I’m pretty sure my feet are going to go on strike tomorrow. According to my Fitbit, I’ve logged over 22K steps today, but I didn’t manage to sync the time difference until this evening, so I think I lost about 5 hours of steps in the mix.
After dropping my bag off at the hostel, I had some time to kill. I originally planned to go to the Guinness Storehouse, but then I saw there was a free walking tour leaving from the hostel. They’re usually a good way to get the lay of the land and some context around the various sights, so I pushed out the Guinness tour and set out. Now we know where those 22K steps came from.
The tour guide was interesting - definitely opinionated and he certainly didn’t mind pontificating, but I learned some interesting bits and got to see a lot of the major sights in one go. The tour lasted nearly 3 hours and I was starving by the time we reached the end. Luckily I met some other solo travelers in the group and we went to get lunch together. The guide recommended a pub with good pub food, so we went there. I had an Irish beef stew. Not my usual fare, but tasssttttyyyyy.
We split up after that - I was on a mission to get to the Guinness Storehouse before it closed. I’d heard it takes 2-3 hours, but I’m not a huge fan of the fake experience tours where they pretend to make stuff all for show, so I figured I could crank through it pretty quickly. I did :)
My feet were killing me by this point, but I made sure to go the “Guinness Academy” to learn to do the perfect pour. I actually don’t really like Guinness unless it’s an Irish Car Bomb, but this Guinness was surprisingly tasty. It did take me forever to actually drink it. I swear no matter how hard I tried, the glass didn’t empty.
I did the tour solo, but while I was sitting in the Gravity Bar trying to regain feeling in my feet, I struck up a conversation with the two people next to me. That’s one of my favorite parts of traveling. I’m not the type of person to talk to strangers or meet new people. I hate big crowds and parties, but something about the survival mode of travel and the longing for conversation and someone to share the experience with, I don’t know, it makes me less of an introvert. I met someone else in the elevator on the way out of the Storehouse and she turned out to be a US-based travel blogger. You never know who you’ll meet when you finally step out of your comfort zone and say hello.
Speaking of comfort zone: One thing I’ve noticed that I need to get better at when I’m outside of NYC is my “don’t mess with me” face. From what I gather, Dubliners are ridiculously friendly. I lost track of the number of people that greeted me in some way as they passed, even if I wasn’t paying attention. It catches me off guard every time because I’m not used to interacting with other humans on the street. Everyone exists in their own bubble in NYC.
On the one hand, I think the NYC skin probably serves me well when it comes to walking alone in new places. I generally feel pretty confident and know to trust my instincts. But on the other hand, the fact that I have to stutter before I can get a “hello” out because it’s so unexpected probably isn’t the best default state. I need to find a better happy medium.
I’m barely awake at the moment. I’ve been out and about basically since I landed and if my head hit a pillow right now, there’s no guarantee that I’ll be waking up any time soon. I’m trying to make it til 10PM to keep my jet lag in check, but at 7:40PM it’s not looking good.
I also need to do some investigations into what to do tomorrow and Sunday. I didn’t think I would cover so much today. I learned about some day trips from one of the girls on the tour today - I could pop up to Belfast and see the Giants Causeway which has been on my bucket list. It’s not too expensive, but it’s a lonnnnggg day. There are also cheaper, shorter day trips to the likes of the Cliffs of Moher. Honestly I just kind of want to sleep in tomorrow, but realistically I don’t think that’s going to happen. The pressure of feeling like you always need to be doing something when you’re visiting somewhere new can be frustrating. Especially on a short trip. I’m trying to determine what I can do that if I left Ireland tomorrow I wouldn’t regret not doing.
I’d originally planned to stay in Dublin the whole time, but now that I know the Giants Causeway is a relatively simple endeavor, it’s making its way up on that list. I also originally didn’t plan to see the Book of Kells - in general I avoid museum-y things - but in the absence of anything else to do, that might be on deck.
Sometime last year I became hooked on some travel vlogs. Here and there I entertain the idea of starting a vlog of my own, but I’m about 99.99999% certain that my life isn’t interesting enough to produce anything all that exciting. I figured instead of needing to go through the hassle of editing, etc. I’d try something a bit easier: Snapchat! I’ve been posting to my Snapchat story since I was en route to the airport Wednesday evening and it’s been pretty cool. Granted my data drops out all the time so I have a ton of failed posts I need to keep going back in to check on, but it’s a fun way to replay my day in a raw form without needing to do any work other than remember to capture it here and there. I’ll save and play back what I created later, but for now it seems like a fun thing I might try to do on future trips. Just because it’s not filmed on a fancy camera and edited using some pro software doesn’t make it any less of a vlog!
At this point I’m just writing things to keep myself awake. I’m in the common area of the hostel in hopes that having lots of people awake around me will inspire me to stay awake. There’s a whiskey tasting that I’d originally planned to do, but I don’t have the willpower to stand up and walk over there. Or to drink for that matter. 10PM. Must make it to 10PM.