Rick Rolling Myself

CW: Discussion of depression and mental illness

Does everyone know the song that goes “Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down” etc, etc, etc? I assume yes, since that was kind of the peak of comedy back in like, 2008, 2009. And look how far we’ve come. Now our memes have evolved. Even our evolving memes are about evolving.



I kid you not, the file name of this picture when I got it off of the Googles was “We-all-know-Morgan-Freeman-can-bend-spoons-with-his-mind” and like… yeah. Duh. He’s God. Of course He can.

Anyways, jokes aside, I wanted to write this because I literally keep Rick Rolling myself. I have that ear worm of a chorus stuck in my head, except it goes more like this: “You’re just gonna die alone/No one will ever love you/You’re a piece of sh*t/So f*ck you.”

I haven’t been seeing my therapist regularly, which may be part of the problem. Honestly, I have a lot going on and it feels like I have no time… but I know that some of that time is being sucked up by my insomnia and then sleeping late to compensate for it. And instead of doing something that is, I don’t know, “productive” – like doing homework or watching videos for my online classes, I end up just refreshing the same three websites over and over and over.

I know this procrastination is a symptom of depression. I know that I’m not a lazy person – give me a set schedule, give me the meds, support, and everything I need to feel okay, and I will be doing everything that I need to and get it done way before it’s due. But because I’m sort of free floating at the moment – my schedule is too loosey goosey – and because I’m not really seeing my professional supports right now, I can tell I’m slipping. I do have things I need to do and places I need to be, but it’s not exactly “set in stone” or anything.

However, I am actively trying to do things that are bettering myself. For example – I went to see my physical therapist today and she told me to do these five exercises to gain more mobility and movement in my shoulders and hip flexors. Doing those exercises hurt a LOT, but I know it’s good for me. So… I guess I have to kind of put the same sort of attitude into what I’m doing now. It’s easier for me to procrastinate and put off things that don’t have to be done immediately. Although getting the important things done is harder, and although they may sort of suck at the time while I’m doing them, I know that it’ll help me in the end.

Getting work done takes effort and energy though, which can be hard to summon when you’re feeling sort of “blah” and exhausted from not sleeping well. Doing chores, taking care of yourself, even just getting up to go to the bathroom seems emotionally and physically taxing. Simple self-care actions are no longer “easy peasy lemon squeezy” but instead, “difficult difficult lemon difficult.”

Somehow, despite this lack of general self-care, I go to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu about three to four times a week now because, despite the constant soreness from it, and despite how hard it is to work myself up to get my *ss over there, I have found it to be a huge stress reliever.

I love martial arts. I love the rush you get when sparring. And I love the people at the place I’ve been going to, which, honestly, has been a big motivator. I’m really working hard to learn. My goal is to hopefully move up a stripe or two by the end of the year. I have a concrete goal and it’s got a set time limit. As long as I don’t keep doing stupid things to injure myself (which I’ve already done) I should be able to accomplish it. I also am taking Japanese classes, and I absolutely adore them. I have finally been learning something I’ve wanted to learn for so long! I would like to get to a point where I’m able to hold a basic conversation by the end of this class. Another goal.

As a mental health worker, I learned that having an attainable goal and giving yourself the appropriate time to reach it is very important. But usually this far off goal has to be broken up into much smaller goals. So, for every day, I have to set “mini” goals that I can check off at the end of the day. Being able to say, “I finished what I set out to do” is a good feeling and helps to combat the “laziness” feeling of depression.

Buuuuuuut… even though I know this, even though I have given this exact advice to my own clients and patients, I still struggle with getting myself to do it. I keep forgetting to set up goals for myself at the beginning of the day. I know what I am supposed to do, but the hard part for me is just doing it, even though I know it’s good for me. 

Anyways. To get back to the main point – my Rick Rolling song is… not a pleasant refrain to have keep playing in my head. So I’m trying to combat that by distracting myself. It’s not really working at the moment. I know that the real solution is probably to just practice my affirmations. It’s just hard when it feels like there’s so much evidence to the contrary of each affirmation. And I know that the “evidence” I have that “proves” I’m a worthless piece of sh*t all comes from my bias towards negative self-perception. I know that being depressed makes you more likely to perceive things a certain way. I know that depression and all these years of self-hatred are still sort of lingering and not quite letting go. But I know that doing work to feel better is probably going to help in the long run. It’ll help me in my relationships with people and it’ll help me move forward with my life and my goals.

I want to get better. I know how to do it. I just have to take action.

This post was kind of circular, I realize that. I keep creeping into the pit of despair and then dragging myself on out, reminding myself of what I have to do to get better and how I gotta keep moving forward. The reason why I showed you the constant internal battle I have going on inside me is to show you how depression can really make you feel like you’re losing control. I know what I have to do, and I do want to get better, but it’s like I’m walking with 50 pound weights on my ankles. Every step towards recovery is slow. But I’m really trying, everyone.

I know I’m not being lazy – I’m just always fighting myself every step of the way.

If you’re feeling depressed and “lazy,” I hope this can help. I hope that you seek treatment and get the support you need. I hope that you recognize that you’re probably not lazy, but fighting yourself every step of the way. And that takes a lot out of you! Like I said, I just feel like I’m lacking the energy to put in effort for some things. But I have found getting better is just… worth it. Worth the struggle. Worth fighting for.

Please do seek professional help if you feel very depressed. And please do not hesitate to call the Suicide Hotlines (1-800-784-2433 or 1-800-273-8255) or Samaritans (call or text 1-877-870-4673).

All my love!



2017 is over, thank goodness. But because I can’t sleep, because I keep tossing and turning and thoughts keep swirling around my head, I needed to get everything out.

I first wanted to say thank you to everyone I became friends with in 2017. You all have touched my life and mean a lot to me.

But I also wanted to apologize to a lot of people. 2017 was a hard year, but it was a year of growth and maturation for me.

The thing about growth is that it’s also loss, in a way. Dropping an outdated perspective, losing a previous way of thinking and feeling and replacing it with something new and healthier. But maybe a better way to visualize it is by stacking new things over the old – the old stuff still kind of hangs around. I am still a work in progress. I am still learning a lot. I feel like I’ve changed in many ways, that I have lost the naïveté that I used to have. I still have to work on gaining compassion for myself when I mess up, but that will come with time.

I’m proud of how far I’ve come in a year. For example, I used to only be able to deadlift 20 pounds last year, but now I’m at 135. I used to not be able to do a lot of things, physically or emotionally. I didn’t know how to handle feeling sad and stressed and out of control. Now I know what steps I can take to get back in control and not do or say regrettable things. Another thing I have learned is how to keep my walls up. I learned how to protect myself, because I’ve had to. It’s not necessarily a good thing and I wish I could sort of go back to being far more hopeful and happy-go-lucky but I just can’t be that anymore.

