I’m working, there are ups and downs, but nothing that changes me to this extent. Travel is truly the best way to discover the world and discover yourself at the same time. I absolutely feel like a different person than the one who left Seattle 11 months ago. I’m looking forward to seeing all my family and friends. Not really looking forward to traffic and smelly American money. But if those are my only complaints, then I’ve got a darn good life. I’m grateful. 🙂