Emerging From my Bubble

This last weekend I finally got to do a little exploring! It was such a beautiful day on Saturday that I took advantage of the somewhat sunny day and went to the beach. I went to Killiney beach and although it was not hot it was a clear day.

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Clear day on Killiney beach!

I was amazed to see surfers in the water because I was barely warm bundled up let alone being in the freezing water in only a suit! I walked along the pebbled beach collecting stones and simply enjoying the scenery. It was a peaceful way to begin my day.

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After I was ready to move on I went to a neighboring village (Sandycove) and explored the many shops. One shop in particular ended up being my favorite because it was full of interesting knick-knacks and local handmade jewelry. I also ate at a local café, which for the life of me I can’t remember the name of although it had the word moon in it. The food was delicious! The bread was homemade and fresh same with the soup. Definitely have to go to that café again!

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On the way back home I made one more stop in Dun Laoghaire, which I had debated about all day. I had already been to Dun Laoghaire and at this point was getting tired so I almost didn’t stop, but I am sure glad that I did! Dun Laoghaire ended up being my favorite place that I went to that day. The reason being is a local musician had set up shop at a place called the Pavilion, which is right next to the water. He was playing the electrical guitar and was quite good!

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The street musician doing what he does best…

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Look at the puppet dance!

The atmosphere was relaxed and to top it off just before leaving the town I got to see another musician this one being a woman on the flute with a dancing puppet. It was the perfect ending to an amazing day.  The rest of the week went by mostly uneventfully. I have started to develop my schedule of waking up in the morning getting ready for work and so on. The days have started to go by relatively fast, especially now at work. I have started getting more work load and projects, which makes me busier allowing the time to past faster. I am starting to really enjoy my job and have already learned quite a bit. I did go out Wednesday night with a few people to a pub. It was an interesting experience, because the group consisted of several people from Spain, Brazil, and Italy.

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What an amazingly diverse group!

It was fascinating to talk with all of them and just get a feel for each culture. If I had to choose one thing to take away from this week it would be embracing my emergence from my bubble. Tonight I was talking with my host mom and I was telling her before this trip I hadn’t travelled much and my ignorance of even the basic things were astounding. For example there being different plug-ins all around the world. It is not necessarily significant information, but what it represents is significant. My untraveled self has been living in a bubble where, I realized, I view the world from. Meaning I have assumed the rest of the world is similar to what I know. This has continuously been highlighted these last two weeks with each new piece of knowledge that becomes known. This became especially evident Wednesday night I found myself surrounded by several different cultures. I am forever thankful I choose to embark on this journey, because I want to shed my ignorance and hopefully grow in the process.

And So It Begins…

I have completed the first week of my internship. The first thing I had to learn was how to get to work! Last week I decided to do a trial run where I went to work to meet everyone, which had the added benefit of figuring out how to even get to the place. It was a good thing I did because I got lost. I needed to get to the DART, which I did after going a round-a-about way due to a missed turn.

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Here comes the DART! I ride this to and from work everyday.

Once I got into Dalkey I couldn’t find Max Media. I ended up calling the number that was given to me and ironically I was only across the street. I just didn’t know it. You have to go through what is called the “Courtyard” then go up some stairs to get to the office. I couldn’t find it because it was set back out of the way.

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The infamous “Courtyard”.

I met everyone and was able to make it back to the DART station without any mishaps.  Well unfortunately once I got off on my stop I realized I didn’t know how to get back. Normally I am pretty good at retracing my steps, but due to my round-about-way of getting to the DART originally it left me slightly confused. I ended up walking around searching for anything familiar for at least two hours. I later learned the walk should have only taken me ten minutes! I figured it out. You live and you learn. Thankfully, I did this before I started work so I was not on any time schedule. The first day of work I made it there no problem. The office was quiet all this week because two people are on vacation and one is out sick. This leaves only three people, besides myself, in the office! I really am enjoying what I am doing and was given a project to start on the first day. I am mostly handling social media projects with facebook and twitter. How many jobs do you get to spend on facebook all day? Not many! It is rewarding to work on a project that you get an immediate response to by the public. Especially, when people are sharing something they feel passionate about with you, it draws you into their interest. I have also had to do a lot of research for posts and I have found myself getting sucked into some of the research and this is on topics that don’t normally draw my attention. Overall, what I will take away from this week is getting lost is not a bad thing , in fact, sometimes you need to get lost to know where you are at. I am now able to navigate around Monkstown, due to my earlier escapade, fairly successfully.

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Monkstown where I wondered for what seemed like forever!

I have learned that it is rewarding to draw people together that share an interest and watch them interact. The most important thing that I will be able to take away from this week is even when you are doing a task you don’t like put your all into it because it may surprise you how much you end up enjoying it.