Yet I have finally become someone who stays on task and does things to better herself and doesn’t just let depression take hold. I’m not just avoiding the world and my fears anymore, I’m facing everything head on. I handled an intensive web development bootcamp. I will continue to learn as much as I can. I will continue to become stronger – physically, mentally, emotionally. I will stand up for what is right. I will stand up for myself and others. I will not allow myself to wallow in despair. I will become great one day, not mediocre, not just okay, but great. That is my goal. Just like BC’s motto, “Ever to excel.” That will be what I do. I will continue to work hard to become the best “me” I can be and strive for excellence. I won’t let myself or others down. Not anymore.

Again, I have done a lot of stupid stuff in my life. I have made mistakes and those mistakes have affected others. I guess it just proves that I’m human though. I’m human, and I’m alive. I’m alive because I keep fighting. I make mistakes because I’m human – but because I now own up to my mistakes and have worked hard to improve myself, because I have changed – that also proves that I am human. People change as time moves on. I know that my path has had ups, downs, and so many forks and curves. But I’ve finally learned to roll with the punches. It has not been easy and clearly I have been punched a lot. But I keep standing back up and I keep moving forward.

I will always be a friend and ally to those in need. If you feel like you have nowhere to go, it’s okay – you can always come to me. Because I have been there. So many times. Too many times. But it gets better. It keeps getting better.

One last thing: I just wanted to thank everyone who has supported me and been there for me, thank you to everyone who has touched my life in some way. Your mere existence means a lot to me. Thank you for being you, for being a person who has changed me in some way.

I love you all.

Warmest wishes.

May 3rd (and present)

May 3rd: Hello Dolly, Edinburgh Castle, Wings

I chose to yet again sleep in late because I was so dang exhausted! I finally got up and out, messaged the Chicago people to see if they wanted to meet up and so we went to the National Museum of Scotland together! It was quite an experience seeing the actual (stuffed) cloned sheep named Dolly. She was the only embryo to make it out of 277 cloning attempts. She even had some lambs of her own! SCIENCE. IT’S AMAZING.


I also saw The Maiden (see previous post). That was quite something. Yikes. And I learned quite a lot about Scottish history at the museum, and saw some pretty cool old clothes and such. Fashion is so interesting, how styles change while some aspects of fashion linger, how certain statements can be made through someone’s outfit – human beings are so endlessly fascinating!

Anyways, after that, the Chicagoans and I went to the meeting location for the Edinburgh Castle tour. Now that was really something. We learned about Ewert, about the castle, about the kings and queens, about Sir Walter Scott, and our tour guide even sang. Thank goodness for the new Canadian friend I made on the tour, she video taped him singing! (She is going backpacking across the Scottish highlands, and I hope she’s loving it!!). I am going to try to attach a clip of him singing a song about a Scottish man who must go off to war for the British, and how he is saying goodbye to his beloved.

Some views from the Castle:


Sir Walter Scott, the person whose memorial I took a picture of yesterday, was crucial in saving the Scottish Highlander traditions. He wrote poetry and romanticized the Scottish culture. Before him, anything native to Scotland was on its way to being eradicated – the kilts, the bagpipe – it was a way to keep the Scottish under English rule. But King George IV was intrigued by Sir Walter Scott’s works. He liked the sound of Scottish Highlander culture, he basically became a giant fan boy. And so King George IV arrived at Edinburgh Castle, wearing a kilt that didn’t fit him quite right, and pink stockings. The Scottish people who saw him thought it was hilarious. So they’re outside the castle cheering for King George IV, who is absolutely loving it. He thought they were praising him and adoring him, not finding him a laughingstock. So he decided that bringing back Scottish Highlander traditions was important, all because of Sir Walter Scott.

Later on, another fan of Sir Walter Scott, Queen Victoria, came to Scotland to see it in person. She (presumably) clutched her copy of Sir Walter Scott’s works to her chest, eager to see Edinburgh Castle. When she arrived, she saw the Castle and was very disappointed. Downright dismayed. She had expected a CASTLE. Not just a collection of old buildings. So she had a grand entrance built for her. She was a fangirl of Sir Walter Scott’s works and Scottish traditions but also wanted things to go her way. And ever the perv, she even had kilts on her Scottish soldiers cut down to above the knee, all because she wanted to see some man-calf. (When our tour guide, a Scottish man named Greg, did his impersonation of Queen Victoria, I was going to cry from laughing so hard!!)

And I know I mentioned the name Ewert earlier. Charles Ewert. This guy was just amazing. He was highly regarded by all. He fought in the Battle of Waterloo, against Napoleon’s troops. There was a certain group of soldiers in Napoleon’s army – the 45th Regiment. The golden eagle was their standard/symbol. This regiment was the toughest out of all of Napoleon’s military might – they were the ones who all of the others looked up to because of their strength and strategy. But during the Battle of Waterloo, Charles Ewert was such a bad*ss that he captured the golden eagle standard of the 45th Regiment, and when Napoleon’s armies saw this, morale suddenly dropped. Everyone became disorganized. There was no one who could lead them through this battle if the 45th Regiment was taken down. We all know how Waterloo went and yadda yadda Napoleon was defeated.

But before that battle, there was a time when Charles Ewert had been fighting Napoleon’s troops in the mountains (I don’t remember where for sure… Italy? Germany?). It was winter. There were only a few men of Charles Ewert’s troop who managed to escape Napoleon’s army. They had to fight the bitter cold and snow as they trudged their way through the mountains. As they were walking, Charles Ewert heard a wail. What on earth could that be? he thought. So he searched for the source of the cry – it turned out to be a baby. A baby in the arms of his dead mother. The mother had frozen to death, using her clothes to swaddle the baby and keep him warm and alive. The baby still tried to drink from the mother’s breast. Charles Ewert swore to protect that baby and find the father.

Ewert found the man who was the father of the child Ewert found – he was a sergeant of the 60th Regiment. He was distraught at hearing the news of his dead wife, and swore to find his wife to put her to rest properly.

The child was raised a healthy and happy boy (but not by Ewert, if I remember right). Ewert encountered the father of the boy once more in his life, years later – the man had actually found his wife and gave her a proper burial. Ewert was offered a large sum of money in repayment for saving his son. He refused to take the man’s money, but then was offered a silver watch, which he did accept.

Charles Ewert was buried and the grave was long forgotten and paved over. Years later, to commemorate his strength, but more importantly, his strength of character and his goodness, he was reburied on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. How did they know it was Ewert for sure? He was buried with the silver watch he received for saving a baby’s life.

