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Wondering and Wandering I graduated. Now what? Do I live the life I never wanted to live? The one where I move to the city, get a job in a corporate cubicle, and slave away 60 hours a week for $40,000 a year? No thanks. How about 5 years down the road when I settle on a girl I don't truly love, buy the car I don't need, have the marriage that won't last, buy the home I can't afford? No thanks. I want to see things, I want to experience life in every way. This is the only life I've got, I might as well make the most of it and do something I won't foget. So here I am, travelling the world one step at a time. Where I'm going is yet to be decided, how long I'm there is up in the air, but one thing's for sure. Whatever I do, where ever I go, I'm going to be living. You can count on that.

its been a while

IRELAND | Wednesday, 7 February 2007 | Views [1909] | Comments [18]

I know I haven't written in a while but I've been a bit on the busy side. Here goes, the last night in Dingle I played beerpong with the American girls. Its nice to know I still have it. "It" being the ability to throw a pingpong ball into a cup filled with beer from 4 feet away. Wow, thats really going to get me far in life. It's only been 3 weeks, I'm ready to be done. This whole living on a strict budget thing is killing me, mostly because I'm not following it. Couchsurfing is not as available in Ireland as I thought it might be. Also, it's expensive to travel, except of course when you're hitchiking but that doesn't always pan out. The night after playing beerpong with the girls I walked about 15 miles out of Dingle and hitched a ride with Ted. Ted was definately an interesting character. He really enjoyed talking about the real estate market in Ireland. I "really enjoyed" listening. Whatever, it was a free ride for over 30 miles. He dropped me off in the Killarney town center where I made my way to the tourist information office. They recommended the Neptune hostel so I headed there. I payed my 25 Euro for two nights and headed off to explore the town. I came across St.Brendans College which was right next to St. Mary's Cathedrial, fantastic neo-gothic architecture. Extremely large, imposing, and grey. I've decided Ireland has two colors, green and grey. The skys are grey, the buildings are grey, the rocks are grey, the people are grey and the fields are green. When I walked out of St. Mary's I saw a sign for the Killarney National Park so I walked in. I saw another sign for Ross Castle within the park and I headed for that. It was much better than the other castle I've seen up close. It was only a 1.5 mile walk so I decided to follow a group of old people who seemed to know what they were doing. I followed them or another 2 miles until we came across a Bronze Age copper mine. Whoo hoo. I headed back into town and decided to get a few groceris at the Tesco across the street. Tesco = Kroger/Albertsons. I bought a few baguettes, couple cans of tuna, crackers, and granola bars. Cost me 3 Euro. Went back to my room and took a short nap. After waking up I decided to see the town at night. I crossed the street from the hostel and found a nice quiet pub and ordered a pint of Bulmers. Not long after a girl I noticed staying in the same hostel as me walked in. She started up a conversation and I thought she was a little off but I decided to talk to her anyway. Needless to say she was insane. After 3 pubs and 2 pints to my one in each pub(which she thankfully payed for), she was quite drunk and started to get quite odd. We ran into some Americans back in the hostel and she proceded to make fun of them so we proceded to ditch her. We told her we were going back to our rooms to go to sleep. We didnt. We went to another pub and during the course of the night I learned that the Americans, Matt, Monica, Jen, and Monica's boyfriend were from Wisconsin. I also learned that Jen and Monica's boyfriend studied abroad, in England, in 2004, with Morgan Southard. Small world? The next day they had to leave for England so after taking them to Ross Castle I ate lunch with them and they headed off, I went for a bit of a nap. I had to wake up by 8pm to pick up Eva from the train station. She didn't arrive until 10. Gotta love living on Irish time. I was waiting by the tracks when my phone rang, I looked up to see quite a beautiful woman. Tall, blonde, and amazing blue eyes. We headed back to the hostel and she got her room. We headed to a pub with live music and sat and talked for a while and started learning just how much we had in common. The music sucked so we headed to the Granary, which was also dead but the bartender recommended the local nightclub where it was open pretty late. We went in and soon met two very interesting Irish people. Elaine and her brother from Inverness Scotland. They were buying us drinks all night we and ended up getting pretty loaded. Hey it was free, I've noticed that people tend to buy me drinks as long as I keep talking. We decided to head back to the hostel since we were doing the Ring of Kerry tour the next day. We got lost and didnt get back in til 2. The fun of being intoxicated in a city you dont know. The next morning we booked our tour for the Ring of Kerry (17 Euro) definately worth every penny. What a fantastic place. So beautiful, so diverse. Mountains, hills, lakes, streams, waterfalls, rivers, meadows. All amazing. We stopped in the cities of Waterville, Cahirsiveen, and Sneem. We stopped for the last time at Turc waterfall where the bussdriver offered to let us walk back into town, only 7 kilometers. We took some great pictures of the waterfall, I got the soft water pictures I've always wanted and we headed off for town. We passed by beautiful Muckross House and lake and got more great pictures. On the way into town we decided to cook pasta carbonara for dinner and climb Mangerton Mountain the next day. Odd I know. We stopped at the Tesco, bought our supplies for dinner, bought our supplies for the mountain, and a bottle of wine. We had a wonderful dinner and planned our trip. The next morning we packed up our things, called a taxi (we didn't want to be tired before we got to the base), and started climbing. 