Ireland: Work + play during a long weekend visit

Two weeks ago, I had the pure joy of visiting Ireland for the 4th or 5th time. Obviously, I’ve lost count. Hehe. But, this time I traveled with colleagues, not with my wife to visit friends (family). I have to say it felt a little weird, but nevertheless, I could feel their spirits with me. And I knew that this would be an amazing little weekend of both old + new experiences.

I love Ireland. For me, it feels like an amazing blend of American + European cultures and vibes. I always wonder if I just make that up. But, every time I return, I leave feeling the exact same thing. What a beautiful country, with deep + magical ancient history, steeped with inspiration + spirituality, and full of fun-loving, friendly folk. I really do (and have always) feel a connection with the green isle.

So, when I had this opportunity arise at work, I jumped on it , of course. Plus, any possibility to travel anywhere receives a solid “YES!” from me at any time.

The trip came just in time too. I had just gotten to that point of needing a little change of pace, a little action + adventure, a chance to explore + change my environment. Here’s a little thing about me: I get restless after a few weeks. Technically, I need a little something out of my ordinary to inspire me every few weeks. In the best case, once a month. It doesn’t have to be big + it doesn’t have to involve much travel. But, if it does… wheeeeeee!

In any case, this trip to Ireland was a welcome chance to fill up my soul. Plus, it was an opportunity to expand my skills at work, meet new people, and push my boundaries.

You see, my kids get an opportunity to do a three week internship in Ireland (and South Africa – but that’s another story + trip I hope to make one day!) and this November is the first time that we are sending students to the Emerald Isle. So, in preparation, about 40 people from the 15 vocational high schools (one of which is mine) in our company traveled to Ireland to meet with the company that we are working with there. That company is placing our students with their host families + their work places. So we would have as an opportunity to visit some of the internships, meet company people, and get tons of information that we can use to help prepare our students for their trips.

Basically, it was an amazingly enriching experience.

We traveled on a Wednesday + got right to work in the afternoon at the hotel. After meetings + dinner, we were treated to a little local celtic music. Gaaaah. Be still my heart + soul. It’s those little, non-touristy moments that really touch me when I travel. I am always seeking to find a way to experience something real. To find myself in the midst of everyday life stuff.

On Thursday, we woke early + headed on a bus after breakfast for a 12 hour long day of touring some internship site throughout Ireland’s. It was a gooooorgeous day. So informative. And super duper intense.

Friday, we started the day early again with more meetings + workshops. Then, we were off at noon. Most everyone headed back to the airport to fly home to Sweden. But, not me! Would you expect anything different?!

I got dropped off outside of Dublin with 2 of my colleagues + friends, and we headed into the city on the tram. It was now time for a weekend in Dublin! I mean, for real. If we’re done on Friday at noon, why would we not stay until Sunday?!

We checked into our hotel, ate lunch, and then headed out.

I can sum up our weekend like this: pubs + shopping + pubs + exploring + coffee + pubs + fish + chips + pubs + music + shopping + pubs. It was fantastic! Weird to not be sharing it with Lina. And I missed her terribly. But, an unexpectedly good challenge for me to enjoy the moment on my own + to reward myself with some shopping (something I have a really hard time doing).

The streets of Dublin

Guiness Storehouse

Tips! Cocobrew Coffee: A new fave of mine

Cozy Dublin pubs + more Guiness

Sunday night, we headed to the airport + were home by about 10:30 p.m. Luckily, we had the day off on Monday. For me, that meant a chance to recover + rest + spend some time alone. My social self was totally exhausted + needed some silent solitude.

I cannot express how grateful I am for a little weekend in Ireland – filled with both work + play. It was just the thing my soul needed. And at just the right time.

I found a few new hidden gems in Dublin + I cannot wait to head back to show Lina! Plus, I’ve also decided that next trip to Ireland will involve a trip to the west coast – I haven’t explored there yet!

Here’s to mystical Ireland! xoxo. liz.

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