So Ensign Charles Ewert is right by the very front of Edinburgh Castle.

By the way, the aforementioned STONE OF DESTINY is housed within Edinburgh Castle. So when I got to see it, I was like… wow. This is it? It’s literally a rock. You can see where the stone mason connected the two broken parts. There are also the crown jewels there, and a wand-like thing? Very sparkly. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of these things though, which was kind of a bummer.

My Canadian friend and I went into the memorial at Edinburgh Castle for all of the soldiers and others who had been killed during different wars. It was a very powerful place. Seeing the books and books and books of names of people who had died for their country, died to save others, died to protect, it was really moving.

The oldest part of the castle is the smallest, plainest building, but it still has some pretty amazing stained glass. Especially considering it was made in the early 12th century. It’s called Saint Margaret’s Chapel. It’s the oldest building in Edinburgh.


You can also go into the room where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to King James VI. There are a LOT of stories I learned on this tour related to the history and everything, but I don’t think I can write down all of them in one post! Maybe in future posts.


The Unicorn is the national animal of Scotland. In mythology, a unicorn is the only animal that can take down a lion. Guess which national animal has a lion as its symbol (hint: it’s a land that starts with an Eng).

There’s also a couple of museums within the walls of the castle – there’s one for prisoners of war, where there’s a door with a carving of one of the first uses of the American stars and stripes. I thought that was pretty cool. There’s also a military museum, where my Canadian friend and I met up with our American and Portuguese friends.

After touring the castle, we went to a place that had live music. The live music was absolutely incredible, and we were in such a small bar, we really were right up close to the musicians.

We talked and talked and talked and unfortunately, I had to leave because I was meeting up with my friend who I was staying with. I treated her and her boyfriend to dinner since I owed them that at the very least – they had helped me so much by letting me stay with them, and it was so great to see my friend again. Plus, she even taught me how to do the bench press! I think I’m pretty dang good at it for a beginner, haha.

So we went to this place called Wings, which has exactly what the name suggests. Wings for days. I was in heaven! The restaurant even had a TV with a very old game console hooked up to it so we could play Bomber Man. I lost about 30 seconds into each round, haha.

Wings had such great nerdy memorabilia and so many things related to comics and TV shows that I love! And the food was top notch. So overall, that place would get like, five Michelin stars from me haha. (Yes, I know that it only is supposed to go to three, don’t worry.)

So we walked home from Wings and we talked and my friend helped me sort out what I really want to do in life. She gave me a simple layout of how to figure out what I want to do – I said, “I want to help people,” and “specifically, the LGBTQ+ community.” And you know, there are ways for me to do this. But now I see that I would rather do that in my spare time. Doing it for a job is just… too much for me. I realize that I would be burnt out within a few years. What I have always wanted, what I’ve always dreamed of has always been working for Disney or Pixar in some capacity.

So I’ve decided recently that I’m going into coding. You’re probably thinking, “Why?” and, “So what?” and, “How is this related to Disney/Pixar?”

Let me ease your weary minds. The thing is – they need software developers at Disney/Pixar because they do a LOT of the work there. How did Rapunzel’s hair move the way that hair should in Tangled? New software. How did Merida’s hair move and bounce so naturally? New software. So I figure, hey – this would be my way in. If I wanted to go into the art aspect of the job, I’d need to go back for my undergrad in fine arts, preferably at RISD or CalArts. I’m good at art, but I’m not stellar – I know my limitations. I would need to catch up on years of not practicing, learn how to do a ton of Photoshop, get extremely good and have a super creative storytelling style with my art.

And you know, I’m very interested in getting a degree in fine arts one day. I really am. But for now, I see that coding will get me at least one step closer to my goal. It will make me marketable. It will help me get into places and jobs that I couldn’t get into before because I lacked the skills. And if anything, I don’t have to go into Disney/Pixar, I could go into developing software for fMRI machines. Working on eye tracking studies. Stuff that ties in my love of psychology with whatever skills I have.

I was at a café the other day (in America) and heard the song that had the lyrics, “What are you going to spend your free life on?” and I decided I’m not going to spend it on waiting. I’m not going to waste my valuable time doing something I don’t want to do, doing something that makes me miserable and stressed. I want to do something that gets me excited every day. I want to do something that brings me joy. I want to follow my bliss – something that my high school graduation speaker said to us. Follow your bliss. I always liked that saying, but I forgot about it for so long because of how depressed I was.

When I was depressed – I really couldn’t see things as they were. I was so miserable and everything was so much darker. Everything seemed like a crisis to me because it genuinely was at the time. I couldn’t handle the littlest of things – things that I can just brush off easily now. I couldn’t see my way out of the dark, find my way out of the cave. And now I see only sunlight. Now I can see the path I need to take. I can fight whatever demons try to bring me back into the dark because I know what they look like now. I just honestly couldn’t recognize the signs for so long, which is frustrating, but I only have compassion for myself and understanding for why I did certain things. I purposefully would do things that made me more miserable (i.e.: isolating myself, staying in my bed all day) because I did not believe I deserved happiness, didn’t have the motivation to do anything better. Lack of motivation is a real problem with depression, and the inability to be able to escape the emptiness and sadness within just takes away any remaining scraps of motivation.

So go – follow your bliss. Find what makes you happiest. If you find yourself feeling like you cannot get out of the darkness, please seek help. Find a therapist, a psychiatrist. Call a helpline. There are resources out there to help you. You’re not alone.

As always, thank you for reading! Sending you only best wishes and all my love! ❤

May 2nd

May 2nd: Free walking tour, new friend from Brazil, best gelato I’ve ever had in my life

I woke up pretty darn late on Tuesday. I was very tired from a long day of travel and activities, so I stayed in bed. When I finally stopped lazing I walked around the Royal Mile, and I ate at one of the places JK Rowling worked on Harry Potter (The Elephant House)! I tried Scottish fish pie for the first time, and I actually liked it. An Australian gent sat next to me, we struck up conversation, and I made a joke, and then I said, “JK, JK” and he understood my pun and totally geeked out!! (Get it? Like JK Rowling?? I’m so witty.

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I rushed out of the Elephant House in order to make it to a free guided walking tour of Edinburgh. I arrived just in time (it’s becoming a bit of a habit). I became fast friends with an older couple from Chicago and a 27 year old guy from Brazil. My Brazilian buddy and I were cracking jokes all throughout the tour, and the Chicagoans were lovely and quite funny too. 

I learned a lot about Scottish history – and as for Harry Potter-related things, I learned plenty of that too! Here is the grave of Thomas Riddell and his son, Thomas Riddell, the inspiration for VOLDEMORT.