4 and a half hours later we got to the top. We set up camp (which consisted by 2 single person tents next to an old stone dwelling) and realized the temperature had dropped about 10 degrees C. It was about 35 degrees when we got to the top of the mountain, thats while the sun was still up. We then realized we had no firewood, there were no trees this high up. I decided to pull the heather out of the ground and burn the roots. We gathered about 6 pounds and set up a fire pit in the middle of this big pile of rocks. It lasted for about 10 minutes before it died. It was the smokiest fire I had ever seen so it couldnt warm us because if we got too close, the smoke would choke us. We did manage to cook our cans of spaghetti. One of the best meals we had ever had. It was getting dark so we decided to soak up the last bit of sunlight and head to our tents. It was 6pm. After about 30 minutes of freezing in our tents we decided to put the gear in one tent and sleep in the other to stay warm. Yeah, that didn't work. We were in our tents for about 14 hours and mananged to sleep for about 3 of those. The rest of the time we were fighting the stones underneath us and keeping frostbite and hypothermia from taking over our bodies. It was quite miserable and everyone we met coming up the mountain told us we were nuts. Now I understand why. We were nuts. When we got up at 8 the next morning we broke camp and headed down the mountain. It only took about 2 and a half hours and we met about 30 other people on their way up who couldnt believe we stayed the night at the top. Upon arriving back in Killarney we went back to Neptunes, got a room and showered. We napped for about 3 hours and decided to get a bite  t eat. Never had potatoes, ham, and turkey tasted so good. We decided we would make our way up the coast and head for Germany. We headed back to the hostel and bought three bottles of wine. Thats where things went askew. by the time we were done with those three bottles we had met 4 German girls and one American guy. We all decided to head off to the night club for some music and once again I got free drinks, We were pretty drunk by this time. Needless to say I left early, alone. The german girls soon followed, Eva and the American arseface were no where to be found. The next morning I decided to pack my things and head out on my own but Eva caught up with me before I could leave. We talked for a bit and she wanted to know why I was leaving without her. I didn't want to say anything because I did what I always do, I fall hard and fall fast and I didn't quite realize it until that night. I told her how I was feeling, that I wasn't quite sure what I was feeling but I knew it was more then friendship. She explained to me after more talking that she felt very strongly for me but not in the romantic way. Way to go Alex, pretty sure you've heard that before. Same thing, different girl. It's a big deal to be in a different country than your own, it's really something to be there on your own. I can tell you this much though. It's really really difficult to be in a different country, on your own, with messed up heart about some girl you barely know but fell for. We talked a little more and decided that we had two options, we could keep going or go our seperate ways. She decided that she wanted to keep travelling with me so we set off to hitch our way to Galway. We made a great sign that said "ANYWHERE" with a smiley face which brought many a laugh to Irish drivers. It worked eventually when a young couple stopped and picked us up. They took us to Tralee where we bought our tickets to Galway. While we were waiting for the bus she phoned her godparents who talked her into coming home due to the situation. Not that I blame them, I blame myself for putting her in this shitty situation. I'm always doing this. You would think I would learn by now. Anyway, she gave me a hug, turned in her bus ticket and bought a train ticket to Dublin so she could go home to Cornwall England. You better believe coming home definately crossed my mind. It still crosses it now. I'm pissed at myself for losing a fantastic travelling companion but I know in the future that emotions are a waste of time. On this island of craggy rocks I've realized that rocks can't get much harder but hearts sure can. It's pretty well scarred now. I've said I was done with emotion thing in the past. Maybe its time to really stick with it. Love's overrated right? Soldier on, keep going, otherwise I'm going to take the easy way out and come home. I've got to  learn to deal with this. I made it to the Claddagh Hostel in Galway late last night thanks to a nice lady I met on the bus who took me there. I left this morning and moved into the Kinlay House. Its a much nicer hostel. I was about to stab the Frenchman with the snoring problem last night and I really didnt feel like hearing the couple next to me fornicating for another night. Ahh, another day in Ireland. I may be leaving soon. I'm going to eat and upload my pictures later. Much love to all who reads this still.

