Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Luck of the Irish

Hey Everyone,

So as I said on the last post that I would be traveling soon, and as some of know I’ve started to. So I this Easter break from university I ended up having quite of bit of travel plans. I have three, well actually really four legs to this trip and this one is going to be about the first leg of this trip. So with a bit of luck I’ll be able to tell a great story about my trip to Dublin.

So my way to Dublin started really early in Plymouth about a week ago when I got on a train that took me to Bristol, and a bus that took me to the Bristol airport. I had booked a flight with the budget airline Ryanair to fly from Bristol to Dublin. I had heard stories of how bad Ryanair can be sometimes, but they were cheap so I ended up booking with them just to get me to Dublin. After a 5-hour wait, and an hour delay I managed to make it onto my flight to Dublin. First time I got to walk onto a plane from the tarmac up a flight of stairs. I felt like I was the president walking up the stairs to get on my flight.

So after an hour flight, which 45 minutes of that hour I slept I landed in the Republic of Ireland. It took only a matter of minutes to get through customs and get an Irish stamp in my Passport. After a quick switch of currency, I went to find my bus to get to my Hostel. Shout out to Beth for giving me the 6 euro before I left in September, because you’ll be happy to know that I used it to by my bus ticket into Dublin.

The bus ride was nice and quick, but one of the first things that I noticed as I got into the city that all the signs in the city were in both English and Gaelic. I learned later that many in Ireland just call Gaelic Irish. An Irish man that I met at my hostel tried to teach me a bit, and although I had a hard time pronounce a few of the words, but I got it down I think.

So after getting on my bus I went on a mission to find hostel. My sense of direction was pretty good I guess due to the fact I got there in under like 15 minutes from getting off my bus. I ended up staying at the Generator Hostel, and for those of you who are planning on going to Dublin give them a look. They got me checked in, in no time and then after locking my stuff up I went and explored. After a bit of exploring I called it, went back and eat at the hostel, and then went to bed for an early day the next day.

The next day I woke up early and I refreshed with a shower, got dressed, and then went out and started to explore the city. Since it was Good Friday all the bars in the city were closed so Temple Bar was quite peaceful early in the morning, but I was on a mission to find a cup of coffee. After seeing a vlog from Ben Brown I went to find a cafĂ© called Kaph. It only took me a bit to find the place from Temple bar, and I was so glad that I went there. I got a normal cappuccino and it was the best coffee I have ever had in my life. Period. 

So after getting that coffee I went on a mission to see all the traditional landmarks around the city. First was Trinity College and it was such a nice college. The campus alone made me think about transferring over to Dublin. I then I went on a journey around the city seeing everything it had to offer.

After a few photos and a healthy lunch later I ended up becoming a Leprechaun at the National Leprechaun Museum. It was something that I’ve always wanted to see as well as having several people tell me to do it. If you ever find yourself in Dublin I totally recommend that you go and become a leprechaun yourself.

Shortly after that I went back to the hostel and got ready for another day. Even though it was good Friday the bar at the hostel was still serving, and your key card to your room was your ID. I got a pint and ended up talking to one of my bunkmates, Sam, who was from Australia. We had a great chat, and I found out that Sam is starting a blog up about his travels, which I think was titled Step by Step. It hasn’t gone live yet, but once it does I totally recommend giving it a look. But after a great conversation and a few pints I called it quits, and got ready for another great day.

So the next day was filled with more exploring, but first things first there was a specific place that I had to go to. The Guinness Storehouse. I did it first thing in the morning, and it was the perfect time to do it because there were no lines. The whole place is filled with so much history, but the best part of the whole tour was the free pint at the Gravity Bar, which overlooks the whole city. In that moment it made the whole trip worth it.

After enjoying my pint I made my way back to the Temple Bar area, to The Temple Bar. I had to go and get a pint there otherwise I would have regretted it for the rest of my life. From the moment I walked in I knew I made the right choice to go. I got my pint after having a chat with to gentlemen from Manchester after seeing a Manchester, NH police patch hanging on the wall. But with all the conversations and the atmosphere of the pub I would recommend everyone go their once in your life.

After leaving the bar I saw all the festivities for the remembrance of the 1916 Easter Rebellion. I knew of Ireland's fight to gain independence from England, but I didn’t realize how much blood was shed, and how much the moment to free Northern Ireland means to the Irish. I made a point to go to the Remembrance Garden and take a moment to see what the revolution met to the people of Ireland. Being in Ireland for the build-up to the celebration made me understand so much about the Irish, and what are still relevant issues to the country.

