Happy Wednesday! How are you doing? Are you taking time to check-in with yourself and give yourself the care, love, and attention you need? If not, it’s perfectly okay to set aside time for yourself to do whatever you want/need to do during ‘me time.’ Maybe your thing is yoga, meditation, running, reading, tending to a pallet garden you built, sewing some pillowcases for your home decor, making a dress to match your homemade mask, paddle boarding, refurbishing furniture, tooling around with some new tools, or even playing animal crossing with family and friends, but whatever you want to do during your assigned ‘me time,’ make sure you’re doing it and giving yourself a break.
If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post - “31 lessons for 31 years” - you can click here to read my reflection on the 31 main lessons I learned in my 31 years of life! Before that was Sunday’s post, “science tea and pure comedy,” about spending my 30th birthday eve in London. Picking up where we left off, I figured it’d be good to bring the duration of that mini Eurotrip to its fun, bittersweet end! My 30th birthday in England included waking up to a homemade breakfast at home with my friends Joe and Kristen and their dog Listom. We spent most of the day lounging around, having cocktails, talking about life, and watching soccer and youtube videos, which felt like we were in college again, just hanging out. It was a perfect, easy day that culminated with a toast together with pints of Guinness at Prince of Wales and dinner at a delicious local Indian restaurant. We spent the rest of a quiet night at home, chatting and watching “Come Fly With Me,” a British mockumentary set at London Stansted Airport (where I was flying out of the following night). It was low-key fun with two of my favorite people and the perfect introduction to my 30s.
The day after my 30th birthday, we spent the day out and about in the English countryside. We started our morning with a hike to the Uffington White Horse, a prehistoric chalk figure drawn into the hill side and spent the rest of the day visiting various stone figure-based landmarks, ending with a definite highlight: Stonehenge! I was bummed to find out that although I believed (for basically my entire life) that the Druids were responsible for building Stonehenge, that “fact” is actually a myth. Big thanks to the audioguide for the new knowledge and to Kristen for totally understanding exactly why I huffed and went, “what?!” out loud. Seriously. She heard me and went, “oh, did you just find out about the Druids?” That’s a real friend, y’all. The day after my birthday was full of adventure, laughter, love, friendship, and lots of serious musical jams on our car rides through England. But as all vacations and Eurotrips must come to an end, we said our bittersweet goodbyes as I started my journey back to Dublin.
Have you ever found that some of your favorite memories are when you and your friends are just sitting around not necessarily doing anything crazy or adventurous? Like how Joe, Kristen, and I watched soccer and YouTube videos on my birthday? It was something pretty ordinary that we used to do together at Villanova, which is what made it special about getting to do it together in England. Our lives have all changed in a number of ways, but we haven’t changed so much that we’ve lost sense of what real friendship actually looks like - enjoying each other’s company in our PJs and glasses as much as we do when we’re at Shakespeare’s Globe or visiting Stonehenge. If you’ve experienced what I’m talking about, let me know! 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 receiving a lot of really incredible stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the globe! Other people’s stories that I’ve gotten to read via e-mail, text, tweet, DM, etc. recently bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! I hope I get to hear all about whatever stories you’ve been thinking about as we’ve been on this virtual journey together! Also, I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you have any restaurants/eateries/pubs/coffee shops/ice cream joints/theatres/lookout spots you would recommend in other countries or even in your current home town or city, I'm absolutely 100% all ears!! 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 travel adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):
1. Won't you join me?
2. grateful for starbucks and sandymount strand
3. Once Upon a December in the National Gallery
4. plant a smooch for that gift of gab
5. may the 4th be with you: Dingle style
6. cinco de mayo: the best Mexican food in Dublin
7. pizza in roma
8. mussolini’s window and the philosophers’ metro stop
9. father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife
10. it's the vatican, not the vatican't
11. spoiler alert: i did not lose my hand
12. more pizza and gelato and Neptune, oh my
13. craft beer, romper season, and volcano magic
14. bus singalongs and the okey dokey karaoke origin story
15. the beginning of the journey to the land of outlander
16. the boy who lived and the musical rapper
17. oh i just can't wait to be kingggg
18. fudge and haggis, quite the dynamic duo
19. the banshee labyrinth... or, my first time trying buckfast
20. the world's most magical toilet
21. gwyneth paltrow's (improv) sliding doors
22. scottish sombreros and jam, thank you
23. bob seger, a cèilidh, and arthur's seat
24. the next maxim cover girl!!
25. you can vote now!!
26. kindness at… the airport??
27. conversations with strangers and #basic meals
28. aren't gas stations amazing?!
29. not just mac's... supermac's
30. American vs. European Cell Phone Providers
31. brown bread ice cream
32. Black Lives Matter
33. technology and theatre
34. a love of Dublin pizza: Manifesto
35. a love of Dublin pizza: Dublin Pizza Company
36. a love of Dublin pizza: with my dad
37. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness
38. thank you! round 2!
39. a love of Dublin pizza: and every other pizza
40. ahh-oooooh werewolves of london
41. a special london edition nerd alert
42. defying gravity is a WICKED good time
43. that wanker Van Morrison
44. The Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre
45. LA girls love London green juice
46. Super Bowl LII Champs at Wembley
47. champagne fizz and fruity cocktails
48. How-to: DIY Pallet Garden
49. dublin tattoo magic
51. thank you! Maxim round 4!
52. dublin bog bodies
53. dún laoghaire ice cream
54. local celeb sighting
55. 13.1 in Dublin
56. thank you! Maxim round 5!
57. every girl likes a bad boy
58. poolbeg lighthouse
59. conflict, bias, and propaganda in belfast
60. bow to your lord mayor
61. HAPPY HAMILTON DAY!!
62. Maxim Cover Girl Quarter-Finals!
63. gulliver's travels in belfast
64. all aboard the HMS Caroline
65. all aboard the RMS Titanic
66. you know nothing, jon snow
67. cave-born shadow babies
68. afraid of heights?
69. giants and their egos
70. the Kingsroad
71. sunsets in Donegal
72. derry dining chains
73. Maxim Cover Girl Semi-Finals!
74. Spontaneity is Key
75. Dear Nana
75. blasket island centre
76. Nana's blue tin cookies
77. a dance lesson in Dublin
78. dublin to Royal Portrush
79. Shane Lowry's Open Championship
80. maxim and Belfast Chinese food
81. Irish beachy wild women
82. my Irish love, Cork
83. my Irish love, Cork: hot chocolate
84. my Irish love, Cork: knit life
85. my Irish love, Cork: English Market
86. my Irish love, Cork: Blackrock Castle
87. one year ago today
88. pastis and the French Riviera
89. French Alps swim session
90. French weddings
91. Saucisson and delicious olives
92. wine and mustard at Château Virant
93. beers, brats, and salt mine showers
94. salted white dresses and blue satin sashes
95. salt mines and bowling alleys
96. science tea and pure comedy
97. 31 lessons for 31 years