Tags: Misadventures



Stay strong Alex! Keep on trucking! Even though you're having your ups and downs you're doing something most would not have the courage or determination to even try. We love you here and know that we miss you. But if you come back early I'm going to punch you in your kidneys and make you pee blood for a week! I want to get out there in the Summer where ever you may be. Keep posting. Your life is getting cooler and cooler everyday. Keep making those memories so you can tell us the stories in a few years! I love reading them and can't wait to hear them in person. Take care and stay safe.

  Ryan Shanley Feb 7, 2007 5:34 AM


Alex, it sounds like you're having revelation after revelation. I hope you'll have a lot of advice to give when we meet again. Speaking of, I've been informed that the school in Denmark that I was thinking about wasn't up to par (according to the students that had visited this year). So you got any idea where I should go for my study abroad? Miss you so much. BTW, everyone loved the show and I've been called back for several of the One Acts for this semester. :) Stay safe and travel well.

  Jessica Feb 7, 2007 6:18 AM


Hey man. Your heart will heal - Girls are BAD. Remember that. Also, remember your mission. Take Care and Much love


  Doug Feb 7, 2007 10:28 AM


Sweetheart, like I said...this trip was all about growth, and learning. Not just textbook learning about Castles and Kings, but about learning what will stick with you through anything and everything. And that is learning about yourself. Unfortunately heartache is a large part of what makes someone who they are, and also makes them realize who they want to be. Sometimes it also even pushes them to actually make positive changes within themselves. This is not the first, nor will it be the last heartache....but don't dwell. It is a waste of your time....you are embarking on what is going to be such a large part of your life. You are making memories right now that will last with you forever. So just don't let the negative ones become so large that they overshadow the good ones, the happy ones, the fun ones, the crazy ones, and the odd ones. Let yourself have a day with it, and move on as best you can sweetie. I promise things will get better. I really do. :Heart: you, miss seein ya around, and I promise you we will try to meet up this year. It is going to be a blast!


P.S. Doug is lying. Girls aren't bad. I know this because I rock. Heheh.

