Oh Canada

I am sitting in the airport at my gate waiting to board as I write this. After re-packing my suitcase and getting to expert level in suitcase Tetris I finally made my way to the airport, passed through all the security measures and I am waiting to board. It still only feels like yesterday that I was thinking of applying to head to Canada this summer to work in a summer camp but now that it is actually here the excitement levels are on a high. I have one flight to JFK New York and then a connecting flight to Montreal where I am staying for 3 nights before heading to camp. I can’t wait to get to Montreal to explore for a day or two and sort out everything out with the help of NYQUEST , the organisation who have helped my make this idea a reality. Then Saturday will come and I will be off to camp to spend about 10 weeks in the middle of a forest which will be interesting. I am going to be the head of dance at Camp Ouareau which will be amazing,  I will be spending my summer doing something I really love. I can’t wait to get to camp to meet all of the other staff who I will be working with and get this summer underway. Then after camp I can’t wait to travel Canada a little more , a place I have always wanted to visit.

I will try to keep you guys updated with my adventures and stories but that might be a little hard in the middle of a forest so we will see but I can’t wait. So all there is to say now is Goodbye Ireland and Hello Canada.

Emma

xx

Austria

So last weekend during our holidays I went to Austria to visit my friend Klara who had been a teaching assistant but her contract was finished before ours. I had never been to Austria so I was looking forward to it . If I was to write about everything that we did this post would probably be the length of a college essay so instead I will give you a quick over view and then a sample of the many pictures that I took. Arriving to a near winter wonderland with snow everywhere and a 6 hour car ride which should have only taken 1 due to the motorway being closed the trip was off to an interesting start. Staying with Klara’s family was great although having no German was interesting but they had some English or Klara would translate  or we’d just get along with some gestures. We did lots of travelling for the four days that we were there, travelling to Salzburg and Vienna and also discovering the Wachau region with towns such as Melk and Krems which was amazing. Along with discovering the different regions we also went on a food tour of Asutria from schnitzel to sachertorte to knodel we tried to try as much as we could while we were there.

It was so nice to see Klara’s home and to be shown around be her, we probably would have been lost without her translations.Of course saying goodbye at the end was hard as we don’t know when we will see each other again, the problem with having friends who live all over the world. We had such a good trip and I can’t wait to head back to Austria soon and discover it some more.

Watch my video here.

Emma

xx

PicMonkey Collage

The posing for the picture and then right after just delving into your pretzel 🙂

Roadtrip Day 3

With a good nights sleep under our belts and a nice hot cooked breakfast we set about the day. We took a little walk around the town in the morning, making friends with some donkeys, while I caught some Pokemon (so good)  before we started the day. Our first stop was the Ailwee caves which were amazing. Walking under ground with rock all around was quite something. Our tour took around 30minutes and we got the history of how the cave was discovered, which really was fascinating. After the caves we headed for the Burren or what we thought was a Burren centre as we were already in the vast landscape of the Burren which is 1500 hectares in size. Google maps didn’t really take us where we wanted but there were other cars parked up so we just parked and got out to explore. Although there was not centre or anything it was lovely to just walk with such beauty around us and a great silence in the air. Of course we took some photos and generally just took it all in.

After a quick drive by Father Ted’s House (just so we could say we were there) we headed to Lisdonvarna for a spot of lunch. Re-energised we headed for the Cliffs of Moher via a stop off in Doolin. The weather was not the best as it was quite windy and cloudy but we were making the most of it. As we drove towards the cliffs we were engulfed in clouds and our visibility was very bad but we thought we would give the cliffs a go anyway. Let’s just say that you would not have known there was a sea below other than you could hear the waves but for us it was just a sea of white. It made for some cool pictures and we made the most of it but you couldn’t really see anything.

We then headed for our final stop of the day and our home for the night Miltown Malbay and the Central Hostel. We were surround by clouds the whole way which made for an interesting drive. The hostel was your typical hostel and we had a shared bathroom but it was clean and cheap and a place for us to lay our heads. After going out to get some dinner we headed back to our room and watched Tangled on my laptop as we had no WiFi in our room and wanted to chill out after the long day. Then it was off to bed to get some rest before day 4 of the adventures.

Emma

xx

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KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

 

Austin Adventures

So I know I have been a little bit A-wall on the blog for the past few weeks but I just didn’t have anything that I was inspired to write about and then I have been away for the past 10 days in Austin and just wanted to enjoy my holiday but I am back and rearing to go. I headed over to Austin to visit my brother and his girlfriend who moved over in October to work.I hadn’t seen them since September as I headed off to France so I was looking forward to seeing them and catching up and also seeing this new place they were living in. I had never been to America before or been on a long haul flight so it was an experience as I got up and headed to the airport to start my journey. With my bag full of Irish chocolate I was dreading them weighing my suitcase but it all turned out fine and I survived my 10 hour flight with the help of some movies and music.

