Hello my lovelies I am back! I know it feels like ages, anyone miss me? Well I do believe in taking a proper holiday when I go abroad, travel blogger or not, so usually my blog takes a holiday with me too.
Now where to begin? The trip was such an intensive time I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to really get everything written down properly, so here’s a rather brief run-down and some teaser snaps from my Instagram @jac_theocctrav of my 2013 solo trip to Europe – in which I was hardly ever alone, really.
Detour to Dublin
Dublin was a last minute decision that happened just because things fell into place. If you’ve seen this Weekend Wanderlusting post about my Dublin trip plans, you’ll know that it wasn’t my original intention to even visit Dublin in the first place. Read all my Dublin posts to see what I got up to.
Making lasting first impressions at BlogHouse
It started off with BlogHouse, of which getting to the BlogHouse itself was a mini adventure – 30 hours, 4 countries, 3 flights, 1 bus, 1 train and 1 car ride later, I find myself in a castle with about 15 other people I’ve never met before in my life, AND the bonus fact that my luggage somehow didn’t make my Zurich transit and was stuck there; I spent over 40 hours in the same clothes and these people continued to like me, amazing. But also, 3 days of intensive travel blogging workshopping came and went in the blink of an eye, and it’s probably the most useful and relevant study I’ve ever undertaken outside of school – I’m so glad to have met this bunch of people! Read more about my BlogHouse experience.
Taking on TBEX Dublin
TBEX itself was pretty awesome and a little overwhelming really with the sheer number of travel blogginess in one place, though that was mitigated with the prep work from BlogHouse and new BlogHouse buddies. There’s one thing about being ok with travelling solo and being on your own, but having people who you know beyond just a name and face when it comes to networking (whether through the shared horrors of ‘getting niched’ or just sharing a beer) makes it so, so much easier for the introverted folk like me. Also didn’t hurt that they had some really awesome parties, free booze and food as well as lots of trips to introduce Ireland and Dublin to all the travel bloggers, really cool!
With all that travel blogging stuff happening, it’s probably amazing I found any time to check out Ireland at all, though most of it was limited to Dublin city centre, which is a pretty walkable city so I accomplished most of the major city centre sights, and then managed to pop out to the Boyne Valley for a day trip. There’s still a lot more of Ireland left to be seen from all the photos I’ve been seeing from everyone else on Instagram, so I definitely need to go back again some time.
And not just for the sights, but for the really friendly people who are what makes Ireland extra special! That and the perpetual misty rain which gives it is 23428529452938 shades of green. And Guinness of course – though I think Bulmers Cider is my all-time favourite Irish pub drink of choice.
Popping over to Prague
The real solo travelling happened when I headed to Prague by my lonesome – this lonesomeness is something you really feel when you’re tired after a delayed flight, lugging 20kg of bags along cobblestone streets and getting rather lost in the meantime.
But I managed to make friends the first night by bonding over cooking soup in the hostel, one of whom became my breakfast buddy in the mornings, while the other who only got up past noon, I hung out with the rest of the time. So while I did wander around on my own for bits, I also had new buddies to hang out with from time to time – it was a bit weird but nice to be solo after the intensive crowds in Dublin!
It was quite a lot colder than Dublin, just about as wet though I was lucky to get the rare days of sunshine for my touristy stuff, so that made for pretty nice shots, like this one of Charles Bridge, one of my favourite shots from the trip.
Besides walking what felt like most of Prague, I did get out to Kutna Hora nearby for the fascinating Bone Chapel (the pictures don’t do it justice) and the wonderful autumn foliage.
I also learned that I needed to kick back a little, what with the rain and cold, some days going out was just miserable. Also, after all that walking around and travelling, that some days your body just needs a break and you need to just chill out from sightseeing, even if you’re in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.