In Life: 2016 According to My Instagram

Oh 2016, I didn’t like you very much. 2016 was a really horrible year for a lot of people all over the world. Too many mornings I woke up to horrible news and it was heart breaking. It’s also been a really hard year for people I care about and that sucks. This is going to be a bit different than the previous years. I am just going to show you my travel of this year. The personal bits aren’t mine to share. So here is where I went in 2016.

March

I took a trip to Clare, I had a bucket list item booked and I thought I would see a new county in the process. Seeing the Cliffs of Moher and roaming in the Burren was a great start to my adventures and then a helicopter flight over the area was the cherry on top. I absolutely loved every moment of that trip.

clare-triptychApril

This was a fun month because I went away twice this month. I decided to go to Mayo and make some new memories and just drive around to clear my head. There is nothing better than driving around exploring and finding beautiful places. Mayo Triptych.jpgI then went on my first overseas flight of the year. I had been planning this since December of last year and I was not disappointed. I flew to Norway, hired a camper van and I drove around for three days and it was an incredible, awe inspiring experience. I didn’t sleep well or eat well and I drove for 14 hours at one point but it was incredible. I drove from one side of Norway to the other and I loved every second. Norway Triptych.jpg

May

I went to London to visit a friend, it was hot and familiar, beautiful and relaxing. I got to do lots of new things I’d never done before and it was great. London is a city I love and I will be back time and time again and to have such a lovely experience with friends was wonderful.London Triptych.jpg

June

I took a birthday trip to Donegal. Except I didn’t like it so you didn’t see anything about it on here. So here are some shots from Slieve League which was nice but very windy.Donegal.jpg

July

I went to Stockholm for TBex but I loved Stockholm so much that I didn’t go to the conference once and went all around the city, exploring and taking in as much as I could. I had such an amazing time I don’t regret it at all. It is such a beautiful city and I am desperate to see it in Winter, I will be back.Stockholm Triptych.jpg

August

I went to Kilkenny to visit a friend and be tourists for a bit. We went to Dunmore caves and they were absolutely amazing. Can’t recommend them enough!kk

September

I took a trip to Kerry to go back to Dingle, a place I had visited as a kid. I wanted to go back to the palces I used to go and see what’s changed or what hadn’t. I suppose it was quieter back then, not as many tourists but still as wondrously beautiful. Kerry Triptych.jpg

October

Now this month is very special but I can tell you right now, I didn’t take enough photos. You see I had again planned this trip since December of last year. I have wanted to go to this place for about nine years. I booked my flights and got everything together to experience somewhere so special, I went to Japan. Now I haven’t written a word about this trip yet but just wait because it’s coming. I have lots in the works and I will give you everything I experienced this coming year but for now have a sneak peak of somewhere so wonderful and that I miss very much. japan.jpg

I had a great year of travel and even personally it wasn’t a bad year but there was a lot of loss this year and it spilled over into my life. I am not going to go into detail but I am sad for the people who lost loved ones this year. I am hopeful for the new year and the potential for what it can bring. I am excited to see more and do more and I will bring you along with me.

So with all that said. Thank you my dear beans. Thank you for reading my ramblings and liking what I do. I hope you have the most wonderful 2017. Be good to each other and be kind to yourself. Cheers to a new year.

Happy Travels!

In Kerry: Best Driving Adventure

Kerry brings back memories of when I was small, when the drive used to take six hours and the rain would hammer down on the window and all I could see were my fathers eyes in the rear view mirror. It was always happy, always quiet, so much green. I tried to make friends with cows and definitely made friends with dogs and my mother gave me the worst fringe possible. I like those memories but the seem so long ago now.

So I decided I wanted to be back there, back in the memories, so I went. Here are some photos that I took on a two day driving adventure.

phoebegill160915052PhoebeGill160915038-2.jpgI walked around Dingle town in the evenings, I didn’t want to go to a pub so I just listened to music and walked around.

I walked up a street and a memory hit me. We’d just been in a pub and my mother, sister and I were going back to the house, when an old man stopped us and was speaking Irish to my mother. I was small so I wasn’t paying attention and messing with my sister, wondering when my mum would stop chatting so we could go. That’s it, one small snippet of a day. It’s now the most touristy bit of Dingle with more shamrocks than a field but it’s so nice to have a memory come back after over a decade of being away.phoebegill160916058I don’t have the memories of this place, just the photos. Somehow the photos make me feel like I remember being there but I don’t know if thats true. Photos are tricky like that.phoebegill160916226phoebegill160916260This is the first time in a long time I didn’t take just the touristy shots of a place. This is what I want to take more of. This feels better, this feels like it used to. I hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane. Kerry is the perfect place to make memories so go and make them.

Happy Travels

 

In Life: 3 Reasons Why I Solo Travel

 

So since my trip to Iceland last September I have been on four solo trips and I have planned another three this year.

I have heard the usual stuff when I first told people I would be going it alone. Could you not find anyone else to go? Can you just bring someone else? You might meet your dream man! All of these statements make me want to punch a tree so in order to try stop all of this, I thought I’d write about it.