There were also the graves of people with the last names Moody and McGonagall. William McGonagall, specifically. The worst poet ever. This guy loved Queen Victoria. He wrote her poetry and sent it to her, and the response he received was basically, “Yeah man that was not great poetry at all… don’t come to the castle to see the queen. This is the opposite of an invitation.” SO William McGonagall goes to the castle to see the queen. He shows the guard the letter he got and the guard says, “My dude, I hate to say it, but you were totally rejected. If you’re as good of a poet as you say you are, why not recite some for me right now?” And so McGonagall does exactly that. He recites some really bad poetry – he rhymed the word “scene” with “green” multiple times. It’s pretty painful. Whether the guard deemed the man worthy of seeing the queen, I cannot recall, so it will remain a mystery.

Some more pictures of Greyfriar’s Kirkyard:


That last picture is of the Flodden Wall, which was built to keep out invaders many, many years ago. There were a lot of “Build that wall!” jokes made, like how it was paid for by the English.

Also – related to the Greyfriar’s Kirkyard is the little dog statue. Long story short – the dog was supposedly the companion of the person who tended the graveyard, but when that guy died, the dog continued to protect the graves, and was given voting rights and rights to the city. Is it true? There are a few parts of the story that don’t quite line up, but it’s still super cute.

Trigger warning: some gruesome descriptions

On the tour, I also learned about Mercat Cross, a place where news about the city (AKA gossip) and news from other places (which would be 3 days late by the time that it arrived in Edinburgh) was announced. I also learned that the punishment for criminals who committed minor crimes (as in, not deserving of death) was to have a nail go through their ear so that they were pinned to the gallows in front of Mercat Cross. Then, the crowd would jeer at them and curse and throw things. The only way to get off was to tear their ear, which would brand the person permanently as a criminal.

Fun fact: beheadings were exclusively for the upper classes, while being hanged was for lower class citizens. To behead, they had The Maiden, which was not slanted like the French guillotine. The Maiden didn’t really work effectively – for the last person to be killed this way, it took 4 tries to get someone’s head off all the way.

End of trigger warning 

So one of my absolute favorite stories from the tour was about the Stone of Destiny (ooooooooo, ahhhhhhh). The Stone of Destiny was how the Scots used to crown kings. The to-be king would be on the Stone and the crown would be placed on his head, and bing bang boom, you got a king. But the Stone of Destiny was taken away from the Scottish by Edward I, a king of England, and was placed under the throne of Westminster Abbey. And that is where it stayed for years and years, even after King James the VI/I, even after the unification, England held onto the Stone. 

Until one fateful night in 1950, when four Scottish lads got drunk and decided, “That Stone belongs to Scotland! We must take back what is ours!” And so they did.

…Sort of.

They snuck into Westminster Abbey late at night. (How they did this while drunk is beyond me.) They then rocked the throne back and forth so that they could get the stone. Remember, there are only four drunk men. They get the stone, and on their way out, they drop it. 


The Stone is then split into two – a big piece and a smaller piece. The big piece is buried somewhere in Northern England, while the four guys kept the smaller piece and brought it to a shady stone mason. You know, the kind of stone masons your mother always told you to stay away from. They talked to the stone mason and asked if he could repair the stone. The stone mason is like, “Oooohhhh I know what that is. Where’s the other piece??” They told him they had buried it, and he basically says, “You buried sandstone in the wettest, most acidic, coldest land??” So the guys panic and go and get the other half right-quick. The stone mason connected the two pieces together.

And then they brought it to Scotland where they were lauded as heroes!


They brought the stone back to Scotland, true – but one of the men, Ian Hamilton, KEPT THE STONE FOR A COFFEE TABLE.

Time passes, and he starts feeling guilty and starts thinking, “Yeah, maybe I should give the stone to Scotland…” So he does what every rational person does. He left it with a priest. The priest was like, “Oooohhhh I know what this is. But I don’t know what to do! What a moral dilemma!” So he gives hands it over to the law and lets them figure out what to do with it.

The police took it, and then the Stone of Destiny was returned to its rightful place in Scotland! 


Before it was returned to Scotland (which it was, eventually) it first was returned BACK TO ENGLAND. When England finally gave the Stone over to Scotland, there was a huge procession – this big parade where there were bagpipes droning and the Stone was brought up to Edinburgh Castle. But the bagpipers weren’t playing that traditional Scottish song that almost everyone knows. No, the bagpipers played the Mission Impossible theme song as they brought back this ancient, broken (then fixed), ridiculous Stone of Destiny. I mean, honestly though… the Stone literally is a slab of rock. No decorations. Just… a regular old rock.

The story doesn’t end there though. Scotland is going to have to hand over the Stone to England once more for THEIR crowning ceremony. I’m still not over this, haha.

I even took a picture of the greatest gelato there ever will be and ever has been. My Brazilian buddy suggested we go to this place that is apparently world famous, and we did, and WOW I DON’T REGRET IT AT ALL. It is world famous for a reason. 


Brazilian dude and I hung out for the rest of the day, it was quite lovely. I was so glad I made such a wonderful friend.

We walked up Calton Hill – the place where they wanted to make a Parthenon replica but they ran out of funding midway… so all that’s left is a bunch of columns. Quite amusing. But the views are great!


We also went to the Royal Mile Tavern for dinner, and got fried Mars Bars. I wasn’t going to try it because I was afraid I was going to love it, but then I tried it (due to peer pressure) and then I loved it and ate a lot.


Here are some more pictures of Edinburgh Castle, and of the Sir Walter Scott memorial. I’ll talk more about Sir Walter Scott on the next post!



Anyways, I realize that this post is SUPER late but that’s because I was typing up all of those blog posts on my phone and it was taking wayyyyy longer than I would have liked, plus I didn’t want to waste time inside when I could be either exploring or sleeping, haha. 

This is just the first of eight blog posts remaining. Oy. Seven left to go! I got this 😀 Haha I hope you all enjoyed this as much as I did! Wishing you all the best!

As always, thank you for reading and sending you all my love! ❤ 

May 1st

May 1st: New airplane friend, old karate friend, climbing Arthur’s Seat

I woke up pretty late and was moving pretty slow on Monday morning. I just didn’t want to leave, and didn’t feel like getting out of bed after having such exciting days previously. I went and grabbed a banana at the lovely supermarket across the way, got my stuff, hopped on the bus to the airport, and realized midway through the bus ride that I was running very late. I needed to have already been at the airport before 10:30 am… but I didn’t panic or freak out at all, like I would have in the past! I just calmly thought, welp, I’ll get there when I get there. It was my fault for moving so slow, but there was nothing I could do about it. I recognized where I messed up and learned from it. This may seem like something minor but I really have always had a hard time with beating myself up over everything. I’ve noticed that now, I don’t apologize as much as I used to. I’m nowhere near the person I used to be. And I’m going to continue towards getting better.

