That’s when you gain everything….
I decided to go on a mini vacation by myself to a few of my favorite places before Christmas. The itinerary was Copenhagen, Dublin, and London. I planned it for months, I knew what I was going to wear, where I was going to eat, and where I would shop. I even planned every tea room I would go to for afternoon tea. With all this planning, it was more than ironic that everything went bonkers, but I learned some important lessons. Here’s my story.
I had a great time in Copenhagen, got confused as a local enough times to make me smile, and visited some of my favorite places. I then moved on to Dublin. I was feeling fun and frisky when I went to Dublin, I was ready for some Guinness and Irish step dancing. I met my hostel roommate, from England, and we agreed to go to the backpackers pub crawl that night, it being the weekend. At first we were so confused, we went to the designated spot at the specific time and there was no pub crawl in that bar. Eventually we found everybody and befriended two girls, one Aussie and one American. I was drawn to these beautiful girls and automatically knew we were going to have a good night.
Every bar we went to we would get a free shot when we walked in, and some group of boys would buy us a round of Guinness. It was all fun and games until we reached the last bar, Whelan’s, made famous by the movie P.S. I Love You. One thing led to another and next thing I know I am out in the December cold on the streets of Dublin, having lost my coat. That wouldn’t have been so bad, but my wallet and my phone were in the pockets of my coat. Somehow I sweet talked this rickshaw driver named Bruno to take me back to my hostel for free. “I have no money, I have no coat, and I have no idea where I am,” I think that was the quote that convinced him to take pity on me.
The next morning I woke up with a splitting headache and a split lip (don’t ask me). I went down to the reception of my hostel where I met Darren, my night in shining armor, my guardian angel. I told him my sob story. Darren decided, and I have no idea why, to loan me 50 euros to by a burner phone. He even came with me to the store and set it up for me that night after he got off work. Once I had the burner phone, I called my dad. Cue the tears, well… tear. With a tone of disappointment he troubleshooted and decided he would wire me money. The only thing was, it was Sunday night in Dublin, there were no Western Unions open. So I had to wait until the next day to get my money. Yes, if you’re following along, that is more than 24 hours without money, which means without food. Darren to the rescue. He got me some coffee to cure the hunger and the hangover.
The next day I did the most archaic thing I’ve ever done, I went to the post office and accepted a wire money transfer. The funny thing is that before the trip I knew it was going to be my last backpacking trip for a while, so I wanted to do it right, and now it was like I was backpacking in the 80s, burner phone and cash in hand.
With the bit of cash I received I decided I hadn’t learned my lesson and went straight to the Guinness brewery. It was actually a dream come true to drink a Guinness at the St. James’s Gate Storehouse roof overseeing all of Dublin, even if the thought of another beer made me want to vomit.
Luckily, through all of this, I left my passport at my hostel, and was able to move on to London the next day. And if I hadn’t gone through enough, my very old, discontinued, camera decided to stop working. Therefore I have absolutely no proof that I was in London, because my little Samsung burner phone didn’t have a camera, and there are no credit card charges. Quite literally I was off the grid….. and it was freeing. I somehow managed to visit everything I wanted with a physical map in hand and a humbleness to ask for directions. I got lost in London, and it was a Christmastime miracle. I stumbled upon alleys, Christmas markets, food markets, and more.
On this trip I had lost everything that officially made me a “travel blogger.” I had to travel just to travel, not for the Instagram picture, not for the geotag. I interacted with more local people on this trip than I ever had before, and I saw firsthand how nice some people can be. My faith in humanity has been restored, but my faith in Guinness however, has been demolished.