I wrote three travel pieces not too long ago, check them out as you start to plan spring/summer trips!
~ elina x
So you’ve decided to stay in a hostel (YAY)! Your first step should always be to parooze Hostelworld. It is hands down the best place on the web to choose your perfect hostel. Hostelworld lets you filter the results for the kind of property you’re looking for; it also lets you sort properties by different factors.
Decide what’s most important to you about your hostel. In my experience, the four main factors to consider when choosing a hostel (or any travel accommodation really) are Price, Location, Reviews/ Ratings, Vibe. I’m going to break these down.
As a traveler, there are more and more options for where to stay on your journey. However, I always recommend the hostel experience! (At least for a few nights of your journey). Here’s why:
Photo: Zagreb, Croatia.
So you’ve decided to hit the road! Now what? I’ve had a few first time travellers and friends ask me for my best travel tips! I thought I’d write a few of my biggest travel tips for those itching for adventure! Feel free to message me for any questions or advice 🙂
It’s hard to believe it has been one full year since I graduated University! So much has happened in that time. Many amazing things, some hard things. Leaving Canada, travelling, exploring Europe, falling in love with Dublin. So much musical creation, digging in to the music scene here. Seeing with my own eyes what the musical life entails. A Diploma in Songwriting from BIMM Dublin. An EP on the way. Gaining respect for those who spend their lives in the service industry. Leaving that industry to focus on myself and my art, and gaining even more respect for self-employed entrepreneurs, especially artist. Manifesting a wild summer ahead. A Charity Gig & Single. Lots of Guinness. And finally, Its been full of making new connections, as well as nurturing old ones.
It was my first year really being on my own in The Real World, without answering to an institution, without family around. There have, of course, been challenges along the way. All I had was myself, and I really had to trust myself. I learned a lot about what I might want from this crazy, wonderful life. Truth be told, I still really have no idea but I can’t say I’m in a rush to figure it out.
I think it important to look back on the road behind. After all, its the only road we know. The path ahead tends to be much less clear, and much harder to trust. But we can trust the one behind, the moments of joy we experienced, and this can fill us with hope that the one ahead will be just as beautiful, the sunsets even brighter.
Those who know me know that I live on an undying quest for freedom. But freedom can be found in every moment. Freedom can especially be found in gratitude. I think I’m too quick to get down on myself. I need to take pride in the things I’ve accomplished in a year, of the risks I’ve taken, and for doing it all on my own.
I could be absolutely anywhere one year from now, and that fills me with excitement. Looking forward to the summer ahead!
I have had some lovely visitors this year. Some of my oldest and most loyal friends have found themselves on my floor. From Syd and Julia, whom I shared a home, and innumerable laughs with, for 4 years. To Marina who I instantly bonded with in Welcome Week of first year, and haven’t stopped bonding with since. To my cousin Rachael who’s really should write a book on How to Do All of Ireland in 10 days or less. I am incredibly grateful to be able to have shared a guiness (or 4) with these amazing people.
My lovely parents came to visit the emerald isle! We explored Dublin and did all of the museums that I couldn’t afford otherwise, after which we took off to the countryside for a few days. We stayed in the beautiful and scenic Dunmore East, before heading back to the bustling Dublin city. My Dad and I then spent the next three days recording my EP. What a champ my mom was to explore the city on her own while we were in the studio! I absolutely loved having my OG travel buddies around.
As if the fact that it has been nearly four months since my last blog post isn’t evidence enough that I did the right thing, I finally sent in my notice for work! This week will be my last at the restaurant. It took me a hella long time to come to this decision, even though I thought I had made up my mind when I was road tripping with my parents (everything is better on the road). I realized why the decision was so hard when I realized that it was about more than money. It was about the stability of work. It was about my anxious brain benefiting from purpose, from someone telling me what to do. It was about feeling productive after a 12 hour shift (and then promptly erasing it from my mind). It was about what its always been about, using constant excuses and distractions to keep me from chasing my potential. Last year it was school and friends. Now it was work. I found myself stuck in exactly the handcuffs I came here to free myself of. I remember craving freedom, for once in my life not having to answer to an institution, a school, a job, a boss, a girlfriend. Despite this, the capitalist subject trades in one pair of handcuffs for another. And most of the time she does so willingly, because the handcuffs can be cozy. They give you a sense of purpose and security. Because really being free is scary. When your hands are chained they can’t do too much. But when they’re free there’s no excuse for what they aren’t doing, no excuse for not building a masterpiece, theres no hiding behind chains.
Having the freedom, the time, no excuses present, to chase your dreams and manifest your goals is scary. Theres so much pressure to succeed. Mostly from yourself, but also from those around you. When you choose to commit to something, fully, you’re taking a huge risk. What it comes down to is fear. Its not about money, its about fear. Of the unknown, of that leap, of failure, of feeling unmotivated and not achieving your goals and dreams. When you’re an entrepreneur, an artist, you make your own purpose. When you work for The Man, you show up, are given tasks, complete them, and go home. When you work for yourself, you make your own tasks, your own schedules. You decide your own hours and goals. You define your own success. You watch the hours drip by, constantly tormented by not having enough time.
I’ve been hiding behind work, school, and other defences; using them as wind blockers. Im proud of myself, albeit a little scared, for having the courage to step out from behind them, and face the wind without excuses, without major distractions, without the fear of being blown away.
I got kinda sad for a minute because I felt like maybe I’m not cut out for the kind of life I thought I wanted, for whatever it is I came here to do. Maybe I’m meant to be boring, maybe I’d be happier that way. But then I was like, nah fuck that. Because I believe in doing things that scare you. If it makes you feel something, its probably a good idea. And I believe in being as risk-oriented as possible. If not now, when?
Not to say I haven’t done anything else since I’ve started working. Look out for some post-dated blog posts about what the last few months of my life have entailed!
Had a whirlwind road trip with my brother through Spain and Portugal. We started in Lisbon, drove across the boarder to Seville, then down to the southernmost point of the Iberian peninsula, Gibraltar. We then spent the next three days making our way back up the coast of Portugal. We spent my birthday in Albufera, and a beach day in Portimao. After sleeping in our camper van for two nights, we spent a day in Lisbon before flying back to Dublin.
Check out the rest of the photos from our adventure on flickr