emerald isle, ahoy!

So, here’s the deal, since I’ve been fairly absent of late and a lot has been going on…

I decided to take a trip to Ireland. Why? Well, during one of many long discussions with my coworkers about my relatively poor mental health recently, one of them mentioned his past trips to Ireland. It reminded me how much I’ve always wanted to go there, so I thought, Why the hell not? So I’m going. October 3, 2009. The flight is booked already.

Why Ireland?
There are several reasons. To me, Ireland epitomizes laid-back culture: quiet villages, neighborhood pubs, friendly locals, green landscapes, seaside cliffs, rolling hills – it’s like a freaking wonderland over there, but still so understated and navigable. While I’d also like to see Italy and Australia, those are places that require more than a week’s vacation. And while Ireland deserves more than a week, I can manage the Republic in 7.5 days, so that’s what I’m going to do.

What’s the plan?
There isn’t one, really. I started planning this transcontinental getaway about a week ago, with the intention of going the first week of June. But various obstacles cropped up and I found a cheaper flight in October ($600!!) than the already cheap flight in June, so I thought I’d save $100+ on the flight, $70 on expediting my new passport, $50 on lodging (low season in Oct.), various fees on being an under-25 car renter, etc. Besides, I now have 5 months to make that plan that I’m thus far lacking.

No, really – what’s the plan?
If you must know, IrishTourism.com got the ball rolling with all their awesome self-drive vacation packages. I started out with their 7-day tours of the Republic and wasted invested a lot of time figuring out details, prices and the like. At this point, I’ve decided to take the reins entirely and go with straight B&B vouchers, no strings attached, no requirements for where I need to be or when I need to get there. I will plan ahead, of course, but nothing will be set in stone. I will rent a cheap car (maybe even learn to drive a stick before I go, so I can get around even more cheaply) and set off into the green. I’m salivating a little just thinking about it. =)

ALONE??
Most likely. Though I’ve had vague interest from a few parties when I issued an open invitation to join up, I rather doubt anyone will accompany me, and I fully intend to hit the trail alone. I’m OK with that. And Ireland? It’s one of the safest countries for me to do it. Not entirely safe, of course, but I don’t plan to enter any dark alleys in Dublin either. In fact, I’ll probably stay away from the cities as much as possible, hitting the Dublin highlights my last day or so before hopping my flight back to the States. But I’m not afraid. Not of long flights, a crazy number of unknowns, staying in various rural B&Bs by myself. I think I will be cared for in Ireland, and I will keep my eyes open and my mind alert. Except when I’m gazing out over picturesque cliffs into deep blue waters beyond. Then? I’ll just gaze.

So, that’s what I’m doing in October. What about you?

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Filed under fun, happiness, plans, travel

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