Anyways, I arrived at the airport at the nick of time, got everything all set, and got to my gate. It all went pretty smoothly, and I’d like to credit that to my calmer demeanor and more “take things as they come” attitude.

I got on the plane, sat down, found out it was the wrong seat (second time I’ve done that this trip), and then sat in the row in front next to a lovely red headed Irish woman. She and I talked about everything from politics, to mental health, to the LGBTQIAP+ community, etc. She was straight but was an excellent ally. And she helped me more with figuring out what I should do with my life. She seems to be leaning towards me going into social work to be a therapist for the LGBTQIAP+, but the more time goes on, the less certain I am about that. I fluctuate from thinking, “Yeah! I’d be great at this!” to thinking, “I don’t know if I could do this…”

It was a really fantastic plane ride, albeit short. The lady was kind enough to wait for my bag at baggage claim with me. We talked more on the bus towards Waverly Station in Edinburgh, but she got off a few stops before me. I got off the bus and immediately saw my friend Cara’s boyfriend, Joe. Joe is a doll, complete sweetheart. I really was so grateful for all his help. He and I walked a bit and I took in some of the sights of Edinburgh but I was so hungry that we went to a place called “Burritos and Shakes!” They definitely will never be sued for false advertising, at least. Haha, I was so hungry, that everything tasted amazing/maybe it really was as good as I thought it was!

Joe and I talked quite a bit about the mental health field. He’s been in it and knows it very well. It really is so draining. I just don’t know if I really want to continue with it.

Anyways, we arrived back at his and Cara’s apartment and I still appreciate them for paying for my bus trip. I dropped off my stuff, and explored. I went down the Royal Mile and climbed up Arthur’s Seat… but I didn’t make it to the top. I don’t regret my decision though (because I’m living a life with no regrets now) but also because there were ambulances and I heard someone crying for help on the steep upward climb… I don’t think I would have been much help if there was a serious crisis situation since I only know CPR and basic First Aid, plus I get woozy at the sight of blood. So I just said, “Nope” and turned right around.


What’s really funny is that the yellow flowered bushes are entirely made of thorns. Stick your hand in and it’ll get all ripped up. These bushes line the sides of Arthur’s Seat – if you fall off the side of the ridge, you’re gonna tumble through all those bushes. And if you lean on the side of the ridge, there are also more of those bushes. So the only advice I can give is stay down the middle of the path. Which is kind of like what I’m doing now. I’m trying to stay a lot more balanced, a lot more centered. I don’t want to tumble down through the thorns again. And I don’t want to push myself so hard that I need to lean on something (or someone) – only more thorns that way. Middle of the road is where I will try to stay.


Some wise words from the Scots.

Anyways, during dinner, I ended up doing some drawing! I’m so thrilled. It means I’m really on the way to recovery when you see me drawing my favorite Avatar: The Last Airbender characters, haha.

Then, when I finally returned back to the apartment, I got to see Cara!!! I missed her so much. It was so great catching up. I watched her and her friend play Portal 2. It was just so great.

Alright, so that was Monday. I only have 5 more days to catch up on! Haha 🙂

Wishing you all the best, sending all my love, and thanks for reading!

April 30th

Sunday, April 30th: Food, exploration, Trinity College!

On Sunday, I wandered leisurely to the Temple Bar area of Dublin. It was my last full day in Ireland, I didn’t have any plans, but I knew there were a few things I wanted to accomplish before I left. I didn’t see everything I wanted, but I know that I will be returning to Dublin someday soon. I would kill to go to Trinity College.

Anyways, so I made it over to Gallagher’s Boxty restaurant, where I had the best shepherd’s pie of my life. I also started talking to a man from Argentina. He told me about how his father had been very strict on him while he was growing up, and still was to this day. I told him that his life is his life, he gets to decide what he does, and it’s best to let his father’s harsh words to roll off him like water off a duck’s back. He has two daughters, and is raising them alone. He doesn’t want to become like his father – and I told him, he doesn’t have to. He can just be more aware of his actions and words than his father may have been. It was a talk that reflected how much I learned from therapy. It’s shown me not only how far I’ve come, how much I’ve grown, but also how much I love helping people and just listening to their stories. But I noticed that I really enjoy teaching too, and guiding people. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do. I honestly don’t know. Project management sounds pretty cool though, as does digital marketing… but I don’t think I like the idea of working for a big business. I still have a lot of work to do.

By the way, I found out that shepherd’s pie is usually just lamb, unlike what they do in the states, where it’s just beef. The shepherd’s pie I had at Boxty was both! It tasted a lot like my mom’s ground lamb Persian dish. It was sooooo goooood.



After the amazing food, I went around, popped in and out of stores, found a couple of souvenirs, and went to Trinity College for a guided tour and a viewing of the Book of Kells.

And all I can say is… wow.

I learned a lot of cool tidbits about Trinity College, like how architecture isn’t a major there because of how the people who wanted to add buildings kept screwing over architects and never paid any of them. Also, in the 1700s some drunk university students threw some rocks at a senior professor’s bedroom because they hated him, and then the professor took out his gun and fired a warning shot into the air, and then the drunk students went and got their guns. There was a fire fight between the students and the professor, and the professor didn’t evade a bullet in time and got hit and died. The students were not convicted of murder, they were let off the hook because the judge decreed it was a harmless prank that went awry. They were expelled from the university – not because they murdered a professor, but because they broke the glass windows, which was damaging school property. That was what they were expelled for. Man, I would never want to live in the 1700s.

Here is a picture of Trinity’s bell tower. If a student walks under there and the bell rings while they are under it, there’s a superstition that says that the student will fail all of their exams!


I also saw the Book of Kells and its accompanying exhibit, but I was not allowed to take pictures of any of it, unfortunately. But wow, the Book of Kells is unbelievably intricate and detailed. It has existed since the year 800 AD. Think about that. It felt like I was looking back in time. What an amazing experience. Also, if you haven’t seen the movie The Secret of Kells, it’s quite good.

I did get to take pictures of the Long Hall of the old library of Trinity. Enjoy!


The old library also houses the oldest harp ever discovered. It’s truly beautiful. The national symbol of Ireland is the harp, and it is the only country that has a musical instrument as its symbol!


