Post-Netherlands Backpacking Trip

Disoriented in Dublin

So… you should completely disregard my last post.

According to what I wrote previously, I should still be in the Netherlands, saying goodbye to the friends I made there.

Instead, I’m in Ireland. Kilkenny, more specifically, but my first stop in this lovely country was Dublin.

During my six days in the country’s capital, I was perhaps understandably confused by my surroundings. From September to June, I lived in a country where English is not the first language. And the same applies for each nation I visited (Germany, Spain, Belgium, France).

So when I arrived in Dublin, I don’t think I was quite mentally prepared for the experience. I had forgotten that I would once again be in an English-speaking country, though thick Irish accents and local dialects still provide more than enough ‘lost in translation’ moments.

I keep seeing other countries in my surroundings.

Here at River Liffey, I see the Seine River of Paris.

Here's the Liffey

Behold, the Liffey.

And the Seine — it’s uncanny, right??

There are too many American establishments to count.

America in Dublin

America in Dublin

America in Dublin

And did you know that Vikings didn’t actually wear those cool helmets? Since they were viewed as barbaric, they became closely associated with the devil, hence the two horns. I know, I was pretty devastated too.

The result? I constantly have to remind myself of where I am. I’ll be walking down the street, and a shopping center will look nearly identical to one I saw in Brussels. I think to myself “where am I again?” Oh right, Dublin.

Dublin, Dublin, Dublin. Maybe if I repeat it to myself enough times, it will finally register.

Except I’m in Kilkenny now. And set to leave for Cork tomorrow. Crap.

Well, regardless of whether I’m aware of which city I’m in at any given moment, I’m enjoying myself thoroughly. I’ve met some incredible people along the way, and I expect to find many more. I completed my first hitchhiking experience, which was wonderful, and I intend to blog about it sometime in the next few days.

For all those that are interested, here’s my revised schedule, to replace the previous (and now outdated) one:

  • now-July 23: traveling around Ireland (and hopefully meeting up with a few friends in Dublin!)
  • July 23-September 22: time to explore the UK. This includes going to London with my friend Jackie, doing a 10-day meditation retreat in Lancashire, and meeting my mom for one week in London.
  • September 22-September 28: one week in Austria with my mom.
  • September 28-October 28: I have exactly one month to get from Salzburg to Budapest, where my flight leaves for Vietnam!
  • October 30: arrive in Vietnam. From here, anything’s possible.
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