Anna’s Personal Travel Story: Getting Lost in Dublin
Updated: Sep 23, 2021
The first time I traveled internationally, I went in with very few expectations of how the journey might look. I’ve never been a planner myself, but my friends are, and they took hold of planning our itinerary like it was their second job. Together, my two roomies would spend evenings researching what we could see and where we would stay, and in no time at all, we had an entire trip planned. They filled me in on the “need-to-knows” before we left, but I now know that regardless of how much planning you put into something, it will only be enjoyable if you can roll with it when the unplanned inevitably occurs.
From the moment we got off our plane in Dublin, we knew every day was going to be an adventure. We hadn’t purchased international data plans, and we quickly realized that relying solely on wifi for directions wouldn’t get us very far. Thankfully, we found someone willing to offer us help to get to where we needed to go. It took me a full minute of listening to this woman before I realized she was speaking English! Her Irish accent was so heavy that I could discern only a few words. I nodded, smiled, and quickly realized that all Irish people don’t have understandable accents like they do in the movies. Yes, ridiculous, I know, but it’s amazing how many assumptions we make until confronted with a different reality! Thankfully, we connected with someone else to give us directions to the bus line, and we were off.
Our Airbnb was in a town just outside of Dublin, and God bless us, we made quite a scene getting there! First, I’ll set the stage. We were making this trip on a budget. We flew bare minimum, packing everything we needed in one backpack to last us two weeks with no luggage to check. Imagine two weeks’ worth of clothing, toiletries, shoes, and other essentials one might need on an international trip, and then picture the size of that backpack. There was no room left inside, and we looked like three giant turtles waddling around under the weight. So with that mental image in mind...
We made it to our bus, and as we were comfortably riding towards our destination, we began to debate which stop we should be getting off at. After asking for directions and attempting to pull up the route that we had been following up until this point, we chose a stop and hopped off. Unfortunately, this stop was so unbelievably far away from where we were supposed to be. We wandered awhile and were met with many compassionate gazes from the locals as we waddled through their neighborhoods trying to find our Airbnb, or at least another bus stop that would lead us in the right direction!
At one point, I was walking behind my friends, feeling a bit dumb at the sight of us, but I had to start laughing. It was so like us! Of course, we wouldn’t get it right at the start, and we’d walk miles through Dublin’s suburbs trying to find our Airbnb.
Eventually, we did make it to our lovely home away from home. We were greeted by a very cheerful man (who one of my former roommates is still friends with on FB) and had a quick rest before setting out on more grand adventures!
If I have anything to say about traveling, I’d say plan all you’d like but make sure that you don’t take yourself too seriously when it comes down to it.
Learn to laugh when it looks ridiculous, and you’ll make
memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.