Category Archives: International Travel

My Irish Spring – The flights back (Monday)

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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.)


Monday, 13-Mar-2023



My last day in Dublin lasted a bit longer than I’d expected, thanks to an early morning text I got from the airline, informing me that my flight would be delayed leaving Ireland by two hours or so.

Not a bad thing, in my mind – I’d expected this, so had quite a bit of time set aside as a layover in Atlanta, and wasn’t in any danger of missing any connecting flights. Instead, it meant that I could make myself a quick breakfast of my remaining leftovers, instead of tossing them out, and have a lovely relaxed morning just… kind of laying about.

As always, I loved laying about later into the morning.



Soon enough, of course, I did have to leave for real. I gave myself some extra time, and was able to hail a cab basically right outside my apartment. We chatted as he drove, and I learned a few more bits about Dublin, the housing market in the area, and his (very strong) opinions about US politics. I’m never sure if it’s nice that we’re so “well observed” outside the States, or if it’s frustrating that everyone seems to only get the extreme parody version of reality…

Either way, I was through security before I could blink, and onward and upward back to the states before I could grab one last Guinness. I had a layover in Atlanta, which was somehow still surprisingly long even after the previously delayed flight… but soon enough my boots were walking the now-familiar carpet of PDX.

I found my car, I drove home, and I plopped into bed.


It had been a good trip.

My Irish Spring – Final wandering, the Guinness Brewery, and final goodbyes (Sunday)

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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.)


Sunday, 12-Mar-2023



My shin hurts, and my calf hurts, and I’m tired. It feels like all of me is sore, and I’m not convinced that I can spend another entire day wandering around Dublin.

These are all good things, mind you.

They mean I’ve been adventurous, active, and that I’m able to walk and run and lift and do push-ups, and that I’ve been exploring the city like an absolutely madman.

I can still remember my first big trip after breaking my leg, when even being able to walk a few miles on cobblestones was a huge accomplishment… It’s interesting, but all the injuries I’ve been through have just whetted my appetite for movement, and helped me appreciate just how incredible it is to be able to move and walk and even hop across an intersection before a light turns color.

I took a pair of ibuprofin, woke up slowly, and made my way outside to find some breakfast. I hit a new cafĂ© that I haven’t been to before, got another full Irish breakfast, and then did a bit of wandering after the painkillers fully kicked in. I didn’t go far, and I didn’t go fast, but I did go happily and I did enjoy every minute.



I found a coffee shop, did some writing while sipping a latte, and appreciated my last full day in town.

I kept the day quiet – I definitely wandered a bit, since I was feeling quite a bit better than the previous statement would lead one to believe, but I didn’t push too hard. I’d finished all my main goals, with the exception of the Guinness brewery that I’d see that afternoon, so I relaxed and walked slowly.

I enjoyed the quiet, I relaxed and watched the traffic, and I was thankful for my movement. I stopped back at the apartment for a brief rest, and I walked onward to Guinness.

The Guinness brewery wasn’t super high up on my list, to be frank, since I don’t really drink beer very often. But it is Ireland, and Guinness is one of the biggest international symbols of Dublin, so… how could I fully skip it? I couldn’t, obviously, and so I found myself walking past a huge cathedral to St. James Gate, to the tour of the Brewery.


The neat thing that I learned, as the self-guided tour went on, is that Guinness isn’t just about the beer. It’s equally (or more, in my mind) about their advertising and distribution. Great and cheeky ads were plastered around the building, commemorating Guinness’ willingness to break the mold. Details on their distribution network were constant as well – notes about the ships that they had built to carry the beer across the oceans, and the special rail lines that were built to haul raw ingredients.

It’s neat, and seemed beautifully applicable to my imminent return to the states – You need a good product to be good, to be sure, but you need the background details and surrounding supports to be great. Worth considering.



I enjoyed the tour, then enjoyed one final rainy walk around Dublin as I made my way back to the Temple Bar neighborhood. I found myself a nice pub with music and burgers, and had a taste of home as my final dinner in town, before heading back to pack and take one last look out across the river…

It was excellent.

My Irish Spring – A long walk to the Harbor and the Jameson Distillery (Saturday)

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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.)


Saturday, 11-Mar-2023

A day of hiking! But… in the city, so… does it count as hiking? I vote yes, since it was like… so long. Literally, checking the map, I did about 10miles (16km) of city walking.

I’ll be candid here – my legs did not feel great afterward. Definitely feeling the sore shins up in this biz, and definitely looking forward to a few days of downtime this coming week. That’s next week though; for this week, I had city walking to go on!

I started with pancakes and crispy bacon, because that’s a good way to start a big hiking day. Then picked up a suitcase from a nearby department store to schlep all my loot back to the States in, and then had a bite of lunch at the apartment. Like… a banana, I think, before heading to a coffee shop for a rest before the main leg of the hike – heading to the Irishtown Nature Park by the coast!

The hike was beautiful – I worked my way through old city architecture into modern apartment buildings, then back into small Irish cottages by the water. I didn’t go quite as far out as Katherine and I had the previous day… which makes sense, since I was walking.


It was long, it was beautiful, and it was a great chance for me to enjoy the movement and spend a bit of time alone with my thoughts. I put on a bit of music every once in a while, but wasn’t really consistent with music vs. quiet… I let myself slip between the two as I felt fit, enjoying both the freedom of the quiet and the comforting blanket of familiar songs.

It spattered rain intermittently, and soon enough I was walking along the damp trail along the harbor and into the greenery. The rain was actually appreciated, as interesting as that sounds, since it really tied the whole adventure together – It kept me cool, and fleshed out the feel of Ireland… While helping give some interesting lighting to the various scenes that I found myself gazing on.




It wasn’t a short walk, by any stretch of the imagination, and by the time I was back in Dublin center I was absolutely ready to put my feet up and nap for the rest of the day… even after a coffee and croissant on the walk back. I’m an adventurer though, and I still had a bit more excitement planned – so instead of a nap, I had a slice of pizza, a good glass of water, and made my way toward the final distillery of the trip – The fourth largest distributor in the world, the legendary Jameson Distillery.

I’ll be honest – Teeling was better. Maybe that’s because the Teeling tour was just three of us, vs. 15 at Jameson… but the fact that the Teeling Distillery is a working distillery and not a museum made a pretty big impact… at least, in my mind. Either way, it was still lovely and gave me ample opportunity for some excellent pictures (and a chance to buy yet more whiskey to carry home), so I’m not complaining in any sense!



After finishing up the tour, I made my way home for some well-earned rest and relaxation… followed by a quick adventure out to the nearby restaurant for some live music, Irish stew, and the chance to just kick back with a Guinness and read a bit of my book.

Not a bad day.