back to reality for me…

So I tried my best to update everyone on my travels and adventures abroad but may have left out some stories and pictures that were really fun and interesting. I’m back home now for over a week and I’ve taken on a second job to save up money since I’ve spent it all on the pubs in Ireland and theatres in West End, London.

Working two jobs may seem like a bit overwhelming but it’ll be good for me this summer to stay busy and focused on my goals. Another aspect of my summer that I haven’t shared on my blog is that I’ve had some new creative writing projects in mind, but I really haven’t the time to sit down and start any of them.

I’m debating whether or not it’d be good to post any of my creative writing on my blog or if I should collect them and look into publishing them in a literary magazine or an online zine. I haven’t decided but I am always happy to share them with friends and exchange ideas.

So, I’ll be totally honest. I did cry before my flight home. I took the bus from Galway to Sixmilebridge for my last weekend abroad and listened to a Doctor Who soundtrack (which alone could bring tears to my eyes) and I did quietly shed a few tears. But I didn’t do it in complete desperation. I did tear up because I was having one of the most amazing experiences of my life and didn’t want to go home yet.

I learned that I have friends just waiting to chat with me all over the world. I also learned that the world is full of beautiful and amazing people that you can’t meet while sitting in the comfort of your apartment or hometown.

The parts of the trip that I will hold close to my heart are the amazing conversations I had with other people. I met people from all over the world, Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Argentina, Canada, Japan, France, Sweden, Germany, Russia, Mexico, and more.

All I have been thinking about is how to have another adventure before I get too old or too settled into my life to do it again. If I could save up my money and wander the world into my old age, I definitely would. Even now, I am tearing up at the thought of doing it all over again.

I can say that my life has had its ups and downs, it’s good moments, and the times where I didn’t think I’d leave the dark moods I have found myself in. But I can say that I am growing old of Chicago. I want to finish my Master’s Degree and take on the world.

Whether or not I will do that is up in the air at this point. But I feel like I have limited myself by staying in my comfort zone and always being in Chicago. I didn’t even go away for college, and I am beginning to regret that (even if it had been a study abroad program).

Maybe all of these feelings explain why Doctor Who has been such an obsession of mine lately. Every companion of the doctor learns to see the world as being bigger than they every knew it could be (and by world, I guess I should be saying Universe). But I think the point is that I am too unique and special to sit in one city for the rest of my life. Yes, I have family and friends here (some of the best family and friends I could ever ask for). But those family and friends have their own family and friends and I wouldn’t be leaving anyone to fend for themselves. I also like to think that my family and friends would be happy for me and would cherish all the good vibes I send back toward Chicago via blogs and facebook.

Well, it’s time to get ready for some margaritas and chips and salsa with some amazing and wonderful people.

Cheers to my mates, Coco


all good things must end, BUT I DON’T WANT IT TO!!!! WAAAHHHH

Ellen left me in Galway on Friday morning. I went out Friday night but it wasn’t as fun as the previous few nights with my aussie mate. But alas, my journey was coming to an end and I was nearly out of money. On Saturday morning, I left Galway and went to the small town Sixmilebridge. Saturday night, I hung out with Katie, a girl from Wisconsin who is moving to Chicago for grad school (and a big doctor who fan, yes, we bonded).

Katie left on Sunday morning and then Sara and Dusty arrived. We walked about the town a bit, played scrabble in the common room, but overall it was a pretty relaxed last few days abroad. I got incredible sad and nervous about going back home. I kept thinking, ‘It can’t be over yet’ and then secretly planning to run off and meet Ellen in Scotland. But I knew I’d be out of money all too soon and that it’d be better to go home and regroup my life and begin planning my next adventure.

Ellen and I are already in talks of meeting in New Zealand or Asia. It all depends on the money situation. She goes home to Australia sometime this fall and will need to save more money for more adventures and I need to finish my Masters Degree.

Overall, I am very pleased with everything I’ve accomplished in the last five weeks. Rather than focusing on my sightseeing and pictures taken, I am choosing to cherish all the people that I met and all the fun stories we’ve exchanged among one another. It was a great experience and I am tearing up just now thinking about it all.

I’m in New York waiting for the flight back to Chicago. I miss my extra large bed and not sharing a room with 8 or 9 strangers (most of which became friends but some were creepy).

