Monday, November 3, 2008

Six Modes of Transportation Later and I'm Back In Ireland

I’m sitting on the train from Dublin to Galway freezing my ass off and am really tired. It’s been a day! I’ve been in a car, on a plane and on a train. And I still have a car ride ahead of me in the dark to a new place I’ve never been. It should be a relatively easy drive, but I’m a little hungry and maybe even a little cranky.

Despite using so many different modes of transportation today, I’ve been super productive. I’ve caught up on the blog, finished 15 more postcards while waiting at the train station (I missed the earlier train to Galway by literally three minutes) and have made some headway with writing about the first leg of my Ireland trip in my journal.

I’m starting the first of five days of traveling by myself. Two of them will literally be spent traveling and three of them exploring. So I spent some time looking at what I want to do and where I want to go over the next three days so that I can maximize my time. But I’m recognizing it’s also my way of keeping busy- which I’m really good at. I’ve already felt moments of discomfort of being alone with my thoughts- it’s something I’m not used to doing. And I find that I need to remind myself that being mindful about inactivity and relaxation is a really important part of this restorative leg of the trip.

My goal in traveling by myself was an important one to fulfill. As I mentioned earlier, I’m not entirely comfortable spending time alone. At home it’s insane how I can barely resist the urge to call someone over if I’m sitting on the couch watching TV by myself (or doing anything alone for that matter). Or if I find myself without plans, I go through a mental list in my head of who I could call and what we could do. And to the point of the hermaphrodite medium palm reader, I’m giving away too much of my bread. So this solo trip over the course of the next few days is trying to regain some sort of comfort with myself. To be okay with doing nothing. To start to be okay with hanging out with just me.

Okay the day turned out to be even longer than I thought. Once I arrived in Galway I was so excited that no sooner did I step away from the train station I stumbled right upon Budget where I happened to rent my car. Only…it was closed. For the night. I was all ready to call up and complain about them accepting a reservcation for a car pick-up well after their hours of operation when I realized it was just me…not being able to read military time.

So after the personal car ride to the airport from Amy’s apartment to the airport, a plane ride to Dublin airport, a bus ride from the airport to the train station, a two plus hour layover in said cold train station, a 2 ½ hour train ride from Dublin to Galway, I needed to get my ass in a taxi and take it to the Galway airport where I was assured by Budget toll-free helpers that there would be someone to get me a rental car there until 11pm. Excpet that wasn’t true. Thank the lord above for Hertz. They were the only car rental place still open when I showed up around 8pm or so and has a nice little car for me to take.

It was a little more than I bargained for and as I was driving totally alone on the road of Ireland I was questioning whether it was a smart idea to leave Galway in the first place. Maybe I should have just stayed there for the night, gotten a bite to eat, walked around, gotten a good night sleep and then started the day fresh again with Budget. But that wasn’t an option and I had to keep going.

I finally made it to Westport, which looks super cute, but ended up driving around for about 30 minutes before finding the place I’ll be staying at for the next three nights. From Westport I plan on checking out:

Kylemore Abbey
Connemara National Park
Croagh Patrick
Achill Island

But first, I need to get some serious sleep!


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