Wow… How long has it been since I’ve done an international trip? How much longer since I’ve gone international solo?
Let’s see. The last international trip was to Scotland, right before the Pandemic hit. When I had that really bad flu… right before the Pandemic. With COVID. That presents sort of like a flu. That I’ve somehow avoided getting, as if I’d already gotten it and gained an immunity… Okay we’re not going down that road the last time I went abroad was January 2020. Three years and change.
The last time I went on a solo international trip? Well, that’d be New Zealand, back in 2012. 11 years.
It’s high time I explored.
I got accepted to Trinity College’s MBA program back in November, and accepted the offer that same month… though I delayed admission until 2024, to give me some time to finish up in Oregon and save up a bit more money. While talking to the admissions officer though, I learned about a Business forum put on by Trinity in March – a perfect opportunity for me to stretch my international adventure legs and see if Dublin would make a good home for a year or three!
I planned, I packed, and I set off on my first solo international trip in over 10 years…
(Please note that these are my raw notes from the trip. I’m proofreading them for obvious mistakes… but they’re still short-hand. Because life is busy, and blogs don’t need to be perfectly edited.)
A good day of adventuring, with a rather huge amount of walking!
Started the day slowly – with a nice breakfast of bacon, eggs, toasted baguette, and spinach! From there, I felt good – I quickly started out into a bit of wandering, heading toward the Museum of Natural History via a quite circuitous route. The museum was quite a bit smaller than I expected… it’s not as much a “museum of natural history” as it is a “dead zoo”, with a huge number of stuffed animals on display. They were all beautifully labeled, but… there wasn’t really any explanation or story surrounding most of them. From what I could tell, this is more of a research museum instead of a learning museum – where experts could come in to consult reference specimens, or something of the like.
From the Natural History Museum, I moved on through another circuitous route to another branch of the National Museum of Ireland – the Decorative Arts and History portion. I went via the flat, and had a bit of a nap before heading onward… an advantage of taking life slow, you know? Walk, have a snack, have a drink of water, nap, and then move onward. Just… absolutely lovely.
This museum followed the same script as before – lots of beautiful exhibits and pieces, but… not so much of a clear story. The rooms had a perfect sequence (they’re numbered 1 through 28, and progress in a spiral through the square building)… but they didn’t really explain what was happening. Still – beautiful… and haunting, in one instance – An artist names Alison Lowry created a gorgeous installation, dimly lit and filled with haunting music, describing select abuses perpetrated thoughout Irish history; specifically against women and children by unethical institutious. The glasswork, lighting, and sound combined into an exhibit that literally left me in tears.
I re-centered myself as I walked out, and I walked onward through the museum.
From there, I headed to the Teeling Distillery for the last tour of the day – It started out as a 1on1 tour, since no one else had signed up, but we were later joined by a mother and daughter who were visiting from German for the same reason I was; to look at grad schools in Dublin! We enjoyed the tour together, chatted, and learned quite a bit about each others cultures and histories… such as the simple differences between “high” German, Bavarian-German, and Austrian-German… turns out, technically the same languages… but more different than just varying dialects.
I picked up (possibly too many) interesting whiskeys from the distillery store, and headed home for a lovely and relaxed evening of a nice cooked dinner and an early bedtime.