I think being extremely tired has kept me from being emotional all day today, including saying goodbye to the two new friends from Buffalo New York who had the same return flight as me. But I now struggle to know what direction I should be taking my life. I want to do some more traveling but I’m at an age where I’m supposed to have a career and gag, marriage and children.

So I haven’t cried or anything too dramatic, but I do feel the sad pangs of ending an adventure as grand as mine has been. I will do everything I can to keep making positive and interesting friends around the world and am now really determined to leave Chicago as my home and make it my hometown but take up residence somewhere new.

Having a blast in Galway


It’s been a little while since I’ve updated my blog. I last posted when in Killarney and since have been to Cork and am currently in Galway.

Cork was fun but it was a little too quiet and laid back for me. I went out a couple of nights and met some interesting people, went to Blarney Castle and got lots of pictures. The last night at the hostel in Cork there was really loud parties and I couldn’t sleep at all. I’m going to revise my list of people met at the bottom of this post.

I arrived in Galway on Sunday and met a cool chick from Australia named Ellen. Me and her have been tearing it up in Galway. Monday night, we hit up the bars and met a lot of awesome people. I’m pretty sure that we have some crazy psychic link and that we are perfect partners in crime! Monday night we met some other female travelers and went bar hoping with them and met some local guys, Shane and Emmett. They were pretty cool and showed us where to go for delicious late night foods. I had garlic mayo chips (french fries in America) and they were amazing.

Ellen and I crawled into our hostel beds around 4:30am and by 9am, we were up and about and going to the Cliffs of Moher. We met some guys from Chicago which was the first time in my trip that I met anyone from Chicago. We got some awesome pictures at the cliffs and then went back to the hostel to relax and go out again (without napping).

So then Tuesday night, this time we rolled out with two girls from America (Dusty and Sarah) who actually are on my flight home, which is kind of cool actually. We met up with the west suburban Chicago lads and then went to a few bars. Well it’s all kind of a blur, so I’ll just tell you how the night ended.

Sarah and Dusty left with the Schaumburg kids to get chips (though they were still saying fries). Sarah had a glass dropped on her foot and was bleeding. I was left talking to a local and then couldn’t find Ellen.

So I walked out of the bar in Ellen’s shoes and started asking guys who we’d chatted with earlier, “Where’s my Aussie mate?”. I remember them yelling to stop saying mate because it’s an Aussie thing, not an Irish thing and I yelled back but I’m looking for an Australian.

One guy, whose name I don’t recall, walked with me to a food place where I couldn’t find Ellen or the American gals. So then I stumbled back to the hostel, rang the bell and ran to the toilet. While in the toilet, I hear Ellen’s majestic voice carry from the reception area and I go running back. There she is, still wearing my cute flats and starving for chips.

We went back to the Latin Quarter for Chips. The place emptied out and there we find Nathalie and her crew. It was Nathalie’s birthday and I met her at the beginning of my journey. While we managed to not have hangovers after Monday night’s adventure, we are both properly hungover today and now chilling in the TV room.

So, I’ve found my traveling drinking mate and we plan to stay in tonight, rest up and make tomorrow night grand. I’ll see Sarah and Dusty again on Sunday where we’re staying at the same hostel before flying out of Shannon together on Monday. Hopefully Sarah and Dusty will be just as sad as me and get a pint with me at the airport.

The next night was a lot of fun with Ellen. We went out with two Canadian guys and a few other girls from the hostel. I managed to leave the bar with all of them but got lost and/or distracted by a cute boy, but I still somehow got back to the hostel like 10 minutes after everyone else.

An updated list of the people I’ve met
Jane, from France
Francis, from Sweden
Kohei and Kyon, from Japan
Nathalie, from Canada-New Brunswick
Jessica, from Toronto
Craig, from New Zealand
Alison, from Philly
Sarah, from Canada
Virginia from Argentina
Sally from England
Josh from US-Mississippi
Aeman from Donnegal, Ireland
Brendan from Cork, Ireland
Ellen from Australia
McKenzie and Katie from Texas
Sarah and Dusty from New York
Lenora from New York
Eva from Mexico
Alex from Canada
Dan and Tom and David from Schaumburg, IL
Karol from Galway
Jana from Bavaria, Germany
The two Brendens and their two friends, from Galway
Tess from Washington DC
Chris and Adam from Ottawa
Cassie from Boulder, CO
Katie from Wisconsin
Latrisha from Cali
Ingrid from Cali
Emily from Cali
Pascelle from France