Stepping off the plane to a wall of heat was an amazing change from the cold weather I had left behind in Ireland. Driving along for the first time everything just looked so different and so big from the roads to the cars to everything but it was amazing. We headed to my brother’s apartment , dropped my bags and then it was off to my first meal Tacos, and this was only the start of my food tour of Austin but that’s another post entirely.  Then it was time to try stay up and not get jet lagged and wake up the next day feeling refreshed. I had the next day to myself to explore as the other two were working so I got my camera and headed down town to explore. Austin is a lovely city and to me it felt very intimate even though it also felt huge at the same time which was nice. I spent the day taking photos of the streets and the capitol building and then headed to the Texas State museum to get some culture and history in. That evening we went to see the famous bats on congress bridge but it was the one night they decided to hell with it lets just stay in so I’ll just have to take my brother’s word that they are amazing.

Day 2 again was spent wandering around Austin, I walked along the board-walk on Town Lake and headed to Whole Foods for some lunch to have in the sun. Of course more food was eaten and more photos were taken. I went to a foam rolling class the next day with Caroline and then explored some of South Congress which has some weird and wacky shops. That evening we went for a lovely Indian dinner (on the parents) which was on this really cool street Rainey Street where all the bars and restaurants are in converted bungalows. It’s has a really homely feeling to it which was cool. Friday again was spent just exploring before heading to Hooters for some grub before a night out on Dirty 6th which is the party street in Austin and it was packed as it was graduation weekend. It was an experience to see the whole street closed down filled with people and police alike but it was great fun.

We decided to go kayaking on Saturday as the weather was lovely and sunny but that didn’t last long. After about 5 minutes in the boats the heavens opened into a torrential thunderstorm which we tried to weather but ultimately had to abandon. We got absolutely soaked and then had to walk home in more rain. That evening saw everybody on flood and tornado alert which was a new one for me as we don’t get extreme weather like that in Ireland. We ended up being fine but many places got flooded badly. We spent Sunday quite relaxed as everyone was recovering from the activities of Friday and Saturday but I still got out to explore a bit. Monday was memorial day in America but unfortunately it was a wash out with more flood and tornado warnings so we spent it inside on the couch eating Dairymilk. We also decided to watch Twister which might not have been the best idea when we had tornado warnings but we were educating ourselves on what to do if a tornado hit :).

On Tuesday we headed to the Hope Outdoor gallery which is like a giant graffiti gallery outside . It is amazing and really cool. Then we headed to IHOP because of course no trip to America would be complete without a trip to IHOP. I got the double chocolate chip pancakes which were so good, I made a fair dent in them but couldn’t finish them all. After this we headed to CVS to do some make-up shopping and I also bought some Hershey’s Kisses which are amazing. On my final day we went to a shopping outlet about 30 minutes from Austin which was huge. I had strict orders from dad to get him some Levi jeans and then I wanted to do some damage in Bath & Bodyworks. I didn’t do too much shopping as I didn’t see too many things that screamed ‘buy me‘ and once I got my Bath & Bodyworks fix I was good.

Then it was time to fit everything in the suitcase which was considerably lighter without all of the chocolate that I had brought over. With one final grilled cheese sandwich and a cool dancing Uber driver I was off to the airport to head home. I had such an amazing time exploring Austin and seeing where my brother and his girlfriend have called home for the past 7 months. This trip has also just made me want to explore more of America and the word in the future and travel.

Now it’s time to try and not let the jet lag beat me as I try to adjust to Irish time.

Emma

xx

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Advice to my 15 year old self….

So as I turned 21 last week I have been thinking about what advice I would give my 15 year old self about life.I know 21 is not that old but I feel like it is such a milestone birthday from when you are younger and I really feel like now I am an adult. Along with this I feel like I have grown up a lot and matured since I went to college and especially since I have been on Erasmus. While here I have had to live by myself with shopping and bills and I have had to make new friends so I wouldn’t spend the year alone in my room. This has caused me to really come into my own and I feel like I have become ME if that makes sense. I am truly happy with the person I am right now and the people around me and looking back I thought I would jot down just 5 pieces of advice I would give my younger self about life now that I have more experience and feel I have accepted who I am and am happy with it. So here we go….

1.Don’t worry about school and tests.

Do work hard and do the best you can but don’t get hung up on results. I know there were many a time when I didn’t get a result I wanted that I was gutted but now looking back I can see that they were not the end of the world. Those tests may have seemed like the biggest thing in the world at the time but now looking back I can see that really they weren’t. By no means don’t do anything but if one tests goes bad it’s not the end of the world and even if every test goes bad even after you worked hard there is always another way to do things and you can still get to were you want to be in life. School is only such a short period of your life when you think about it , what’s 14 years in a lifetime of over 80 years (hopefully).

2.Don’t get hung up about the future.

I know towards the end of school with college applications and everything ,you are always being told to look at your future and figure out what you want to do. Well don’t worry because I am into my third year of college now and I still don’t really know what I want to do. Everything could change in the next year or 5 years who knows so don’t worry about the future and just live in the moment. Enjoy being young and free and don’t try to grow up to quickly believe me your school days will be some of your best memories even though it doesn’t feel like it now.

3.Do what you want and don’t care what people think.