I love my own company 

Now I know this is an unpopular thing to love yourself or be alone with yourself these days but truly, honestly, I love me. It is that simple.PhoebeGill150917012

I don’t want to worry if you are having a good time

If I organise a trip with people I feel like I need to make sure they are having a great time, if they are not smiling ear to ear I feel like I have done something wrong. Yeah I know I exhaust myself just thinking about it. It gets annoying and my need to control drives me nuts.PhoebeGill160409372.jpg

I also don’t want your input

This sounds harsh but you see I like doing what I want, my job involves making travel itineraries that gets my team from one place to another in the best, most efficient way possible so I am pretty good at timings and where to stay, so on, so forth. Also I can drive 14 hours straight to get to where I want, some people wouldn’t be game for my kind of adventure. There have been times in the past where I thought I should have been somewhere longer but because the group wasn’t into it, we didn’t end up staying longer which I think was a mistake.PhoebeGill1604231185.jpgSo there it is I’m not going solo to find love, I don’t do it because I can’t find people to go, I do it because I have the freedom to do whatever, to fail, to spend however long I like taking pictures, vlogging, snapchat, instagram. I also love being reflective and self aware so that time away gives me the opportunity to recharge.

If you feel the same as me, don’t let anyone make you feel like you are weird or a loner because you want to go off on your own. There are loads of people doing it, you may be travelling alone but you definitely aren’t alone.

Happy Travels!

In Travel: Would You Rather

 

This blog has been a little quiet as of late so I spotted this post by A Modern Girls Travels and I thought it was a lot of fun. I think it will also show you a bit more about me. I will be back very soon with more adventures!

Q: Would you rather travel the world for free for life (hotels & airfare) or have $400,000 deposited into your bank account now?

A: Easy, travel the world for free. Accommodation and flights are so expensive for the plans I have so if they were taken care of it would be amazing! $400,000 is just money and the only things I want to buy would be a 4×4 and camera gear and I don’t actually need them!

Q: Be able to talk with the animals or speak all foreign languages?

A: This is so difficult because I do want to be Eliza Thornberry, like for real. I would love to talk to animals but I also would love to communicate with everyone all over the world. I think to live out a childhood dream I’d have to choose talk with animals.

Q: Would you rather be attacked by a shark or die by a tornado?

A: I’d rather be attacked by a shark, when I’m 90 and on my way out. This is actually how I want to kick it, not a day before! Sharks are amazing and if I was to leave the earth giving back would be ok by me but not before I’m 90!

Q: Never take the train or never take an airplane again?

A: Ha trains can go suck it. Even though I want to do some famous train rides I would rather rent a car and see the world that way rather than trains. Trains can’t get me to hawaii and small islands off indonesia, all I need are planes and boats!

Q: Would you rather visit the Oktoberfest in Munich or Carnival in Rio De Janeiro? 

A: Neither? Can I choose the Sakura festival in Japan?

Q: Take control of the airplane for five minutes (it’s on autopilot, but still…) OR take control of beverage service for the entire trip?

A: I don’t drink and I buy my water in the airport. Being in a cockpit would be an incredible experience. I have always wanted to look out the front window!

Q: Wake up without your wallet or wake up without your passport and phone?

A: Wallet. Since I am going to be solo travelling a lot more being with out money is an inconvenience but without my identity and the piece of tech that holds all of the travel info I need, I would be a wreck. If I was to be in an accident I’d rather be able to call for help. I lost my phone in Iceland and I was a mess!

Q: Be left behind in the bush on an African safari or Be left behind in the water on a scuba trip?

A: This is an interesting question. Do I risk getting hypothermia in the water or drowning, risk being bitten or stung? Or do I stay out in the bush, where animals will kill me in the dark or I might get sun stroke? This is a horrible question. I think I will go for the bush because at least on land I could walk and try and hone my Bear Grylls skills (which would probably be non existent!)

Q: Lose your luggage but land on time OR land 12 hours late with your luggage intact?

A: Lose my luggage, I can always buy more clothes. Plus the airline will pay for the replacement luggage. 12 hours late is horrible, that’s twelve hours less fun you could have!

Q: Visit every country in Europe of every state in the United States? 

A. Oooo well I’ve been to 15/46 countries in Europe but have only been to one state in the US. I would probably choose the US, there is a epic road trip I want to do. I want to see all of those weird roadside fruits and peanuts or a beagle! The US is mad so definitely all 52 states!

Q: Move every six months (including internationally) or live in the same place your entire life?

A: Hmm every 6 months would be really hard but I am not living in Ireland all my life. So 6 months. To understand the world, living in different parts of it would be amazing!

Q: Be able to teleport to places you’ve already been or only be able to teleport to places you’ve never been before? 

A: I think I have to choose places I’ve already been. There is so much I want to go back and see and if I could teleport quickly back to South Africa, Iceland or Australia it would be incredible!

Q: Would you rather go into the past and tell yourself to change one thing that’s happened or go into the future and see what your life ends up being like?

A: I’d like to see if I end up happy. Going back and telling my past self to do something wouldn’t do a thing. I am stubborn and stupid so I wouldn’t take my advice. Knowing if I end up happy would be important. If I wasn’t happy I could try and keep as positive and mentally healthy as possible.