P.S.S. Awww. Love, Mom. So cute! =D

  Aimee Feb 7, 2007 12:54 PM


Ah Alex, you are experiencing a lot in a short time. Just know that whatever comes your way you can handle. I admire your "soldier on" attitude. You will be stronger for having had these trials. Remember you are 1/4 Newfie and we never quit. My prayers and a host of others prayers are with you.
Much love always,GM

  Grandmother Feb 8, 2007 1:36 AM


DUDE. You CANNOT come home. I JUST got JC all to myself. If you come home, I'll never see him again. Go to a different country. Some place with more sun. Sun always makes things better.

  Meagan Feb 8, 2007 6:46 AM


Alex, sweets! KEEP Strong and don't give up! The advice about going somewhere with some sun is perfect! Sun does make things look more positive and girls with a tan look much hotter - so get that way! :-))

I'm thinking of you!


  Katja Smirnov Feb 8, 2007 6:57 AM


well man, whats life without some heartbreak? besides, like ryan said youre living a dream that most of us never could or would be able to.. and if you come home early you come home early and im throwing you the biggest party ever, if you stay there for the ten years you planned, when you get back im still throwing you the biggest party ever (Although we will be older so our tolerances will be lower and the friends will probably be different) oh and if you make it ten, the spare room in my house is always open. be safe and write again soon!

  JC Feb 8, 2007 8:44 AM


Hey Al. It's me, your statistician. I added another name to the Alex heartbreak chart. Thing is: you always recover and move on - and on and on and on ... Granted, the corresponding list of hearts you've broken is a bit shorter, but I expect you'll add to that one next time out.

Balance. (I'm still looking for it. The bourbon helps.) Anyway, have one for me and "walk on."

I'm very proud of you,

  Jackie Feb 8, 2007 12:53 PM


Your new photos are great - nice to have you in some! The waterfall pics are especially good. More for my door. Glad you are staying in Galway for a bit.
Love you,

  Diana Feb 8, 2007 1:20 PM


Hey, Alex you better listen to Doug.
Girls have "cooties", you know !!! Take care. Love Deanie

  Deanie Feb 8, 2007 1:47 PM


Glad to hear you're still bouncing around Ireland. Don't worry too much about the girls while traveling, I know you will anyway, but also realize you are on another continent. That means it is one, whole, entire, continent full of women that have not yet had the graces of Alex in their lives yet. So think of that... you've been in Europe for a little less than a month and still have 10+ years to go. Yeah, when you get back there will still be the beautiful women in the U.S. that will be awaiting your return as well so no worries. The world is yours! Damn, I envy you, you have some amazing pictures, yes, I admit I have "a job in a corporate cubicle," so I have to live vicariously through you:)

  Brian Feb 8, 2007 4:14 PM


Great photos Alex! You haven't changed a bit.

  Jackie Feb 9, 2007 2:52 PM


My man, you are living a John Cusack movie! Hang in there. Don't worry about that German chica, I'm pretty sure I saw her photo on a poster for STDs, anyway.

I know the whole romance with travel is hard to realize when you're trying to sleep on rocks and you don't want to pee because your hands are too damned cold to touch your "jimmy". But try not to second guess. I can't think of a better person cut out for what you're doing. And what you're doing is a pretty cool thing. It takes a lot of courage. By the way - let me know if you need money........I'll forward the info to your mom.

Lots of love, Alex.

  Rob Feb 10, 2007 3:31 AM


Hi Alex

I hope you`re ok. Thank you for wonderfull words.
I`ll see you soon, hun! :)

  Eva Helen Feb 10, 2007 4:40 AM


Sorry about your heart Alex. Doug is sooo right! Girls are very bad, stay away! Going to a stars game on valentine's with your mother! Be careful, can't wait to hear where you turn up next.

  joyce Feb 12, 2007 5:20 AM



  mmg tinnie Feb 17, 2007 7:25 AM


"On this island of craggy rocks I've realized that rocks can't get much harder but hearts sure can. It's pretty well scarred now." - -

Nice to see Ireland had a poetic effect on you -

Beautiful words

  Pj May 20, 2007 8:13 PM

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