Okay so I know this is easier said then done and believe me it was only when I went to college that I really started to think like this but it’s amazing. You feel so much better in yourself and just doing what you want without a care in the world is the most amazing feeling. It is your life after all so why not live it the way you want. Wear those crazy clothes or eat that whole pizza if you want or dance crazily by yourself and don’t worry about what other people think believe me your life will be so much easier and you’ll be a lot happier. Make mistakes and just live your life how you want to because no one is perfect but we are all unique in our own way.

4. Those who matter will stay in your life.

In school everyone wants to have the most friends and do everything together which is great but as time goes on you will find people will drift away from you. Your friends may go to different colleges or do things without you and you may be upset about the drifting but don’t be. The people in your life who matter will stay in it and they will be the most amazing friends you will have. You will also make many new amazing friends over the years who will be in your life for a long time to come. So don’t worry if all of a sudden all your old friends are going in different directions , there will always be those who will stay in your life and make amazing. Don’t get down and try to change yourself for people , just be who you are and those who like you for you will always be by your side.

5. Make memories.

These years are the best in your life when you are not tied down by jobs and major responsibilities so enjoy it. Whether big or small make as many memories as you can with the people you love. Go on road trips, cinema dates with your girls, stay up all night gossiping or dance your heart out to your favourite song. Live life with not a care in the world and make memories that will last you a life time. Take tonnes of pictures and keep the memories forever. Believe me when I say these will be some of the best years of your life so take full advantage of them. Enjoy!

There you go, these are just some of the things I would tell my 15 year old self now that I have grown into myself and am so content in my life right now.

What advice would you give yourself if you were to look back on years gone by?

Emma

xx

Summer To-Do List

So summer is upon us and the weather here in Ireland has been amazing for the last few weeks and hopefully it will last for the rest of the summer. As I will be working most of the summer I want to make the most of my days off and so I have decided to make a list of some of the things I want to do this summer.So here it goes my summer to-do list or I suppose I could call it a wishlist as knowing me I won’t get around to doing half of the things on it but hey we’ll see what happens.

1. Go to the Beach: Okay so I know this sounds obvious in summer but I haven’t been to the beach in ages so I really want to make a day to go just lie in the sand and listen to the waves. If its sunny that would be a bonus but that’s not always guaranteed here in Ireland so I’ll take what I can get.

2. Build a Sandcastle: Well this one sounds a bit childish and obvious if no.1 is go to the beach but I loved building sandcastles when I was younger. I used to try and make it bigger and better than everyone else so I want to relive those memories and make an awesome sandcastle that will be the envy of the whole beach.

3.Have an Ice-Cream from and ice-cream van: Seems silly I know but that jingle to announce the ice-cream van would always get me excited as a kid (sometimes it still does) and there is just something different about eating Ice-cream from the ice-cream van.

4.Have a Picnic: With the days being so nice I want to get out with my friends and go for a picnic somewhere and jut relax for the afternoon.

5.Climb a Mountain: Again I used to love this as a kid , climbing a mountain and feeling like you where on top of the world. With nice weather I think this will be prefect , I’ll be able to get some nice photos and some exercise too.

6.Go to the Zoo: So I think you can never be too old to go to the zoo and it’s been a while since I was there. There is just something so amazing about seeing all these animals up close that you would normally only see on TV.

7.Visit a Museum: Sounds a bit boring I know but I haven’t been to a museum in such a long time.I love walking around seeing all the wonderful pieces and imagining what it would be like if I could do something as amazing as that.

8.Stay up all night: This may sound strange but I want to watch the sun set, stare up at the stars and moon in the night sky and then still be awake to see the sun rise. I just find there is something so peaceful about staring at the stars and the moon and being awake when most of the world is asleep.

9.Go to a Festival: I have never been to a proper festival so this year I want to experience that ‘festival fever’ I suppose you could call it. I’m heading to Longitude Festival in July and I can’t wait to relax and have fun with my friends.

10.Make a Summer Playlist: This sounds cheesy but I want to make a soundtrack to my summer so that when I hear certain songs I will automatically think of summer memories. I know some of the artists that will be on it are Sam Smith, Bastille, Ed Sheeran, Foxes, Haim and The Vamps.

11.Have a BBQ: There is just something about a barbeque in summer with friends that is amazing. It’s so simple but you can have the best time with friends just chilling outside with some good food and music.

12.Go Camping: I used to go camping all the time when I was younger and I really want to go again this summer. I love being in the outdoors and at one with nature and want to experience that again this summer.

13.Get Fit: I say this all the time but I want to make an effort this summer to try and get fitter. With the weather being so nice I wanted to get out in the fresh air and get fit.

14. Laugh until I cry: I know this sounds a little silly and simple but I want to laugh so hard this summer that I cry. There is something liberating about being so happy and free that you can’t contain yourself and I want to feel that way this summer.

15. Document my Summer Adventures: I want to do something that will help me remember all the things I do this summer (hopefully), whether that be taking pictures or making a scrapbook or documenting my adventures here on my blog, I want to make an effort to make memories and a way to remember them for years to come.

So that’ s just some of the things I want to do this summer. I thought I’d keep the list short so that it makes it more achievable for me. I will keep you updated on my progress but for now Happy Summer Everyone.

Emma

xx