The Luck of the Irish

Amanda Berthold University of Edinburgh, Scotland


November 17, 2014

Two months in, and I finally left my beloved Scotland for the first time since I arrived to go visit friends in Ireland. It is also the first time I have done extensive planning and traveling by myself. I would say that it went smoothly, but if you really know me, you know that my lack of grace and good luck is incomparable. I don’t think I have ever had more anxiety in my life than in this journey, and I thrive in a world of cold sweats and fast heartbeats. What I learned that weekend however has left a lasting impression for it was the first time I felt like an actual adult.

The first thing that comes to mind is the phrase “traveled by plane, train, and automobile” when describing how I got to the Emerald Island. Plane: Edinburgh Airport to Dublin Airport. Bus: Dublin Airport to Dublin Train Station. Train: Dublin Train Station to Galway train station. All the travel made my head spin. The amount of close calls in getting to each kind of transport made me cringe. At one point I was stuck at the Dublin train station with no money and my flight was about to leave in an hour and a half. I have never felt so scared in my entire life. But I figured it out.

I learned that I could handle being stuck in a tricky situation. That I was more capable than I ever imagined. If I hadn’t left Scotland I wouldn’t have been able to cross some things off my to-do list. For those of you who are nervous to travel, especially by yourself, please don’t be. If I was able to make it to and from an amazing weekend in Ireland, I guarantee you will be just fine.

So here are the things I crossed off the list that I would have never been able to do if I didn’t trust in myself enough to travel alone:

  1. See friends I hadn’t seen in almost 6 months.
  2. Enjoy afternoon tea with all the fixings. I’m pretty much a princess now.
  3. Buy and cook Irish potatoes in Ireland.
  4. Stand on the essentially the other side of the Atlantic Coast from where I live at home.
  5. Enjoy the Irish Countryside


Scotland Ireland