by Anna Idler

anna idler

Rachel (right) and I (left) in the gardens of Dublin Castle taken yesterday.

At 10:30pm in Dublin this past Wednesday night. Rachel and I were each in our little Avalon House bed, booking trains, writing blog articles and going over photos taken that day (even though the last 14+ hours had consisted mainly of airports).

We were also dealing head on with jetlag that’s hit us with an unfortunate intensity.

I felt guilty not being out in lively Dublin; the city’s vibrant center Temple Bar is just a few blocks away from our hostel. Rach and I stopped by after an amazing dinner of steak and traditional Irish stew at Gallagher’s Boxty House to listen in on some live music, but we skipped out on the pint of Guinness for that night.

I’m reminded of one of my good friend’s favorite phrases. She loved to say it when all of our friends got ready together on a Saturday during college, preparing for a long night of fun ahead: Remember guys, this is a marathon, not a sprint. And long-term travel is shaping up to be the exact same way.

Dublin is the first stop on a trip I’m taking around the world for the next 6+ months with one of my best friends Rachel. We went to college together and became very fast friends; we lived on the same hallway our freshman year, and roomed together sophomore and junior year in a quad.

We would stay up late at night exchanging hopes and goals, both while in school and for when we graduated. We bonded over our shared love and fascination with travel. How amazing is it that you can buy a plane ticket and be in a different place, different time zone, different culture in a couple hours? That’s the kind of thing Rach, and I would regularly talk about.

Six years later and here we are officially living that dream and starting this world trek, with just a backpack and smaller bag for everything.

Growing up, whenever we would take family trips, my dad would make sure my sister, mom and I would solely bring a carry-on so we could avoid the hassle of baggage claim, so I have him to thank for instilling this minimalist way in me. And to my mom, for staying up until midnight with me the night before I left for this trip, helping me roll each of my clothes into the smallest bundle possible.

Ireland is the friendliest country I’ve ever been in, and is also the country with the most unpredictable weather I’ve ever been in. “You experience all four seasons in a day here in Dublin,” noted our new friend Evangeline, a kind, funny Dublin local we met who works at the coffee shop where we are staying. We talked to her for a while before we set out to explore Dublin for the day. When I told her I was from outside of Philadelphia, she smiled and enthusiastically told me she loved that city, she was there recently to visit family who had moved there, and would love to go back.

Being so far away from my home in Pennsylvania, there was something so comforting about this conversation for me. I am sure there will be moments on this big trip that Rachel and I will miss each of our homes. But I know the experiences we will have and the lessons, about the world and ourselves, that we will learn will help make the homesickness worth it.

This week, we venture on to Cork via bus. I’m so excited to continue exploring the lovely Ireland, and chronicling my travels here.

Thanks for following along,


26 year-old Anna Idler lives in Montgomery County, PA and is a freelance writer for Monto Happening. To learn more about her travels, check out her website Outlaw Summer.



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