The water has always been a close friend, and swimming my summertime joie de vivre. I am an urban gal at the core, but nothing brings me happiness quite like the ocean blue. My family and I, all probably made up 90% of water, tried our hand at the paddle with City Kayaking in Dublin, a 2-hour kayaking round trip on the River Liffey. Congregating at the company’s small trailer near the Samuel Beckett bridge, guests are provided a group locker for storage, a vest, an oar, and, in cooler temperatures or on rainy days, a waterproof jacket and pants.…

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I fell in love with Krakow at first sight. It was after 10pm when we were dropped off at our AirBnb, just outside of the Old Town, and the cobblestoned street shimmered with rain, the dimmed glare of store windows, and the town beckoning night on. Krakow was enchanting, and didn’t try to hide it. Even a drive through Krakow’s outskirts was remarkable, the road dotted with Austrian-style houses between flourishes of forest. Krakow is the most beautiful city I’ve ever visited, and overall one of my favorites. It was comfortable, expressive, and delicious. It wove its poetry around me,…

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Hello hello! It’s hard to believe that my family and I came back from Europe three weeks ago. Kaylee came home from Dublin nine days ago. As sad as I know she was to be leaving home there, I’m very, very happy she’s back. My parents are the root of my travel bug, raising Brady, Kaylee, and I to seek out the cadences of culture and nature from a young age. I never forget how privileged I am be part of a family who has always prioritized travel. And I’m grateful not only for the places we have been able…

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Johnny Cash has been one of my favorite musicians since my freshman year of college, when I first caught bits of the film Walk the Line and waded deeper into not only Cash’s music, but his life. I’d spend free time watching performances of his online and, through my own purchases and presents, stocked my bookshelf with biographical, autobiographical, encyclopedic, and poetic collections that encompass a lot of who he was. While perusing the clothing racks in Kohl’s one day, I found a dark gray short-sleeved shirt that read, in glimmering letters, “Johnny Cash, the man in black.” Naturally, I dropped…

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For my birthday, I asked my parents for a few things: a new top, a couple of books, and a journal for traveling. I’m excitedly packing one of the journals they got me away for my trip next week. Journaling has always been a haven for me to express my thoughts freely and unconsciously, a private place to look back on conversations, moments, and memories that have been tucked into drawers of my mind that I forgot existed until I read about an encounter and am flooded with overwhelming nostalgia. I kept one religiously while I studied abroad, that I…

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Happy April! Today I’m going to celebrate by sharing some of my favorite places to get a bite in Dublin. Now I’m hungry because A. I ate a bowl of cereal at 6:30 this morning and cereal, no matter how much I wish it did, does not tide me over until lunch. :\ and B. Because I’m ready for all of these things in my mouth right now–definitely with at least an hour or so between every meal. From now until we leave, I’ll be prepping my stomach for the copious amounts of fish and sweets I’ll be eating. When it…

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I love to travel, and I love to bake, and when those worlds collide is when my own world feels balanced. While in Salzburg, Austria over the summer, my friend Sam and I took a class in making apple strudel, a renowned Austrian treat that might clash with visions of wiener schnitzel, and isn’t the famed sachertorte, but is important to the fabric of the country’s cuisine. The Edelweiss Cooking School is housed in a cavernous chamber, set in the Mönchsberg Mountain just outside of the Old Town. There are no markers denoting the school, so slipping into the cool…

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After the door clicks shut, it is dark, save the slit of gray light streaming in dully from the top corner of the room. This empty silo is shaped like the steeple of a church, or the hull of a boat, but jaggedly cut, and stretches 79 feet high. Between hushed footsteps and a weighted silence comes the distant sound of air swirling. It whooshes and whistles and twirls like ribbon around a spool. It makes the silence all the more noticeable and uneasy, the void oppressive and haunted. This is the Holocaust Tower, located in the zigzagging complex of…

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On the southwestern coats of Ireland lies a seaside town with a dolphin-in-residence and one set of stoplights. Dingle is unassuming on first glance, but, like a charm, it wraps you around its finger and exudes an unmistakable warmth and unique flavor. “You’ve decided to stay in the real Ireland, as we like to say,” my driver into town said, a playful crease around his eyes. Even in the darkness cloaking the views, I could make out the defined rise and fall of its rolling sentinels of shelter. I glimpsed the town and, suddenly, we were driving away, shrouded again in the…

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Cyclists near and far, beginner and intermediate, this one’s for you. I’m an amateur rider at best, having spent a summer learning how to confidently bike from my home in Everett, Massachusetts to downtown Boston in order to feel secure in cycling through Dublin for four months. When I arrived, the left lane driving and bike paths that wound in and around traffic shattered any stitch of self-assurance I’d previously had, and settled on renting bikes here and there. But I am a fervent lover of the mode, and it is probably my favorite way to see the world. Along…

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Happy spring! It is far from the season here, as we’re expecting more snow today. *face palm* I thought that I would start an Ireland series here, because I am SO excitedly returning to visit my sister, Kaylee, as she is studying abroad in Dublin this semester. We both are now honorary Champlain College students, and both Champlain Dublin alum who are going to join in the program’s 10-year anniversary celebrations in Burlington, VT early this coming June. As Ireland is on my mind nearly all the time these days, I’m here to continue to spread the love I have…

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