Shortly after that I went back to my hostel to get packed for another adventure, and early the next morning I got my flight, but I will save that story for another time. But that was my time in Dublin, Ireland, and it was worth the trip. For those reading this who wants to go to Dublin I would say go you won’t regret it. I will be writing more about my travels as I go, so you all can see where I’m going. But remember to enjoy every minute you have, and make the most of it.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

March Madness

Hey everyone,

So it's been a little bit since I last talked to you all, but man do I have a ton to fill you all in on. It has been a crazy busy few weeks well more like month of deadlines, and events that I was involved in so as all the college basketball players geared up for March Madness I had my own version of it this month.

Well first things first schoolwork took a priority at the beginning of this and continued till the day before I wrote this post. I had three papers, a presentation, and exam, which this isn’t including the amount of posts and quizzes I needed to do for my online PSU class. So I did my best and hit the books as hard as I could, and through that I had quite a few sleepless nights, but in the end it's all worth it I guess.

But I know a lot of you don’t read this blog to see what schoolwork I’ve been up too. So on that note let me dive straight into the fun stuff that happened this month. First there has been a slight running theme of the month of whenever I would go out into town, and that was travel gear. At the end of this month I have some travel plans to see some things that I’ve always wanted to see. So I made a point to get all the necessary things a euro traveler would need. I did my best to get the best quality I could on my shoestring budget. I managed to get everything I needed in order to make sure my journey should be a fun one. I will be writing more about my little euro adventure as I go through it so keep an eye our for that.

But during the shopping for gear, and studying for all of my course work I still had one of the more important things to this month, which was to prepare for Enactus UK regionals. I was on the presentation team so it was a huge responsibility to make sure that our presentation went off without a problem and with Anthony, Laura, Keith, Lenni, and Alex on the team as well I knew that we had a great change of that happening. We meet almost everyday in the week leading up to the presentation, and although most of us were exhausted from the constant work it proved to pay off during our presentation at regionals.

We had to travel up to Bristol to compete in the South-West Regionals the team and I, including Nina our University advisor made our way there. Even after we parked the van, and were still going over our lines and we were making sure that it was near perfect. Me and Lenni almost got killed practicing our lines as we walked across streets in Bristol. When we finally got to KPMG in Bristol it was game time. It was only a short time waiting before we walked in to give our presentation. We were able to show the judges our three core projects Spark, Edify, and my project Recreo and what impact they have already created, through both our Annual Report (shout out to Tom for making it), and our presentation.

Needless to say our presentation was almost flawless, but that's just me being bias saying that. But then the pressure was on when our presentation finished and Q and A began. From the being of the questions till what seemed like forever the judges asked questions about Recreo, and I was answering every phenomenal question they had. After they were done grilling me, and moved on to the other projects it seemed like we had made it into the clear. During our feedback at the end everything seemed so positive I couldn’t help but think that we had made it through to Nationals.

After getting a quick bite to eat we all got back into the van and headed back to Plymouth. We all had the same though on our mind as to whether we had made it through or not. I ended up sleeping the whole ride back to Plymouth after regionals knowing that we had a great shot to get through to Nationals. So when the news broke later that week that Enactus Plymouth had made it through to Nationals in London I was more than happy. However I think the only reason I fell asleep on that drive back was because I was exhausted from regionals and seeing UPFC play at home park for Varsity.

First let me explain what Varsity is for those who don’t know. Varsity is when your school goes head to head with your rival school in our case Marjon Uni, in every sport both schools have. From that for every win that sports team gets the school gets points overall on the varsity leaderboard, and the school with the most points after the last event wins Varsity. For every sports team this is the most important game of the year, and for UPFC’s first team it was no different.

As they took to the pitch that Thursday night at home park they needed to win in order for Plymouth to win Varsity. Although they went down early in the first half to goal conceded due to a poor clearance, the boys fought back and made the match level half way through the second half. So being that they needed a winner, and that the match was level at the final whistle, the match went straight to pens. With all the stress of penalties UPFC slotted every single one home to win 4-1 on pen’s. I have to say that was one of the best nights of watching football I’ve had in a long time.

Then the rest of the month was filled with parties, Enactus, and studies. I continued to work hard and then I went and ran in the Plymouth Rag’s Color run, which was great fun. Wish there was more people throwing paint, however it was still great fun.

So that was my March Madness. I know this was a post that was a lot longer than usual, but with how crazy it was I really didn’t get a chance to write in this blog. But I want to thank you all who read this because never did I think I would have had 1400 views on this blog. So thank you so much for enjoying the content that I put out and I hope I can keep doing for the rest of my time in the UK. But in the coming weeks it will be a bit more a travel blog so be prepared for some really jam packed blogs with some really cool stories. But until then stay safe, and as always enjoy the ride!