After seeing the Book of Kells, I stopped at a cafe. And just by chance, the people sitting behind me were from Northeastern University! I talked to the two girls about their studies and what their plans were, etc. It was so great to meet fellow Bostonians! They were quite lovely, and they were planning on going backpacking together around Europe! I wished them luck and I wandered a bit more.

I went to The Celt for dinner, where there was live music. It wasn’t the live Irish music I was hoping for – they played several John Denver songs, which I loved, but wasn’t expecting, haha. The music was great though, and I was seated with random strangers, which gave me the opportunity to talk and make more friends. I have noticed that I met a lot of Australians.

Anyways, the food was excellent, and there were ACTUAL VEGETABLES. Oh man, I nearly started crying from relief. I never thought I would miss green things so much.

Marvel at the beauty of the green beans.


Also, I ordered a chocolate and lavender mousse. Wow. That was probably the best dessert I have ever had.


Mmmmm. I’m still day dreaming about that. It was so amazing!

I left The Celt pretty late at night and also stumbled upon a statue of James Joyce, which I have to show to my senior year roommate who read Ulysses over the course of a semester. The main thing I learned from her rants about Ulysses is that I never want to read Ulysses, haha.

Anyways, that was that day! I have lots to say about Edinburgh, so that will be in a different post.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and I hope you enjoyed it! Thank you and sending you all my love!

April 29th

I know I am waaaaay behind now on my blog posts, but I’ve been prioritizing sleep while in Edinburgh and time with friends, which I think is important!

EDIT: Pictures are being added gradually!

So, here it is, one of the most interesting days of my time in Europe so far:

April 29th: Belfast, Giant’s Causeway, Terrifying Rope Bridge

I woke up at 5:30 AM (again) and slept in till 5:45 (again) but this time I didn’t have much of a choice but to get up and get going since I had a longish walk ahead of me. We were meeting outside the Gresham Hotel, at the Millenium Spire, also known as the “Stiffy by the Liffey.” Its name, Millenium Spire, is even funny, because the expectation was that it would be made and done for the millenium, back in 2000. It wasn’t done till 2003!

Anyways, while standing by the giant needle, I struck up conversation with an older couple from Canada, mentioned I was from Boston, and someone else said she was from Boston too! The Canadians were quite nice (par for the course for Canadians), and I enjoyed talking to them. I couldn’t tell if the person from Boston disliked me or not, haha.

Anyways, so we all boarded the bus after waiting a solid half hour outside in the early morning. We got on and first headed to Belfast, where some people would go to the Titanic Museum, and some would go do the Black Taxi Tours around Belfast. I chose the taxi tours because I really wanted to learn more about The Troubles. History fascinates me. At a rest stop on the way there, I became friends with a student from Australia who was studying abroad in Edinburgh but was visiting Ireland for a few days before exams. So the trio became the Bostonian, the student, and me.

When we had crossed into Northern Ireland, at the point where we crossed, there used to be a huge checkpoint where people entering and exiting would have to go through thorough inspection. With big scary guns. Now – we just drove past a sign that said, “Welcome to Northern Ireland.” That’s it.


Blurry picture, but it was the best I could do with little notice!

When we arrived in Belfast, I couldn’t believe how different it was from the rest of Ireland. It has such a different vibe. My trio sat in the taxi and we were joined by two older men on a business trip.

When the tour began, I couldn’t really take pictures of most of the murals on the Protestant side just because of where I was sitting in a seat where I would have had to reach over someone to take a picture, so I didn’t want to do that. Besides, honestly, I’m not really a fan of that side after the tour. Basically, on the Protestant side, there are mostly murals commemorating people who killed many Catholics. On the Catholic side, there are murals with so many of the names of people who died and fought for freedom. Too many children were killed. Sure, there were some murals depicting the members of the IRA, but they weren’t painted to look like the bad guys, but as people who fought for freedom. So many Catholics were dying during The Troubles that they asked if they could bury some of their dead in a Protestant graveyard. The Protestants agreed, but under 3 conditions. I can only remember two – they had to have their own gravedigger, and there had to be a 9 foot wall surrounding the dead body on all sides, just in case the Catholic person’s body sunk in the ground. The wall was to protect the Protestants from a Catholic desecrating their ground.

I will never understand religion.

So I’m going to put some pictures of the murals and of the Peace Wall, which I signed. I wrote, “There is beauty in all of us” because I couldn’t think of anything better to say, haha. I hope it inspires someone. The Peace Wall is made of three parts – a bomb proof part, a bullet proof part, and a grenade lobbing proof part (the top fence that is to prevent people from lobbing grenades). There was also a grenade fence on the Catholic side – it would catch grenades and keep the explosions contained to one side of the fence. The grenade catching fence is the green one next to the Peace Wall.


Note the ages of many of the people who died. There were 11 year olds who were killed.

After Belfast, we went to Giant’s Causeway, which was simply amazing. There’s apparently a lot of folklore surrounding the Causeway. But it was beautiful. The stones were all formed into hexagonal shapes naturally.


While at Giant’s Causeway, I kind of slipped and fell (I was fine, just got a bruise on my knee and my ego) and to soothe my bruises I got some mint chocolate chip ice cream. And that was some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had.


I also crossed the Carrick-Rede rope bridge!! Unfortunately, my phone decided to die at that point because it was quite cold out, but here are some pictures of the sights before I got on the bridge.


I won’t lie, as I crossed to the other side the first time, I panicked. I looked down as the wind picked up – first mistake. And then I froze – second mistake. And then I decided to quickly walk across to the other side because I didn’t want the rope bridge to be the end of me! Once I made it to the other side, it was incredible. The wind was so strong and fresh. All I wanted to do was sit there on the spongy grass all day. It was such an amazing experience. I’m never going to forget that. It was exhilarating. It was life changing. It wasn’t a blessing for that my phone died when it did, because I was able to really enjoy the moment. It was amazing.

I fell asleep a few times on the bus on the way back, so I don’t have any pictures of the scenery on the way from Northern Ireland to Dublin. But I loved seeing the sheep, the cows, the horses, and the rolling green hills – all so typical of Ireland but still so lovely to see.

After getting off the bus, the Australian student and I searched for food, but split ways when she found some pizza. I was looking for food that would be more Irish than American, so I wandered and then ran into an older married couple from Australia who I had talked to briefly on the bus. So we talked and ended up finding a place for dinner that was just absolutely amazing. The food was excellent, the conversation was deep, and the company was wonderful. They even covered my dinner and we exchanged numbers, addresses, and emails. They were the sweetest things!


Anyways, that’s the end of that day. It was a fantastic day and I’m loving the freedom that traveling alone gives me.

