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Do you wish you had a little bit more adventure in your life? Would you like to have some awesome stories to tell your friends and family?
There’s actually a simple way to achieve this.
Go with the flow. Be brave; dare more than usual.
Here is a great example of an adventure I had in Ireland that could have been a very typical “go visit the nice old castle and go home” type of day but turned into so much more.
Jordan, Dani, and I decided to rent a car in Dublin and head out into the country to see some real Ireland (Dublin isn’t the picture we had of Ireland – it was missing the rolling hills and the beautiful landscapes we had envisioned). We wanted to see the sweeping green landscapes and the castles we had heard so much about. I’m the only one who knew how to drive a standard transmission so as you can imagine; I am the one who got to drive for the first time on the opposite side of the road. I can’t even describe how nervous I was for the first hour – the word terrified comes to mind.
When I had to face my first roundabout (which for the record you need to take from the opposite side as well), I was in complete panic. I got out of the roundabout and stopped in someone’s driveway to calm myself down. Both girls were telling me I was doing a great job and that it was OK for me to take a breath and regroup which really helped me calm down.
Jordan brought her Ireland guide book with her, so we decided to go to Glendalough in Wicklow County to see the Monastic Site which was a bit over an hour drive away.
The site was breathtaking, the ruins were incredible, and the scenery was surreal. It was quite something to find myself sitting on ruins older than my own country.
We walked through the ruins, snapping pictures and enjoying the moment. As you can see from the above photos, it was pretty amazing.
Next, we decided to move to quaint town relatively close by (about an hour away in County Carlow) to check out this small castle Jordan had read about in her guidebook. We drove up to the entrance and walked around a little bit to find out that we missed our chance to see the grounds and the inside of the castle. We are all disappointed and STARVING at this point so we figured we would find some food in town. If you’ve ever been around a hangry (so hungry you get angry) woman you know three of them together could turn into a disaster, so we needed food fast. We found this random tiny fast food place with two tables outside and decided to order some burgers and fries.
As we are eating our food, a group of Irish construction workers in pickup trucks went in to order some food. As they waited for their food, they kept looking back at us and whispering amongst themselves (note that was a tiny town and we probably stuck out like sore thumbs). Some of them took off with their food and others sat down at the other table to eat. They started talking to us a little bit, and we told them we are from Canada and that we tried to go see the castle but it was closed.
One of the guys stays behind after everyone else left. He told us he’d been living in the town for his entire life and he used to play in the gardens of the castle as a child. He says he can take us around and show us a ‘secret entrance’ so we can check out the grounds. The three of us looked at each other excitedly and we jumped on the occasion to have a bit of adventure.
The real adventure begins
His ‘secret entrance’ was actually jumping over a fence and just walking onto the property. We got a little nervous at the idea of trespassing, but it’s was a chance in a lifetime, so went ahead and jumped. This guy was the embodiment of small town Ireland; we could barely understand him when he spoke because of his accent. He tried to tell us stories of him playing on these ground when he was a child, and he brought us to a few cool spots.
Funny side anecdote: this guy was TOTALLY enamored with Jordan and it was hilarious to watch him try to flirt when she could barely understand the words out of his mouth. Awkward for Jordan but hilarious for Dani and I.
Walking the grounds, trying to be relatively stealthy as we were technically breaking the law by trespassing on castle grounds (yeah… I’m a badass!) and listening to this Irish guy talk was a pretty surreal experience. I would have never experienced this had I not gone with the flow and let things happen. We could have just seen the castle from afar, been disappointed and gone on our way but we decided to live a little and it was SO worth it.
Opportunities for an adventure show up when you least expect them in life and it’s the same with travel. You need to let yourself go sometimes and not let a schedule interfere with possible adventures. It’s a crazy world out there and you just need to open yourself up to it to make your adventures even more incredible. So be daring, embrace your opportunities, and go where life takes you.
Do you have some crazy adventure stories from your travels? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
Are you a clumsy person? Don’t miss my blog post on a great tool for the clumsy traveler. You can find it here.