My body is rebelling against me.
At least that’s how it felt Tuesday night when we arrived in Waterford. The 48 hours of travel and the 8 hour time difference wreaks havoc on you.
But then you get 12 hours of sleep in a freezing cold apartment and the world looks slightly better.
Our journey began pretty easily. I was excited and the apprehension hadn’t set in yet as to what I was actually doing. With a simple flight to Seattle on Monday, Brittany and I were on our way.
A two hour layover in Seattle doesn’t leave much to do after going through US Customs. And that’s when my problems began…
The airline wanted us to check in for our flight. When I went to check in, I was told I would have to check my one backpack because it was too large. It was going to be $95. I was angry and upset. But then the machine didn’t work so the lady waived the fee. Good thing she did…
Our flight to London was 9 hours and 30 minutes, not including the time change. It was red eye, but flying out at 6 didn’t leave much time for sleep when you normally fall asleep at about 10 or 11pm. So, I watched a movie (The Book of Life), ate some half decent airplane food, watched some episodes of Friends, and tried to fall asleep.
Travelling is already hard when you can’t fall asleep on moving objects, but when you’re sick, I would argue it’s even harder. So I was on quite a bit of medicine to get me through these various flights. And something to help me sleep was one of them. But it didn’t work. So I actually got no sleep… just rest.
Well, then we had one more flight to catch to Ireland…if we could get to it on time. We were supposed to have a 2 hour layover, but with the UK customs and security, we made it to our gate with only 10 minutes to spare! It was a really stressful venture. We vowed that we are going to go back to London so we can see more than the miniscule sections of the airport that we saw.
Fast forward through a boring 1 hour flight to us FINALLY arriving in Dublin. Exhausted and lost, we found our way through the airport. Only to find out that the bag I had checked in Seattle had gotten left behind. The last place it had been was London. I was so tired and stressed that I almost broke down in tears. But the two guys at the airport were really nice, assuring me I would get my bag as soon as possible. [It came 2 days later…]
We found a bus to take us to Waterford. It was a 3 hour bus ride. It probably would have been amazing had we not been so tired and had it not been dark. I couldn’t see very much out the windows in between my further attempts to catch some sleep. But I did see some of the things I had been hoping for: rolling green hills, quaint little towns, Guinness signs on every pub, and so much more.
Making it to Waterford, we hopped in a cab and got to Riverwalk. By now, it was about 8 o’clock Ireland time, and about noon back at home.
Our night then consisted of many layers, as we couldn’t figure out the “foreign” heating system. The room was so cold. I wore 4 sweaters and wool socks to bed with my airplane blanket on top. But I finally got the hours of sleep that I had so needed. 12 hours of sleep was the bliss I needed after so many things happening and going on: 3 flights, time change, my lost backpack, and the apartment room being slightly disappointing.
But the morning made it all look better. On Wednesday, Brittany and I went grocery shopping for the food we needed to stock up on. We learned where things are in Waterford, too. That night our roommate arrived. His name is Vivien, and he is from Paris. He is very nice!
Thursday we went for orientation at the school. It is a pretty large school. My building on campus sticks out against the green lawns and white buildings with it’s bright red face. I also have another building across the road with the sketchy crossing.
Thursday night we had a group of our new friends over. It was so cool to get to know everyone! I have met people from Hungary, Spain, Poland, USA, Brazil, Netherlands, Germany, France, Mexico, CANADA (Newfoundland), and possibly more… it’s hard to remember when there are so many people. Friday morning we went on a bike ride with the international students. It was a tour, and the guy leading really knew his history. He took us to a lot of interesting places that I want to go back to.
We went out again last night (Saturday), to a local Irish pub with this group, after spending the day wandering two museums. We went through Bishop’s Palace, and the Medieval Museum. And I realized after that I had taken no pictures… Thankfully I have 5 more months to be able to.
I think I am going to miss this place very much when it comes time to leave. And all the people that I am getting to meet.
Tomorrow – first day of school! It feels like the first day of university all over again. A new place with new people, having no idea what is going on nor where to go. It’s overwhelming. But for some reason, the Irish mentality has taken over me and I feel no stress. Things are looking good.
May the road rise up to meet ya.
P.S. – I have finally sorted out my internet problems, so I will now be able to upload posts on approximately a weekly basis. With my technology all fixed, I will be able to update all internet mediums!
Clothes are thrown over the bed in a mess. Shoes, bags, and jackets scatter the floor. Electronics, make-up, scarves, and more.
The guest room of our house looks like the remnants of a battle…between everything I own.
For someone with slight OCD, packing is always stressful. But packing for 6 months of living and travelling, during three different seasons, well that turns into something entirely different.
I procrastinated packing for so long. Like a teenager puts off a project until the night before. But I knew that I couldn’t do all of this last minute.
With little room, I have to think so carefully about what I’m taking, what I’ll wear, what I’ll use. But the process of packing just makes me that much more excited about the adventure itself.
In a few days, I’ll be in Ireland.
Of course I’m nervous. But I’m super excited. This is the chance of a lifetime. I’m looking forward to living in Waterford and studying at their amazing university. Study abroad is a great opportunity.
First, I’ll have to get through the flights, something I am definitely not looking forward to. Especially being sick.
I’m going to miss my family, my friends, and the climbing gym I work and climb at. They have all made and changed my life in so many ways. This trip will allow me to grow as a person for the better, to learn exactly who I am and who I want to be. And I can’t wait to see what is ahead of me.
Thanks to technology, I’ll be in touch through every way possible.
May the road rise up to meet ya.
My name is Julie Huff, and welcome to my blog.
I am a student, rock climber, avid reader, movie fanatic, and hopeful world traveler.
At least, that’s my usual tagline for social media and things. But can any one person be simplified by a few select phrases?
I love learning, about many different things. I enjoy the classics, whether it’s Shakespeare and Jane Austen, or more modern through the infamous Breakfast Club. I am a rock climber and hiker, often seeking adventure somewhere in the outdoors. And this next big change in my life is my attempt to become a worldlier person. I have always wanted to travel the world. And my opportunity came.
For my next semester of university, I will be living and studying in Waterford, Ireland. This is a once in a lifetime experience to immerse myself in another culture, learn and travel all at once.
And I couldn’t be more terrified or excited.
But that’s the best part of my adventure. Change isn’t something that comes easily to our human nature. We all seem to want to resist it. But fear is what makes something exciting, conquerable. That’s what climbing has taught me.
As Vanessa Redgrave quotes in a movie I love: “’What’ and ‘If’ are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: What if? What if?” (Letters to Juliet, 2010).
Well, I didn’t want to be haunted by those words. And this was my chance to overcome my fears, and make a big change. Hopefully you are here because you are interested in my journey, or you just enjoy travel and the wonders of the world. I hope to provide all of that. It’ll be an intriguing ride for all of us as I find my way in a new place, both online and in the world.