As always, thank you for reading and sending all my love to everyone!! ❤

April 28th

Friday, April 28th:

I woke up at 5 AM. And then again at 5:30. And then again at 5:45, which is when I surrendered and just got up because I had to get my butt over to the Heuston train station at 6:40. I made it there for 6:45 (running was involved).

On the first train, I befriended three college students visiting Dublin from Baltimore. I talked to them and we chatted about various things. One thing I’ve noticed – almost everyone I’ve talked to here mentions Harry Potter and Game of Thrones at least once, haha. Unless that’s my fault and I’m the one bringing them up. It’s like the chicken and the egg dilemma! (I know it’s not, don’t worry). On the second train to the bus we got on, I sat with a lovely Irish woman who was just commuting to work from where she lived to Limerick. She works in IT. She said a few things that struck me – 1. That whenever she leaves Ireland she realizes how green Ireland really is. 2. She hates the Irish accent – and then I had to demonstrate a Boston accent for her because that is truly hideous. I really hate the sound of my voice when I’m talking to Irish people, because their voices just sound so musical. And 3. She suggested that I look into project management business analysis, website design, and digital marketing. That was immensely helpful. I’m definitely going to seriously consider these as options.

Anyways, we got on a bus that took us from the Limerick train station that was headed to Bunratty Castle. I couldn’t stop staring at the rolling green hills of County Clare. It was stunning. Pictures cannot capture the beauty. Vast expanses of green land just stretched out up the hills and areas of land were just separated by hedges or stone walls that might have been built hundreds of years ago. It’s even better than I could have ever imagined. County Clare has no farms with crops, only cows and sheep. It’s very peaceful. Nature is very healing.


On the bus, I learned that farmers are so superstitious that they refuse to cut down fairy trees, and so roads would have to be built around the trees. I learned that there used to be a train that was so slow it took 2.5 hours to go the distance it took our bus only 20 minutes to go. I learned that rhododendrons are suffocating native plants in Ireland. I also learned a lot about Irish history, some of which I forgot to mention in my previous post. I’ll get to that in a bit.


Above: a fairy tree where the leprechauns live!

So we went to Bunratty Castle first. What an awesome experience! It was built in the 14th century AKA 1300s. It was built by one major clan, the MacNamera family, and then taken over by the O’Brians in the 1500s. The O’Brians were the most powerful family in Munster and there are many different O’Brian castles in ruins across County Clare.


The Bunratty Castle in particular is placed right by the Shannon river, the longest river in Ireland. The other O’Brian castle that we saw (that was intact) was at the Cliffs of Moher (more on the Cliffs later).


The Bunratty Castle had so many treasures and everything was just so old. We sat on benches that were hundreds of years old made of massive trees that must have been hundreds of years old when they were cut down. We learned about the layout of the castle, and why it was built the way it was. The first room that you enter into is the soldiers’ quarters, essentially.


The 50 common soldiers would be on one side of the room, behind what was called a “line of demarcation” that the floor tiles we aligned to make. The line cut the room in half. The other half, nearest to the fireplace, was were the 10 highest ranking officers would sleep. All of the soldiers slept on wooden cots or straw beds. The reason why the soldiers’ quarters was the first place you entered into was because in the case of an invasion, this would be the first line of defense. Other ways that the castle was built to defend it from enemies: spiral staircases spiraling to the right, a murder hole (okay to be honest that’s what it sounded like the lady was saying but I couldn’t quite make it out), and trap doors. The staircases spiraled to the right because if all the soldiers had to hold their swords in their right hands, it would be very difficult to attack and swing if the wall was right there. So the people who had the advantage were the ones higher up the stairs. The murder hole literally was a hole in the ceiling where the defenders of the castle would pour boiling hot water or even boiling animal fat onto the invaders. And the trap door just was a really, really long drop to the dungeon… which was basically just a pit where no one would get out (I’m glad I skipped the dungeon, I get spooked pretty easily). The next room we entered into was where the leader would sit in his big fancy chair and have his secretary sit next to him while they went over the judicial duties, granted people land, and other kingly things. There was another line of demarcation – the fireplace in the center of the room was the line no one could cross, and everyone had to stand up except for the king.


Women were not allowed in the room, but they instead watched from a window high up on the wall. There were also peepholes and hidden holes for soldiers to listen through so that if anyone was saying bad things about the king, they could immediately report it. That’s why they say “the walls have ears.”IMG_5976IMG_6021

Above: The women’s window. Below: A spy-hole for a soldier.

We went all around the castle, exploring rooms and even going to the very top. That was really incredible. I think one of the coolest parts of the entire castle was the antlers and deer head that was over 10,000 years old. That isn’t an exaggeration. The peat bog preserved the remains of an extinct prehistoric deer. Like I said, everything is SO OLD.


After Bunratty Castle, we had lunch in Doolin. I had steak and Guinness stew with milk because I was told to try the milk and basically everything was amazing. I even struck up a conversation with a mom and her two older sons, and then later with a young-ish married couple. The married couple were so nice, it was so lovely chatting with them!

After all that, we went to the Cliffs of Moher. Words and pictures cannot do the Cliffs justice. It was life changing. I saw the Atlantic Ocean from the other side for once. The Cliffs are some 700 feet high.


I even did something spontaneous while climbing up to the castle at the Cliffs of Moher. There was an older gentleman playing his accordion for money. He was playing Danny Boy, and then I asked if I could sing while he played. It was hard because he didn’t know how to play for a singer, but he appreciated my singing. And I appreciated him for giving me that opportunity, the experience of getting to sing Danny Boy while I was in Ireland, while an Irishman played the instrument.

I think the Cliffs of Moher are now my favorite spot in the world – I looked over the Atlantic and just thought about the people who I love who are in America, all the way on the other side of the ocean. It’s truly the most beautiful place you can imagine.

After the Cliffs of Moher, we went to the Burren, which literally just means “rocky place” I believe. Very beautiful. I stared out over the Atlantic Ocean there, too. The rocks were shaped so weirdly – they had circular indents, lots of holes, and were very cracked and broken. The rock is all limestone. I wrote two separate haikus, one for the Cliffs and one for the Burren.

The Atlantic blue
can’t keep my heart from going
all the way back home.

On rocks that look like
runes, I see the mountain tops.
I breathe in, and out.


Anyways, after the Burren, we went to Galway. I tried to stay awake, but I didn’t get much sleep the night before, and the bus just rocked me to sleep. I didn’t want to sleep – I wanted to keep looking out at the water, to see the cows, sheep, and horses that were grazing, and to see the rolling green hills some more.

