Monday, December 17, 2012

Partying, Planes & Plans

We arrived back in Dublin late on Friday night and had the entire weekend to relax before trying to catch a flight back home on Monday. I know that sounds weird to a lot of people - "trying" to catch a flight back home? Well, I've mentioned it briefly on here before, but my mother works for United Airlines, so I fly for free. I'm fully aware of how awesome this is and how insanely lucky I am, but I will say it does end up coming with a cost. When I fly I do what's called "standing by", which essentially means that when there's a flight that has an open seat I'm allowed to take it - I just need to wait around until such a seat exists. I don't find out if I can actually get on a plane until literally 15 minutes before takeoff!

Luckily for me, Dublin is a pretty awesome city to have to wait around in, especially on the weekend. So Angelina and I spent our time the way any other 22 year old girls would spend their last weekend in Europe - shopping & partying. We had already done all the touristy things we wanted to do on our last two visits, so we literally spent our days trolling shops and our nights out on the town. We ended up going back to the club we went to the first time we were in Dublin - Copper Face Jacks. We spent our first Saturday night in Europe there, so we thought it was only appropriate to spend our last! It was just as fun as I remember it being, which the exception that I'm pretty sure it was creepers get in free night - sooooo many scary old dudes trolling for babes. Highlights of the night include meeting tons of awesome Irish people and dancing to "Gagnam Style" with a dude dressed in a full blown snowman costume. I won't talk about the lowlights, but me just say there were several times I needed to pretend I was a lesbian and Angelina was my girlfriend!

 Monday morning we found out there was an open flight for us, so we began our 17 hour journey back home. The flying time itself is only 13 hours, but when you tally up the time spent getting through the airport and our layover, you get 17 hours of hell. Let me tell you, I was nooooooooot excited to take said journey. But, in an amazing twist of fate, the greatest thing EVER happened!

(It didn't hit me that I was going home until I saw this little memo in my e-mail confirmation. Weirdest feeling ever!)

(All signs in Ireland are in both Gaelic and English, and the airport is no exception - but oh my god, every once in a while I will come across a word that just makes me laugh so hard. Ghrianghrafadoireacht is one of them!)

 As I mentioned earlier, I'm allowed to take any flight I want as long as there's an open seat for me. Well, in some special cases, the only place with open seats is in first class - and that just so happened to be the situation on BOTH flights I ended up taking. Yes, my friends, the universe smiled upon me and I flew five thousand miles in style. Some things I fully enjoyed on my flight: a full bed, a touch screen tv, and an ice cream sundae bar.

 (My sweet set-up thirty thousand feet in the air. Yes I know, I'm a total asshole.)

 I honestly thought I would cry on the plane. I really did, I thought I was going to be that weird girl looking out the window and sniffling. But when the plane took off and I was looking at Dublin through my window, I definitely felt some separation anxiety, but no tears. More than anything I just felt incredibly grateful, happy and fulfilled. Also, dreaming of my big fluffy bed, Christmassy treats and the other comforts of home surely helped in this situation.

 The flight also gave me a lot of time to think about what's ahead of me. I've never been the type of person who knew what they wanted to do with their life. I'm also an optimist and a huge dreamer, so when it comes to dealing with reality my mind is always up in the clouds and doesn't come out until it has to. However, this trip changed my mind on something big - going to grad school. For my entire college career, I was absolutely dead-set about not going. But this trip made realize that I'm not done learning, adventuring, and changing my mind. So even though I have no idea where I want to study or WHAT I want to study, I think it's definitely something I'm going to seriously look into. The one thing I know sure is that I want to continue to travel. Right now, I have a trip to Japan (and potentially other places in Southeast Asia) on my mind. I'm also really hoping to try to go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans this year!

Nothing is set in stone yet, but I'll make sure to keep up this blog as I continue my adventures. I've grown to really truly enjoy writing this thing, and I've been overwhelmed by the positive response I've received from my readers, so I think I've made the executive decision to try and keep it up. In the mean time, I hope you all continue to follow me as I figure out what exactly it is that I'm doing in this crazy world!

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