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Friends, if there’s one thing I learned this month it’s this: The Guinness actually does taste better in Dublin.

Fresh off the high from TravelCon, I was ready to dive into a new destination this month. Dublin was the perfect place to check off my bucket list.

After my initial hop across the pond, I haven’t traveled very far. But I’ve loved enjoying this charming new city. Most days, I walk the few kilometers from my apartment to my favorite cafes, the best Irish pubs, and this little salad place that had a dressing called “whipped feta.”

Days passed in cozy cafes and lively pubs. Evenings were filled with How I Met Your Mother and popcorn and trying to go to bed at a reasonable hour.

And Dublin is an awesome city to do all this in. It’s walkable and there is so much natural beauty amid the city hustle. I still can’t get over how every window seems to have a flower box in it.

pink flowers along a residential street in dublin

We went to the Hurling Quarter Finals!

On our first weekend in Dublin, Alex and I got tickets to the Hurling Quarter Finals! Hurling, if you haven’t heard of it, is an ancient Gaelic sport that dates back to 4,000 years ago. The quarter-finals were a huge deal in Dublin and the streets were filled with people in bright jerseys supporting their favorite teams.

Hurling is played in a special stadium where only Gaelic sporting events are held. All four teams in the quarter-final were from outside Dublin, yet the stadium was packed.

A few minutes into the hurling match, I understood why.

When you watch hurling, you can see similarities to American football, lacrosse, baseball, rugby, and a touch of professional wrestling. Players wear virtually no padding. They carry bats that they use to lob a small ball down the pitch where they attempt to score into a lower net with a goalkeeper or through two posts above the net.

Going to a hurling match

Tackling seems to be totally permissible and it isn’t rare to see a goal keep reach out and catch a ball traveling at 90mph with his bare hand.

Halfway through the game, I learned from a couple sitting near us that the players are all amateur. They aren’t paid for their efforts and they do it to preserve the heritage and history of the sport.

At one point, I made the mistake of stepping out for a pint of Guinness. I didn’t realize that no drinks were allowed in the actual stadium itself. As I stood there, full pint in hand, listening to the cheers and knowing that I was missing something super cool, I knew I only had one choice.

I chugged a Guinness. I drank the whole thing. And guys, that’s a lot easier said than done.

Going to a hurling match in Ireland Guinness Store House Tour

Speaking of Guinness, we made a day trip to the Guinness Storehouse on the last weekend in Dublin. The Guinness storehouse is so much more than a typical brewery tour. It’s a full-blown Guinness celebration and experience.

You learn about the brewing process and the history of the property. They teach you how to pour your own Guinness the right way, and at the end of the tour, you’re brought up to a panorama bar with sweeping views of the city.

Here, you can hang out with friends while drinking, you guessed it, a pint of delicious Guinness.

visiting the Guinness store house

New on the Blog

I’m usually not a procrastinator, but I procrastined bad on my Bali and Lombok posts. They’ve been forever on my to-do list and forever differed to tomorrow. Finally, I got sick of writing “Finish Bali/Lombok” in my planner knowing I wouldn’t do it.

This month, I told myself, I’m finishing my Bali and Lombok content.

And by some miracle, I did.

This is what’s new on the blog this month:

There’s also a new bonus in the Free Resource Library. I put together my master list of blogging resources (both free and paid) for anyone who wants to start their own public diary!

Books I’m Reading

I’ve been reading one book this month and it’s a good one.

After seeing Cheryl Strayed speak at TravelCon, I bought the book that made her famous – Wild. It’s been a while since a book sucked me in as this one has.

After losing her mother and watching her life unravel around her, Strayed decides to find herself again by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, a grueling two thousand mile trail spanning the west coast of the United States.

This book simultaneously makes me say “Oh my god how did she do that!?” and “Oh my god I need to do that!” Her writing takes you on the walk of a lifetime in a book that’s equal parts adventure and healing.

If you haven’t read it yet, definitely pick it up ASAP.

What’s going on in the blogging world

One of the most exciting blogging things that happened this month was that I found a life-and-sanity-saving time tracker app. 

Remember how in my March Update I talked about tracking the time I work on my blog? Well, last month I was not the most consistent with doing that. Part of the reason was that I didn’t have a great system.

I literally just kept a word document on my desktop and at the end of my day, I typed in how many hours I thought I worked on my blog and what projects I was making.

Now that was better than nothing, but It was hard to keep up with because I didn’t always remember to track the smaller things and I didn’t really know how much time I was spending on what. Also, I tended to overestimate the amount of time I worked on things because it made me feel better about myself.

I’m working harder and longer, I’ll surely be a raging success faster right? Yeah, I wasn’t that good at accurately tracking my time.

Enter Toggl.

I started using the Toggl desktop app when I got fed up with my less-than-official system. With Toggl, I can put in exactly what I’m working on and categorize it by project. I have categories for blog post writing, social media marketing, blog admin, checking email, my Teach and Wander Etsy Shop, etc.

Whenever I get to work on my computer, I click the project I’m working on then I click the start button and Toggl tracks my time working on that project. When I stop working on that particular task, I hit the stop button and Toggl logs my time.

I do this every time I change tasks, even the small ones, and I’ve been trying to segment down even smaller so I see exactly how much time I’m spending on different things and what’s actually paying off.

New props in the Teach and Wander Shop
New props in the Teach and Wander Shop! Click here to grab them for yourself! 🙂

What’s Coming Next?

The most exciting thing that’s happening next is probably happening right now as this is getting published! I’m taking a road trip around the Irish Coast!

After the Ha Giang Loop a few months ago, I’ve been itching to get back out on the open road. The plan is to visit Cork, the Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher, and Bundoran, a famous surf spot. Alex will surf. I’ll take lots of pictures.

You can follow the whole trip in real-time on Instagram!

I can’t wait to share it with you!

Have you been to Ireland? Any places we must see on the road trip?

Author

Hi there! I'm Nic and I write about teaching English online, house sitting, and ways to incorporate more travel into your life! Stick around and Wander with me!

2 Comments

  1. My husband is from Donegal! His brother’s got a restaurant in Letterkenny and he likes to visit an island off the coast, Arranmore.

    • Nic Reply

      Very cool!!! I definitely need to plan a return trip soon to see more 🙂

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