Dear fellow Babblers,
Welcome back to Wanderings, a project that I’ve embarked on beginning September 2017, upon my big move and lifestyle change from the United States (Los Angeles) to France (Burgundy region). My wanderlust and curiosity has been taking me between cities, cultures, countries and across boundaries. I’ve been challenged and inspired to take risks and never say “no”. And then there’s Dublin. I mean, come on, we all think the same thing at the the mention of this leprechaun, Lucky Charms city. No, not beer you sicko alcoholics. I’m thinking smiles! And with some chucky cheese smiles comes the epiphany “My dreams are coming true!”
I really have no more to say than that, okay, well maybe I do. It’s here in Dublin, with some of the emails and comments that I have been receiving lately due to the tone change in my blog that I realized that I am willing to risk and write as I feel and feel as I writ.e I feel when I travel and that is exactly what I am going to write. So, before we get into all that let me just say that the people in Dublin just “get it…” You get me ? I stayed in Dublin only for three days during my end of the year adventures back in December and if there was something that struck me more than the enchanting castles and sun-up sun-down weather pattern was the kindness and smiles drawn across people’s faces. And that’s why I here to tell y’all grouchy scrooges out there (*ahem* *ahem* EVIN) that if you’re planning a trip to this green and perky city there’s only one thing that you CANNOT even go past security without. And that is a smile.
I don’t really know what to say. I mean, it could just be that the January Blues have hit me hard this year and I’m dreaming of falling asleep and waking up in another place. That wanderlust hope of mine never goes away. I’ve been back for a month now and it still strikes me how from one country, culture, people to another can so drastically change. The ambiance of this city, from the moment I passed through customs rushed right through me and left me breathless. Sure, the people here have a lot to be happy about. It’s a cute little country tucked away from the rest of Europe, it’s brimming with the wallets of tourists all year round and James Joyce’s literary spirit is still felt everywhere. But, doesn’t most countries have this ? Those avenues. Those twisted streets. Those rowdy restaurants that are an instant attraction. You know. Those places that we list in our pocket books because Trip Advisor tells us to. We are told to go to the museums, the “cute little neighborhoods perfect for taking pictures”, bars occasioned by famous whatevers, and visit “old and preserved” landmarks. And guess what ? We ALL do it, even the pro and pro wannabe travelers like myself. We search for the perfect places to take pictures. The streets where the lighting is the best. The attractions that would make the greatest blog post. All the best known boulevards just so that we can come home and write to everyone who has yet to even ride a plane that we saw such and such castle, pub, sign, shop, grave (just cause we love spending 400 euros just to visit a dead person’s corpse). Aren’t we all so thoughtful? I’m being sarcastic. Come on guys, it’s selfish, pure selfish. We are living on a rainbow and blinding others with our short-lasting glow.
But this is not Dublin. Of course I took cute pictures in front of the endless castles and pubs, I’m not saying I’m here to condemn the wanderers, as I would be its first victim. I don’t know. Dublin for me was just different. I was definitely enchanted by the historical monuments and cultural vistas. But what took me away more than anything was the aura.
Dublin was the third stop during my 18-day-long wandering, first visiting Brussels and the Amsterdam. I spent only two full days in Dublin so its not like I can really give y’all a master list of what to do, see and in what order. But I do know with absolute certainty that with Dublin comes smiles and with smiles come joy. My memory of Dublin after the airport comes with the banal event of being squashed between my mountain of luggage (idk how you backpackers out there do it – like for real) and the jet lagged fatso cookie monster next to me in the bus to the town center. The problem with buses in Dublin is that there is no grand announcement for stops. You somehow just have to kow which stop is yours and if you don’t get off, well, I guess you’ll find out eventually, not very convenient though. I’m usually not one to ask for help as I like to make my way on my own but I really just did not want to miss town because the bus was going long ways between each stop so who would have known where I would have ended up. So I mustered up the courage to tip my red hat and asked the cookie monster what the deal was with the buses. This adorable eat-a-thon individual did more than give me the lowdown on the buses. He gave me an entire freaking historical history of the city, making my ride a whole lot less irritating as my mind was being taken off that fact that I could literally smell butter on the guy. After about twenty minutes of jibber jabber within which I don’t think I got any more than a sentence in He took my bag from me, which takes serious skill as that thing was like twenty kilos heavier than myself and walked me off the bus pointing in the direction to go to see all the “good stuff.” Off to a good start, huh ?