I was awake long enough to learn about the Potato Famine. People don’t realize how devastating it was. At least 700 people died PER DAY during the 5 years of the famine. If you weren’t dying of starvation and disease caused by starvation yourself, you knew people who were. The diseased potato crops were not the main reason why the Famine was so bad, it was the fact that the British could have helped, and didn’t. They helped at first by providing cheap barley, but then that stopped and basically, it was a tragedy that could have been prevented. To this day, the Irish have some things that lingered – they are told to finish their whole plate at meals, for example. The picture I’m posting below this is of a graveyard where the graves of the people who died by the Famine were just marked with rocks.


After we made it to Galway, I wandered around a bit, befriended a person working at a souvenir shop, and ate dinner at Garvey’s, where I had the best fish and chips of my entire life. The fish was so most, delicate, and didn’t even taste like fish, and the beer battering on the outside was amazing. I thought I wasn’t going to have anymore French fries but… I didn’t want to not finish my plate. Luckily, some random men sitting down at a table next to mine were like, “You going to finish your chips there, luv?” And I was like, “Please take them!” I also loved their accents, being called “luv” unironically just made my day haha.


We got on a train from Galway back to Dublin, and again, I saw the stone walls, the cows, sheep, and horses. While on the train, I was offered some real Irish whiskey to sip, and it was very potent!! I wasn’t expecting it to burn so much! It took me maybe an hour to drink less than a shot, haha.

I arrived back in Dublin as a changed person. The beauty of the Cliffs of Moher cannot be overstated. I wish I could go back and just walk and walk and walk. I really felt in touch with my Irish heritage there, and even found my great-grandfather’s surname and the crest of the clan.

I went to sleep a little too late, and this brings us to Saturday – I’ll put that in a new post.

As always, thank you for reading! Sending my love to everyone, no matter where you are!



April 27th

Okay, so… Where to begin??

I woke up, went to a supermarket right across the cobblestone street from my hostel, and then had a full Irish breakfast! It was amazing. I didn’t think I would like black or white pudding, but I loved them both!! I really surprised myself. Plus the sausages and bacon were heavenly.


I will not lie though. Potatoes are involved in every meal. Hash brown with breakfast, chips (French fries) with lunch, and more chips, and even more chips! I am so sick of French fries right now and I never thought I would ever say that in my life. I still need to try real fish and chips though, which is on my to-do list. As well as shepherd’s pie. Mmm. I still love potatoes. Just no more chips, haha.


I went on a free walking tour today with a wonderful tour group and an incredible guide. He told us a lot about Irish history, showed us some pretty remarkable sights, and honestly, I was so blown away by the amazing architecture, the stories, and the culture. I love this city so much.

I loved Trinity College and really still cannot believe that St. Patrick’s Cathedral is 800 years old. It’s beautiful. I just cannot fathom it – 800 YEARS. How that has survived the many (failed) revolutions is beyond me. I love very old places – there is a feeling of being transported back in time that I get. It is one of those truly awe-inspiring moments.


Above: All pictures were taken at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which apparently is Protestant! Fun fact.

After the tour, my friend and I wandered a bit. It wasn’t a day where there was pressure to do anything, so I’m glad I had the time to just walk around and explore.


(I’m super curious to see what they think Boston Donuts are like… all I could think was, “Dunks??!”)

I had time to also just relax. Today was a bit of a lazy day, but I’m living life with no regrets now, and I realize how grateful I am I had that, because I know the next two days will be wild. I’m going to the Cliffs of Moher and then to Galway tomorrow, and then on Saturday, I’m going to Giant’s Causeway!

I am beyond excited for tomorrow. I also just found out from a roommate in my hostel that at the Cliffs of Moher, there is a rock… that very rock is where Harry and Dumbledore Apparated to in the movie when they had to find the locket Horcrux. So cool!!!

So I am going to bed now, before I end up staying up too late and sleeping through my 5:50 AM alarm… ugh. To quote The Legend of Korra, “The morning is evil.”

7 things I’m grateful for: Getting to talk to a new friend over dinner, learning some Italian phrases, being in this amazing city, my parents and sister who have been so supportive and so wonderful, seeing these amazing landmarks, my restored confidence, and the kindness of others! People are amazing. The reason why this trip has been so fantastic so far is because of the wonderful people I keep meeting!

IMG_5937IMG_5938Pictured above: Dinner and my friend Elisa from Italy!

As always, I’m sending you lots of love and thank you for reading!!

April 25th – 26th

April 25th – 26th:

I saw the plane in front of us take off and I just couldn’t get over how cool it was! I smiled like a little kid. I’m giddy. I am so amazed at what humans can do. I could never fly a plane! It’s incredible that there are people who work on designing these incredible contraptions that allow us to fly. And I have only the utmost respect for pilots and air stewards, they do such hard work and it really is just mind blowing to realize that we can travel across oceans and continents safely because of these people. I love people. People never cease to impress me.

On the plane to Iceland, I talked to a 26 year old who was in marketing for a real estate firm in Boston. She told me the same thing that a lot of people have been saying, “Maybe this trip will help you figure out what you want to do.” I think everyone is right. I will find what makes me happy.

In the Keflavik Airport, I bought some fresh fruit and it included
the cutest little spork to go along with mango chunks. I also struck up conversation with two women, one from Vegas, one from Sacramento. The woman from Vegas showed us pictures from the Penis Museum in Reykjavik. I learned that the men of the silver medal winning Olympic handball team of Iceland made silver casts of their dingalings. As someone who is very, very gay, this was amusing and also quite disturbing. Whale penises are apparently over 6 feet long. That’s taller than me. I couldn’t handle it. The woman from Sacramento was very sweet and even threw away my trash for me! She was a mom of two and seemed like she was super excited for this vacation. We stuck together and chatted for some time. I learned that the Icelandic people do not approve of eating minke whale, but it’s mainly done for tourists. I also learned that horse is a common item on the menu in Iceland. I don’t know if I would like much of the food in Iceland, but I know I want to come back for a real visit one day.

So some cool pictures from my plane rides:

Taking off from Boston!

Arriving in Reykjavik

On the way to Dublin!

After arriving in Dublin, I could not get over how beautiful the city was while I was on a double decker bus that was taller than most trucks!! I am so in love with this city already.


And, I made a friend as soon as I arrived at my hostel! We wandered around the area together. She’s an au pair from Canada who has been staying with a French family. I was tired all day so I couldn’t really function or think very clearly but I wasn’t going to waste a moment!! We met with one of her roommates, a delightful Italian person, and we all became a trivia team. We came in 6th place… not too shabby haha.

I’m very pleased with my decision to do this. It’s been an amazing journey so far and it’s only beginning. I’m trying to keep my eyes open but I’m failing. Goodnight everyone!

Day 1: complete!

All my love, and as always, thank you for reading!!