Summer Road Trips

Part 2 of my “photo diary of the best summer of my life” … featuring four different road trips!

IMG_7527

Went on a road trip with my friend I to Wexford to meet his beautiful horse Rueben!

IMG_7511

Basically a horse whisperer

IMG_8531

Went to Wicklow with my friend G to attempt to find Lough Ouler – no such luck! We were convinced the lake dried up in the drought. Beautiful hike anyway

IMG_8692

Road trip with I and Mommy Z to Mayo and Achill Island

IMG_8697

Keem Beach, Achill

IMG_8786IMG_8666

IMG_8747

Watermelon ice lollies and singing the Greatest Showman soundtrack as loud as possible

IMG_8719

Clew Bay, Mayo

IMG_8723

View of Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s holiest mountain

I hired a car and drove for the first time ever in Ireland (properly – I tried when I first arrived in 2010). I can’t believe it took me five years. I drove from Dublin to Dingle and then around the Dingle Peninsula, which was exhilarating… especially driving Conor Pass!!!

IMG_9230

Solo road trip to Dingle – Conor Pass

IMG_9232

Conor Pass

IMG_9276

IMG_9289

Dingle town

IMG_9293

Boat trip to Great Blasket Island – view of Dingle

IMG_9311IMG_9366IMG_9367IMG_9374

IMG_9391

Beach on Great Blasket Island

IMG_9392

Incredibly clear water

IMG_9769

Hanging out with about a hundred seals on the beach!

IMG_9443IMG_9450IMG_9453IMG_9470IMG_9477

IMG_9494

Inquisitive sheep on the Great Blasket Island

IMG_9503IMG_9510IMG_9520IMG_9528

IMG_9600

My hired car

My trip to the Great Blasket Island was truly incredible, but was not without its consequences. As you can see, I had the best weather imaginable, which I am still so grateful for. Unfortunately, after 7 hours on and off a small boat, I got reverse sea sickness and ‘wanted’ to go to a hospital in the middle of the night due to dehydration and how sick I was. I resisted, simply because the nearest hospital was a fair distance away. Regardless, I can’t recommend this magnificent island enough. I would have loved to stay overnight – I can’t think of a better, more remote place to escape the madness of this world! This is the company I booked for the boat trip and they truly were one of the best small companies I have ever dealt with.

IMG_9594

Dingle town

IMG_9646

Dún Chaoin

IMG_9748

The stunning Dún Chaoin

IMG_9680

Dingle town

IMG_9681

Views along the Slea Head drive

IMG_9705

Foxy John’s pub in Dingle – doubles as a hardware shop

Summer on/in the Sea

Ireland isn’t known for good summers or hot weather, but summer 2018 was an exception. Ireland experienced the longest stretch of heat (and sun) since 1976. After the extreme winter we had (blizzards in March!) – it was that much more enjoyable. I remember the joy of looking out the window every morning and seeing the sun and knowing that the sun would last and be consistent throughout the day (not needing to bring a jumper or a rain jacket – whaaaaaat?!).

I found out on the 30th of May that I had to leave Ireland on 1st September. This was completely devastating news for me, but I knew I had to make Summer 2018 the best of my life… and that is exactly what I did.

Part 1 of my “Photo diary of the best summer of my life” – sea swims, walks near the water and sea adventures

IMG_0244

Vico Baths – my most favourite swim spot

Prior to summer 2018, I swam in the sea in Ireland just once – in Galway in October 2016. However, I had never been swimming in Dublin and I was determined to not only do it, but to enjoy it. I loved cold water when I was a small child, but from pre-adolescence until the age of 29, I absolutely despised swimming in cold water. The sea in Ireland never gets warmer than about 56F/13C, so it isn’t exactly an easy feat for someone who hates being in cold water. I can officially say Summer 2018 is the summer that I became completely addicted to sea swimming in Ireland. It is invigorating, refreshing and makes you feel so alive.

IMG_0242IMG_0236IMG_0239IMG_0237

0784ab1b-da14-49a6-b669-05c597b807a1

Me with my arms up

IMG_0222

IMG_0690

Sunrise swim at 6am in Greystones – no sunrise that morning, but still a beautiful experience

IMG_0137

Sandycove

IMG_0113

SUPing in Dún Laoghaire

IMG_8959

Kayaking in the River Liffey

IMG_8895IMG_8960

IMG_7987

When the sun shines in Ireland – EVERYONE is outside / Sandycove

IMG_7992

First time jumping off the Forty Foot

IMG_8001

IMG_8056

Magical day facing our fears and soaking up the sun

IMG_8021IMG_8054

IMG_8378

Howth cliff walk (after taking a cruise from Dún Laoghaire)

IMG_7642

My favourite view in the world – the Poolbeg Chimneys

IMG_7614

Great South Wall walk – Poolbeg Lighthouse

IMG_7648

Sandymount / the beginning of the Great South Wall walk

IMG_7866

Howth

IMG_6977

Sandymount beach sunset walk

IMG_6989

Sandymount Beach

8d913531-d7bb-4849-9cfc-65d7f95335b5

Kite Fest at North Bull Island

IMG_7064

IMG_5454

Grand Canal Dock

IMG_5201

Bray to Greystones cliff walk

IMG_8883

Epic sunsets on the piers of Dún Laoghaire

IMG_8923

Brown grass in St. Stephen’s Green – something I have NEVER seen before! The downside to the heatwave – severe drought and water restrictions

Summer 2015 Goals

As of Friday, I will officially be half-way finished with my Master’s degree. I cannot believe how time has flown by. Since my summer is about to begin, I need to hold myself accountable for my upcoming goals. In order to attempt that, I need to write them down.

My goals for summer 2015:

– Improve my Spanish. Whenever someone asks me if I speak a second language, I am highly embarrassed to have to say no. I am sick and tired of it. There is absolutely no reason why there are so many bi/multi-lingual people in the world and I can’t be one of them. I took 4 years of Spanish (2 in high school and 2 in college) and at the time didn’t actually want to learn, I only enrolled because it was a requirement. When I went to Peru last June, everything changed. I really want to speak Spanish fluently so am going to enroll in lessons this summer. After I master Spanish, I want to learn Italian.

– Volunteer and gain work experience. I need to make myself more marketable so I’ve reached out to a few organizations to gain some work experience this summer. I want to help the long-term unemployed (including the homeless, early school leavers, etc.) find work.

– Work more hours. I need to start earning some money!

– Figure out what topic I want to do my dissertation on. This is overwhelming but is a must! My dissertation proposal is due in September, at the start of the term.

– Travel. I’m looking to book my trip to Iceland this week. I’ve already booked a trip to Amsterdam with my sister. I’d also like to return to Italy this summer or early fall. I’m hoping to return to Paris with K at the end of summer where we will simply eat ourselves to happiness. I would also like to finally visit Kilkenny.

– Eat healthier and start an exercise routine. I said this in my New Year’s post and have not started yet. I had some health issues that prevented me from starting an exercise routine before now, but there is no excuse for the unhealthy eating. I am tired of feeling like crap on the inside and want to lead a healthier lifestyle. If anyone has any nutrition tips that helped you get started, as obvious as they may seem, please do share. I’ve done this before but feel like I am starting over.

– Be outside as much as possible and enjoy the gorgeous summer weather that Ireland has to offer. Growing up in Florida, summer was always a dreadful thing and never anything to look forward to. It’s the complete opposite here in Ireland.

What goals do you have for the summer?