In just a few days I will be leaving for Ireland. I was awarded a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship to travel and write for three weeks. I will update this blog with my adventures during this trip, and possibly continue to write about various topics upon my return. If you are interested in reading about the other fellows, please visit the website.
I have booked my first and last nights in hotels near Dublin airport and rented a car, but the rest of the trip is wide open. I plan to drive around the country, searching out interesting small towns and staying in bed and breakfasts. I’m sure I’ll hit a few tourist traps along the way, but for the most part I want to avoid those. (I mean, who could resist the Cliffs of Moher, despite the tour buses?) My aim is to learn about Irish life, hopefully inspiring a few stories and gathering material for one I already have in mind. The husband will be coming along for the first week, then I’ll be on my own. He has no preferences regarding where we go, as long as he gets to see a castle and sit in the pubs.
I have been to Europe only once before, on a class trip when I was sixteen. I and a group of about 30 other high school students went with the art history teacher to visit London and Paris. We hopped tour buses to see sights like the Bayeux Tapestry, Mont St. Michael, and Stonehenge. I’ve been to Jamaica for my honeymoon, though we stayed on the resort the entire time, and to Cancun about 5 years ago, but I’ve never been in a foreign country without a structured itinerary before. It’s a little scary but very exciting. The one rule I’m going to try to stick to is to find accommodations before dark, then stay in that town until the next morning. I don’t want to end up driving off a cliff or stuck in some godforsaken rural field sleeping in my rental car! Though that might make for some interesting blog fodder.