The Friday Five is a Livejournal community that posts five random questions every Friday for community members to answer either on the community itself or in their own journals.
These questions are actually last Friday’s, but they’re all travel themed, which I thought would be fun to talk about while we’re all stuck in place for the foreseeable future.
Where did you travel on your last vacation or other big trip?
California! I made a whole post about this. I went with my best friend and two of her friends on an 8-day road trip down the California coast, which had been one of my big life-long travel related dreams. It was incredible in every way; it fulfilled nearly every expectation I had about driving down the Pacific Coast Highway. I was with great people, we ate great food, I got to meet two California-based Internet friends, and I got to go on a hike! I think the only disappointment was LA and Venice Beach, but even that wasn’t really a disappointment so much as it turned out differently from my very specific expectations.
What was the best trip you ever took? Where did you go, and with whom, and what made it so good?
The very best trip I’ve ever been on was a three-week study abroad trip to Ireland in January of my sophomore year of college. Every time I think about that trip, I feel a bubble of nostalgia, longing, and absolute joy. It was an incredible trip for so many reasons, not least of which was the itinerary. We flew into Dublin, then took a bus across the country to Galway. For a week, Galway was our base while we explored Connemara. Then we drove to Kilkenny, in the center of the country, and again that was our base while we explored nearby places. Finally, we were in Dublin for the last few days.
Ireland had always been a dream of mine, along with the United Kingdom; I don’t know if I was British/Irish in a past life or what, because ever since I was a girl I’ve felt such a strong attachment to the British Isles. Ireland was just as gorgeous as I had imagined, so green and bright and ancient. I was also taking a history course for the study abroad program, so we got to see places were were talking about in real time. It was a super casual class, though; the professor on the trip with us was teaching, and we would literally just gather on the floor in the hotel lobbies or in her hotel room and we would chat about Irish history.
I have many wonderful memories from that trip, but two stand out. The first is of our second or third day in Connemara. We had spent the day exploring the rough, harsh country with a delightful tour guide/bus driver, and we were driving back just as the sun was setting. I remember leaning my head against the window, drifting in and out of sleep, as the driver told us stories of Irish legends.
The second memory is of our visit to the Cliffs of Moher. We almost didn’t manage to get in, because it was a really windy day (I mean like, 75MPH!), but we got in! It was probably really dangerous; I think some of my friends, especially the very thin ones, were very close to literally blowing away. I recall some of them throwing themselves to the ground because there was nothing to hold onto! But anyway, after, our amazing tour guide (from the previous paragraph!) took us to the bottom of the cliffs, where the ocean meets the rocks! The sea spray literally hit our faces. After that, we had a warm dinner at a cozy little pub.
Where do you dream of traveling on your next vacation when it’s safe to travel again?
You probably won’t be surprised when I tell you I want to visit England and Scotland! Last year I was supposed to go with my friend but things happened and we ended up seguing to California. We were then supposed to go this year, but then the world imploded, so here we are! Anyway, what that means is I’ve been planning this trip for about two years now in my head; I’ve looked up local tour agencies and bus tours and hotels and I’ve mapped out everywhere I want to go. Basically, I want to spend very little time in London and mainly explore the countryside, and then I want to go up to Edinburgh for a couple of days, and then explore the Highlands and go to the Glennfinan Viaduct (the Harry Potter train!).
After that, my top places to visit are the Czech Republic, southern Spain, and Italy!
Where are you likely to actually travel to on your next vacation when it’s safe?
Okay, I don’t like the pessimism inherent in this question, so I’m gonna talk about something else: like most people I’ve been working from home for a while now, but unlike most people, my job is permanently remote. This means that, in theory, I can move around as much as I like. At some point in the future (probably the far future), I’d like to take my laptop and do some Airbnb hopping, staying in places for maybe a month or two at a time. It’d be like backpacking, only a bit more formalized and slow-paced, because I’m not made for the rough lifestyle of backpacking. I don’t know how feasible that is – I have a mom and a cat that I’m responsible for financially – but it’s a dream.
Do you prefer to vacation to new places each time or to familiar places — or maybe you prefer to stay home?
Definitely new places! Like, I loved California and Ireland, but I wouldn’t got back to either until I’ve seen at least ten new places. There’s only so much money and time that I, as an average person, have to travel, so I’ve gotta maximize my options. I also don’t like staying in one place too long; I’m restless and I get bored easily. So I would never, say, go to one city and stay there for five days or something like that, unless I’m using the city as a base to travel the rest of the country. I also don’t tend to linger; once I’ve seen something and absorbed it, I generally am onto the next thing. I also go through museums really fast.