London, England – December 2nd to December 7th 2013
Chester, England – November 24th to 27th 2013
Puivert, France – October 14th to 27th 2013
There I was all alone in a dim, draughty airport realizing that if I was lucky I would be spending the night on a plastic bench. Gone were my visions of Starbucks’ comfy couches and wifi, gone were my dreams of restaurants with hot food and glasses of wine, gone was my hope of checking my bags. So why was I at an empty Liverpool airport at 11pm when my flight to Naples didn’t leave until 6am the next day? Because I was trying to be a savvy budget traveller.
Sometimes the path less travelled is not the best path to take. While I, like many travellers, often try to experience a place like a local and stay away from the crowds, sometimes the path of least resistance might just be the best one. I personally discovered this when I found myself on a journey that consisted of a twenty minute slog to the bus station, a two hour bus ride into another country, an eight Euro cab ride to the docks, an hour long wait before a three hour ferry ride and then another two hour train ride. How did this happen? Not because I was trying to be adventurous or unconventional, but because I am a terrible planner.
This will be my last week as a resident of Northern Ireland. Come this Saturday, I am moving out of my rental house and on to my next adventure. After almost exactly six months here, I feel like it is definitely time to move on. But before I do so, I think it is worth reflecting on my time here, both the good and the bad, and all things I have learned.
Once upon a time a naive, brown-eyed, girl took job as a regional representative for a company with a head office located across a grey and blustery sea. Her position required her to visit this main office in the heart of a big, exciting city at least twice a month. To our innocent protagonist, this seemed like a brilliant idea that would be filled with exhilarating, exotic adventures. Who doesn’t want to live the glamorous life of travelling for business? She could see herself drinking hot lattes in plush airport lounges, dashing from cabs into hotels wearing long trench coats and cute heels, eating dinner in nice restaurants with interesting colleagues.