Forget the extra-volume, extra long, dark lashes mascara. For backpack travel, I’ve got to be low-maintenance. I was pretty confident I could manage this task as I packed up things nicely in zip-log bags. I organized, categorized, folded my clothes as if they were origami, and ditched all unnecessary things. I easily put the backpack on my back, and though it was not terribly heavy, it was obvious I was not going to be able to walk a couple miles with it. That’s when I ditched the mascara…along with a shirt, heating pad for muscle aches, face towel, etc. Though I won’t miss most things I got rid of, I got the uneasy feeling that maybe, just maybe, I will really need them in Ireland. On the other hand, the weight off my backpack left me feeling mentally lighter, somehow…
I have to give thanks to my friend, Estefania, for lending me The Backpack she traveled Europe with. This backpack has become something symbolic in my mind, going from the hands of one dreamer to the shoulders of another. Its weight bringing me confidence, confirming that this is all real.
I decided that getting there without having at least 1 or 2 nights booked at a hostel was going to be way too much adrenaline for me. Besides, I do not want to spend my first day worrying, praying to God I have a roof over my head at night. Problem solved.
Once I get to Dublin, I will ride the train to Galway, which is on the other side of Ireland (West Coast) and spend at least 3 days there. I booked 2 nights at Kinlay Galway Hostel, which Rick Steves recommends in his book, IRELAND 2013. I definitely, definitely want to see the Cliffs of Moher…and the rest of my Galway schedule is open to fulfilling spur of the moment wishes.
Aside from a few concerns that cross my mind sporadically, I feel very calm and excited about this trip. It is as if everything that I have ever experienced in my life has led me here, preparing me for this moment. I am 24 years old, and one of my major life dreams is coming true tomorrow. I am ready; my heart is wide open.
“And still the thoughts of Ireland brood
Upon her holy quietude.” – W.B. Yeats