/ travel

My first vacation.

Recently, I went on my first vacation as an adult. Well, that's not entirely true... I've been on trips with my family since I turned 18. But, this was my first actual vacation, without my family, that I had a hand in planning. And it was amazing. This post is image heavy, so my apologies for that.

Back in June, my friend Erika (💜) and I decided that we should go to Vegas for a few days, then drive up to Zion National Park and hike and see cool rocks and shit. It was a great idea, but not ambitious enough. That trip idea morphed into this awesome 10-day road trip around Ireland. A couple of her friends joined in, and we added Scotland to the mix.

One bit of trouble. I didn't have a passport. Well, I did, but it was for some dude who looked vaguely like my non-existent brother. I had never corrected it.

So, in early July, I went down to the Passport office, waited in line for an hour and a half, and was told that the line was only for people who were traveling in under two weeks. I had to go to the post office around the block.

I went to the post office, there was no line, and I submitted my application. Flew to Austin for three weeks, visited some friends, catsat Cora's cat, and continued to plan this amazing trip.

When I got back from Austin, my passport had arrived, and I had gotten the OK from DO to take those days off. Perfect.

About a month later, I was in Ireland, road trippin with one of my closest friends, and two new friends I had just met. It was Me, Erika, and her friends Becky and Shelby.

Road Trippin

The nice thing about driving around Ireland ourselves was that we weren't held at the whims of a tour bus. We could freely drive wherever we wanted, stop wherever we wanted, and really explore.

Kinvarra

We had a lot of fun exploring and took many selfies. In this case, in Limerick.

The whole clan

It was so serene, and being able to drive around and take it all in at our own pace was very helpful.

Newcastle West

We even spent some time at the beach!

Inch Beach

Some of the roads were one lane, but in two directions, and right on the edge of cliffs. It was super scenic but a little scary. There were little sections for pulling over and letting people pass, so that wasn't an issue.

Pro tip: Don't visit Cork. Definitely go see Blarney Castle, kiss the stone, go to the Jameson distillery... But avoid driving into Cork itself. There's nothing worthwhile there.

We also took a quick drive up to Northern Ireland to visit the Giant's Causeway.

Giant's Causeway

Fun fact: If you rent a car in Ireland and you drive up to Northern Ireland, the car's speedometer might be in km/h while the signs switch to mph. So that's fun.

We had such a good time driving around Ireland, that we decided to rent a car in Scotland so we could do the same there. You can see all of the photos I took in Ireland and Scotland, right here on Google Photos.

Another fun fact: Sterling banknotes are issued by many different banks across the UK. If you get some cash in Northern Ireland and you bring it to Scotland, locals sometimes get confused. In one case, a cashier had to run to her manager to make sure our money was real. It's amusing to watch.

Going on this 10-day vacation with friends was more fun than any family vacation I've been on. I plan on doing it again next year, and hopefully making this a yearly thing! Who knows where we'll end up next. Maybe somewhere tropical...