Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Today is the day I get most homesick – Thanksgiving is my absolute favourite holiday and I wish I could be with my family today. Instead, I am thinking of all of my loved ones from afar. I am so very thankful for this amazing life that I have been blessed with and all of my incredible friends and family.

I am so thankful for the beautiful world we live in and the fact that I am free and able to travel and see as much of it as I wish. I am thankful that I am not afraid to live my dreams and that I am surrounded by people who support my sometimes crazy dreams!

Even if you aren’t American, please enjoy this day created to spend time with loved ones and take a moment to be thankful for what you have.

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A Simply Beautiful Day in Dublin

Today is not even over yet, but it has been a sweet, simple beautiful day in Dublin. I am so happy.

I started off my day by having brunch at Brother Hubbard with my dear friend K. Brother Hubbard is an adorable little cafe that whips up some of the most gorgeous and delicious food you’ve ever seen/eaten. K and I have decided we will go there on a biweekly if not weekly basis… so in love with this precious discovery!

K and I both had the Eggs Menemen (“a classic Turkish dish of soft scrambled eggs, with a whipped feta yogurt, kalamata olives, fresh mint & other herbs with red onion, a roast pepper & tomato sauce & a little fresh chili, served with baby spinach leaves & toasted sourdough”) and I had a glass of fresh orange juice and K had their fantastic hot chocolate. We also split a cinnamon and walnut pastry. My mouth is watering again just typing this.

Eggs Menemen @ Brother Hubbard

Eggs Menemen @ Brother Hubbard

Brother Hubbard is set up French style in the way that if you are only two people, you will be sitting at a table with other people. This ended up working out beautifully for us because we sat with a lovely Irish brother and sister duo. They were lovely people, very friendly and funny – incredibly entertaining. They ended up asking us to help choose a pastry and they wanted to share with us. They even ordered a glass of prosecco and shared that with us! Their friendliness blew our minds but little did I know what was to come. He disappeared for a few minutes and I thought he was going to the toilet or something. He came back and they got ready to leave which is when he informed us that he payed for our brunch.

What?! Excuse me!?

We were in shock. Complete and utter shock, in the best way possible. I couldn’t believe his kindness. To the dear brother and sister that we sat next to, if you ever read this, thank you so very much. People like you give me hope for humanity and for the world. I do hope we meet again.

Then, I went on a little journey 20 km outside of the city centre to my host family’s house where I used to live. On my journey there, it was a typical awful Irish winter day – cold and very rainy. By the time I got off at my bus stop, it was one hour away from sunset, the rain had stopped and the low sun was shining in a beautiful way. The pavement was wet from the recent rain, the mountains looked gorgeous in the distance and the smell of lit fireplaces filled the air. I happily walked the 10 minute walk to my old home, realizing I had missed this area of Dublin.

What a simple day full of happiness. I wish you all a lovely weekend.

How do I know I’m officially an adult?

At some point over the past couple months, I crossed into adulthood. I officially became an adult. I don’t mean I turned 18 or 21 or 25, it has nothing to do with my age. My mentality has started to change. I never thought this would happen to me.

I once again live in Ireland, home to some of the best beer in the world (and certainly home to the best pubs). And I love beer. And I adore pubs. When I last lived in Ireland, I was 22 and went out an average of 6 nights a week. I drank a lot of beer and sat and danced in a lot of pubs. I was looking forward to doing this again and, don’t get me wrong, I still do but I don’t have the desire to do so very often at all. All I want to do is sit at home and drink my wine. This was the biggest shocker to me – never in a million years did I think I’d be that person. I couldn’t imagine sitting at home drinking alone, never mind wine over beer?! Yep, it’s happened. I’m a wino and nights out have become very infrequent.

I shake my head at the young ones who drink multiple times a week and are always “out” as if I’m elderly, and I smile to myself and think “that was me only 4 years ago”. I am here to tell you, four years makes a world of difference.

I also can no longer imagine staying in dorm room hostels. I (not very long ago) used to love staying in hostels and said even if I could afford to stay in hotels, I would probably still stay in hostels. My, my how things have changed. I recently went away for a bank holiday weekend with a friend and could not sleep in a dorm. We booked a private room. Who am I?! (and how will I be able to afford to travel in the future?!??)

I look forward to spending my money on brunches, lunches, dinners, drinks or activities with friends or cute little household items for myself whereas previously, I couldn’t imagine regularly spending my money on such things. All of my money would go towards traveling. I was obsessed with saving so I could spend it on one thing only: travel. Travel is still very much my biggest passion and something I will never stop doing because I know I will never want to stop, but I’m now finding a way to enjoy my daily life while I work hard at university and at work – and I will of course still save for traveling (once I pay off my debts – Side note: I finally recently got a job!! I am working as a receptionist at a hotel in the city centre). I am actually enjoying having a home and creating a (relatively) new life for myself. I am so excited to know that I am carving a path to my career and in less than two years, I will actually be qualified to have a “real” job. A job career that I will actually enjoy.

The only thing I am really struggling with is this: how to settle my natural nomadic mindset and calm the wanderlust. I am, without a doubt, living in my favorite city and in my favorite country in the world and I am really and truly enjoying every second of my life here. But I am desperate to travel again. I dream of jetting off for another four months (the exact amount of time I figured out is ideal for me to travel – any longer and I get burned out and need a break) to new places to meet new people and eat different foods. I returned from my first round the world trip only four months ago but I feel like it’s been way too long since I’ve traveled and am beyond ready again. Sadly, I cannot afford it at the moment and I have big girl responsibilities here. This is something I am worried I’ll always struggle with – will I ever be able to calm the wanderlust? I don’t think I will.

I am also struggling with this: I am exactly where I want to be, but my family is not here with me. I need (and want) to create a life for myself and live my dreams but I hate being so far away from my family. I’ll never be able to afford to go home more than once a year (and truthfully, I’ll be lucky to be able to go home that often) and that is nowhere near enough. I painfully miss the little things about home. I miss going out to dinner every Friday night with my parents. I miss grocery shopping with my mum and making sandwiches with my dad and laughing until we cry with my sister. I hate that I don’t feel at home in Florida and I really wish I did. I tried to, but I was never able to come remotely close to how I feel when I am in Ireland.

In the meantime, I am living my life and loving every minute of it here in Ireland. I am more-than-words excited for my entire family to visit me in Dublin next summer. I am also planning to do a road trip around Iceland in July. Stay tuned!!