Arrival

My flight plan took me to Amsterdam before I actually arrived in Ireland. In Amsterdam the airport was chaotic. Picture a large mass of people swarming around made up of all different nationalities. Just from walking two minutes I heard at least three different languages. My biggest concern was finding my terminal. I managed to find it without any problems, although it was on the other side of the airport. This allowed me to walk through the entire airport where, to my amusement, there was a shop named simply “Tobacco, Liquor, Chocolates”. My layover ended up being 5 hours due to snow storms in Ireland. It was snow, in fact, that greeted me upon my arrival.

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Snow..snow..snow!

Once I was off the plan, through customs, and had collected my luggage I needed to figure out how to get on the right bus. Luckily the people in the airport were really friendly, probably having dealt with plenty of lost travelers. I was directed to the right location where I could await the air coach. Once on the air coach it allowed me my first glimpse of Dublin and neighboring towns. I admit to a holding slight misconceptions about places outside Dublin. I knew where I was staying was relatively small in comparison to Dublin and wrongly assumed that it would be farmland or fields of green with a town of course. That assumption was very wrong. While the location where I live is small in comparison to Dublin, that does not mean that it is small. I guess size is relative and when you live in a town consisting of only a college really for the last two years small to you is really small. The streets are narrow and the setup of the streets is completely different. The streets are made up of a lot of one ways and round-a-bouts.

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One of the many round-a-abouts.

It was easy for me to get turned around especially since street signs are not as popular here. I will admit my poor sense of direction did not help my case. I am just thankful that the people are extremely friendly and were always willing to stop and help direct me. While my misconceptions have been laid to rest it does not mean that I am disappointed with the reality. Ireland is so alive with people. It is hard to put into words what my first look at Ireland was like. How do you describe something that is completely intangible. There is a different feel in the atmosphere  here, one that may have been heightened by my excitement, but I don’t think so. I looked around and even just my first casual glance caught sight of the remains of a castle. The castle was situated within the town and seemed to blend into the surroundings, because the town itself appeared to be so rich with history. Maybe that was the cause of the in explainable feeling upon first arrival. All I know is I look forward to fully exploring this beautiful country!

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Bustling streets of Dun Laoghaire!

Preconceived Notions About Ireland

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When I picture Ireland I picture castle remains and rolling green hills. I know not all Ireland is like that, but from pictures that is what they portray.I view Ireland’s culture as being traditional and people oriented. I have always heard how friendly the people are and it is one of the things I am looking forward to: is meeting the Irish! I am a mixture of emotions. I am excited that I have the opportunity to explore a new culture, but I am also apprehensive. This trip is completely outside my comfort zone. I come from a small town and my traveling experience is very small. I am now going to a completely foreign place where I essentially know no one. My excitement far outweighs my nervousness. Part of this experience is to separate me from the familiar. By pushing myself outside my comfort zone I am allowing myself to grow as a person, which is one of my goals I want to achieve by the end of this trip.

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*Cue the Olympic Anthem*

Welcome to the London 2012 Olympic Games! It seriously feels like the entire world is here. I thought the tube was crowded the first week… man was I wrong. Other than the crowds in the tourist spots it hasn’t been very bad, actually! I’m excited to meet all of these different people and get accustomed to living in a big city. Every time I’m in the lounge I’m watching the games. I love seeing them broadcast in different countries than America because it’s a completely different atmosphere. The opening ceremony was fantastic and it was great to watch with native Londoners. (Especially while watching the Queen.) I loved that I recognized almost all of the stars in the show! I laughed especially hard when I saw Kenneth Branagh and Rowan Atkinson. It’s hard to remember just everything that happened, so hopefully these photos will help;

All of a sudden… MARK GATISS!

Aaaaaand then I met The Doctor. :)

I accomplished my mission of having him sign my artwork, too.

I worked right up until the night of the show on this puppy.

We were lucky enough to get tickets to Antigone at The National Theater starring Christopher Eccleston. Little did we know that we’d be meeting Mark Gatiss on the same night!

Look at those wonderful rings!

I honestly couldn’t get over how beautiful the London Bridge looked… especially with the rings gleaming in the sun. It’s like the city itself was proud.

What’s that? The Olympic Torch?!

I went to Dublin!

I fell instantly in love with Dublin. The people there are so accommodating and nice. You just want to stay there forever.

Fandom feelings arising in Cardiff.

The Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff was fantastic. I was reverted into a ten year old the second I walked in the doors. (Which was hard because it was windy) I even got to fly the TARDIS!  Becky

All of time and space… everything that ever happened or ever will… where do you want to start?