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conversations with strangers and #basic meals

Happy Tuesday!! How was your long weekend? Did you have any fun Memorial Day plans?! If you didn't get a chance to read yesterday's post, I actually spent a lot of this weekend prepping for and posting about my run for the next #MaximCoverGirl! Voting opened yesterday and continues through the next week. I would appreciate any help I can get, and voters can submit their vote once a day! Click here to help me out (this link will go straight to the voting page, but for my blog post about why it's important to me, click here)!! I also finished building my pallet garden, so look forward to some videos on that process, as well! Otherwise, let's pick up and head back to the city I got to call home - Dublin! Buckle up, it's time for some travel adventure, and, perhaps, some laughable moments!

Reading back through my travel journal, recalling the most minute details, here are some highlights of what I found to be really exciting in the moment while I was there: I was able to find Frank's Red Hot (hot sauce) at Dunnes Market at the Swann Centre down the street from my flat in Rathmines. This discovery, along with the realization that I'd have access to ample Irish butter at a low price nearly caused me to jump out of my sneakers I was so excited. One of the first meals I made for myself in my flat was pasta with Kerrygold butter and Frank's Red Hot; don't knock it until you've tried it... "it was basic but delicious." That, my friends, was a direct quote from my journal. (And re: Frank's Red Hot hot sauce, I also asked my sorority sister before I moved to SoCal 7 years ago whether or not Frank's was available... it was, luckily. So maybe now you can see why I was so excited to find my beloved Frank in Ireland... I truly wasn't expecting it!)

Those first few days were a whirlwind, finding my way to Trinity, getting my Student ID, trying to figure out the layout of the land, and setting up an Irish bank account. This step was crucial as it was essential for me to pay my electric bill. After getting everything setup, I stopped and had a burger at Bobo's with a half pint of Guinness before getting some shopping done and heading home. I mentioned in a previous post that I was going to try to include more examples of kindness I experienced with strangers I'd met, and my journal is full of various examples of random conversations. Purchasing things for my flat was an adventure in and of itself. I realized that Ireland had their own version of T.J. Maxx called T.K. Maxx, which made me laugh out loud. The branding was all the same except for bearing a K instead of a J. On my walk home, carrying bags of clothing hangers and a drying rack and converters, I struck up a conversation with a kind, older woman from England who was in town dog-sitting for a friend. We chatted about the canal and its lock system, California, the UK, how she believes Ireland is wonderful, and how Rathmines is a great area to live. After about a mile, she wished me luck with my Masters and we parted ways.

Have you ever had an experience traveling where you were walking down the street and struck up a conversation with a stranger that didn’t just end with the answer, “I’m well, thanks!” I feel like it happens a lot in the US as our culture is very results-driven and very ‘pursuit of more.’ Now I’m goal-oriented and from the Northeast, so I’m not knocking that hustle, but I do have to admit how wonderful it was to live somewhere outside of my normal surroundings where one could have a full conversation with a stranger simply due to walking in the same direction. Has this happened to you? If you have, I'd sincerely love to know! I've experienced so many kindnesses, and I love hearing about all the good that's out there. Subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so happy you're here and that I’ve been getting a lot of really great, fun-to-read stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the globe from all different chapters of my life (and from people I don’t know *yet*)! The other stories of people’s travels that I’ve gotten to read via e-mail, text, DM, etc. recently bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! I hope I get to hear all about the crazy hobbies or great conversations or unexpected kindnesses you’ve been thinking about as we’ve been on this virtual journey together! Especially during this time of uncertainty and pandemic, it's important to surround yourself with things and people (via video chats) that bring you joy; we're all in this together. I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, truly, thank you.



P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):

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