So would you want to wake up without your wallet or wake up without your passport and phone? Let me know in the comments! 

Thanks so much for reading!

Happy Travels!

In Travel: 5 Reasons Why I Hated Amsterdam

I have been to five continents, 22 countries and I have only hated one place.

This will surprise some but I hated Amsterdam. The list is endless but I will try sum up the things I didn’t like.

We decided to go to Amsterdam as a layover back from Greece. Greece is one of my favourites, I would happily go back tomorrow but Amsterdam, very different story.

Flying Ants.

It was the summer and just my luck it was the few days when flying ants were plaguing the streets. Imagine having breakfast by a canal, a typical Amsterdam experience, when suddenly you see the air moving and fluttering. I cannot stand them, they are stupid and get everywhere, even in my orange juice that morning, I felt like tearing my skin off and ruining my breakfast didn’t help. It was vile.

Amsterdam_Canal_(2348076980).jpg
By Francisco Anzola (Amsterdam Canal) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Drugs

I don’t care if you want to get off your face, I will think you’re an idiot but I don’t really care. What I do mind, is seeing needles on the ground outside, seeing people off their heads in supermarkets and people starting fights in the street. It made me so uncomfortable. And no I wasn’t in the red light district for any of this, I was 15 and my father knows Amsterdam very well. He wouldn’t take his family to the sex district.

Trams

Why are they so close to the paths? Like do you realise people could step out to avoid another human and bam. Also that ding-ing really grates after a while.

Weteringschans.jpg
By Ilonamay (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Bicycles

Shut up with your bells, pedestrians need to cross the street too. I have always hated cyclists so a country celebrating bicycles isn’t really the country for me.

Cycling_Amsterdan_04.jpg
By Alfredo Borba (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Hotel

I can’t remember exactly what hotel we stayed at but it didn’t have any air conditioning. In the height of summer for your air conditioning to be broken isn’t ok. Me and my sister couldn’t sleep and decided to watch Monty Python, which was a lovely bonding moment but I’d rather the sleep.

Basically Amsterdam made me feel gross, angry, tired and so damn appreciative of my home. As we turned the corner in the taxi I started to quiet cry because it’s so nice having my home to go back to. Although the trip was a disaster it made me realise what I had.

It’s amazing what a bad hotel and bad atmosphere can do to your enjoyment of a city. I might go back one day but right now I have better places to go.

Happy Travels!

In Life: A Perfect Sunday

So for many reasons, most notably I am very grateful for the ability to move and the fact that I am reasonably healthy, I decided to go for a hike on Sunday. I have decided to get out and do more on the weekends since I sit at a desk all week.

I left the house at 7:30am to do the 45 minute drive to Glendalough, somewhere I love and go to an awful lot. I was the first person in the car park, I love being the first person in a car park. PhoebeGill160110052This hike is a part of the white route in Glendalough, there are a lot of rocks as the path winds up the hill. I see various outfits whenever I’ve walked up here. I’ve seen hiking poles, I’ve been waterproofs and thick coats, I’ve seen shorts and gym gear. My suggestion is you wear any shoe with good enough ankle support, bring gloves because the wind comes down this valley and it can get quite cold, especially in winter. Also wear something that is comfortable, I’ve done this hike in jeans in the height of summer…terrible terrible decision! Like awful! Just wear exercise clothes or sweatpants, be comfy! I also recommend water and a clementine. Clementines are fantastic! PhoebeGill160110061Take note, in this area there is lots of wildlife! I love looking at the side of the hill and spotting all the deer and the feral goats. I like the feral goats, I was hiking in a spot close to here and I heard a noise above me, I look up to see a line of goats wandering on the side of the hill. I then called the person I was with and they thought I was mad but believe me there are goats, look out for them they are pretty cool! PhoebeGill160110094The hike up is fun, there is a gorgeous waterfall that is now strong and thunderous, it’s pretty great! The view from the top is amazing and I love it. I have so many memories around this place! PhoebeGill160110088Once I reached the top I realised how much snow had fallen the night before. I knew that the fact I am like a new born giraffe on ice meant that I probably shouldn’t walk up the mountain ridge. I met two dogs and their human said that it was quite icy on the walk so that only confirmed that I should venture any further. PhoebeGill160110105Once I descended the hill I got back to my car and drove up to the top of Glendalough to see more snow. I got to see the most gorgeous view of the Wicklow gap. Snow makes me ridiculously happy! Ever since 2010 I have learnt that in Wicklow it snows and that if it’s not too bad I can drive around and go see it. I love snow, it makes all my memories happier and warm. PhoebeGill160110179Although I was giddy at the prospect of new powder hugging the ground, my heels at this point were on fire! I needed to break in those Mendel boots I bought for Iceland, I did walking in Iceland but I didn’t do any hiking, so this was their first proper outing…ouchy!PhoebeGill160110185I then drove home with a stupidly big smile on my face and donned some blister plasters and spent the rest of the day relaxing.

My definition of a perfect Sunday!

 

What’s your perfect day? Tell me in the comments! 

Happy Travels!