My ultimate location was really a bit out of the center to stay at a friend’s home. However I thought it would be fun to take a look around first instead of continuing forward, even if I did have to drag a suitcase around (so much for blending, huh ?). I spent the next three hours wandering through the streets watching the sun rise for a few minutes only to fall and then rise again a few minutes later. I never had to untie my tongue and ask someone to take a picture of me. It was the Dubliners that came to me and asked if I wanted a picture. This is surprising for anyone as most people get annoyed when you stop them in the street for a picture. I really managed to get some stunning shots on this first day in the city. Below is a quick gallery and short description of the places I visited:
My second and last day in Dublin is a mirage of long walks, picture snapping, and people meeting. If any of you have been reading other posts from Wanderings you’ll have caught on by now that I really just don’t do itineraries. Some might think it’s being unprepared, unorganized and lazy but I really don’t like the feeling of doing that hefty Google and Trip Advisor nonsense. If I did, would I even be a wanderer? Pretty sure I’d be more of a doll playing on the cue of everyone else. Setting off without a plan in the beginning of the day gives me the opportunity to do, see and explore so much more and possibly lesser known places than others who stick to what the internet tells them to. Like I said in the beginning, Dublin for me, as I came to find out, was so much more than just sightseeing. I walked and I walked and I walked, sometimes following the crowds, sometimes taking a turn into a curved uphill for a selfie in front of a house with a red door. I heard laughs, Happy New Year wishes and even cute men with top hats singing on their way home (no joke, people actually sing in the street to themselves and no one minds!!!!). Below, I include for all of my babblers, yet again, a gallery and brief description of the spotlighted locations that I visited:
Like I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I came to Dublin with a lot on my mind, none of it good. However, with the aura of this city came a temporary repression of all the negativity that has been following me for some months now. Kindness is a chain reaction. It begins from a source and people feed off of it to survive and I really think this chemistry kept me going and kept me from breaking down in tears. There were strangers I spoke to about a home that I’m nor sure is really my home and talking to them did more for me than any doctor out there could have. I traded playlists with stoners in the street on my way for a coffee break on O’Connell Street. I sang along with strangers at Temple Bar. I walked around being greeted for no other reason than the fact that life is good and that is all that matters. From the peaking sun, to the memorable cookie monster on the bus, to everything I saw with my own eyes, and bak again to the smiles, Dublin a city unlike any other for its very aura. It’s not something I can add to all those travel sites that add you to post the new “must see.” Dublin is not a must see. It’s a must BE. There are no feelings of nostalgia for home, loneliness for a lover, temptation for impulsive shopping. There is only a high. A high off smiles that leaves you with aching face muscles and a hope that your next lieu will be just the same. And even if there is, there is no comparing to this Must Be. This is the excitement, as I’m beginning to discover with Wanderlust – I walk into a dream and my dream is my own to go in and out of, and write down to share. Everything is a dream, yet everything is still happening, so it must be real. Similar to reading, I go in and out of the fictional world and build up everything in my imagination. This is where Wanderlust, writing and reading are beginning to crisscross for me. Was it really this easy, to all along be somehow a gypsy, a dreamer, and an introverted reader all along ? To only figure out who you are by dreaming ? By stepping out of one dream into another ? It must be because I’m here writing about my dream, planning for my next, and thinking about what to reader this evening. Funny how dreams really do come true. Ironic how becoming disillusioned just may be the only way to find oneself amongst the mess of our minds.My apologies to to all those teachers who used to tell me to get out of La La Land and pay attention ( *not sorry*). My apologies to certain members of my family who told and still tell me to stop living in a fantasy land and grow up (*not sorry*). My apologies to him and him and him for arriving but never staying (*not sorry*). And apologies to by readers for being a born babbler (genuinely sorry!!!). La La Land is me. I live and will always live in a fantasy land. I am forever young. I love the feeling of arriving but I was born to leave. From the changes I feel in myself, that anticipation for the next place, that tingling feeling for what I will risk next, that very yearning for leaving is what keeps me from sharing with my readers just some ordinary travel post about what to see and do. Traveling for me has become so much more and I want everyone to experience it, if only once, at some point in their lives. So let me continue to remain obscure and elusive in the nitty gritty of Dublin. It’s a Must Be, only pack a smile and your set to go…Just go.
(I own all photography in this post)