Tag Archives: dublin

Masters Graduation

5 Sep

I was very sad to miss my Masters Graduation ceremony back home in Ireland this week, but as flying over 9,000km from Korea to Dublin for 1 day was definitely not an option, I just had to get on with my days work teaching cute little Korean kids their A,B,C’s!

I think the principal of the school felt a little sorry for me, so she spent the entire day today photo shopping my head onto other people graduation photos, then uploaded them into facebook. You can imagine my surprise and delight after a long days teaching, logging on to facebook to see these hilarious yet brilliantly photoshopped images of myself at my Graduation! She even got the colors right and somehow added the University crest to one of the photos too!

I may have missed the actual graduation ceremony, but at least I have some photos from the occasion! :D

Oh look, there I am at my University!

Oh look, there I am at my University!

There I am, looking the wrong way!1

There I am, looking the wrong way!1

With a lovely James Joyce quote!

With a lovely James Joyce quote!

I'm looking well! haha

I’m looking well! haha

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kindness of Strangers

1 May

I was talking to some friends last night about solo travel and the enormous benefits bestowed on people who are brave or adventurous enough to set off on their travels alone. I thought I could use my blog to share some positive experiences I have encountered with total strangers but mainly I wanted to use this post to hear your stories!

Have you ever experienced the kindness of strangers while on your travels??

Be it someone who helped fix your puncture in the Australian Outback or a young kid who helped you find your hotel through the winding streets of Venice??

kindness of strangers

On my way to Australia last November I had a great experience where I befriended a stranger on the plane from Cork, who turned out to be an extremely well off but more importantly very inspirational business man who employed over 800 people in a Tech company in China. He taught me many a thing that I still keep with me today, and also treated me to a delicious meal while waiting for my nest flight. An experience that can be read about here.

Almost a year later and as my trip to South Korea began, I found another stranger putting a smile on my face. After a short flight from Cork to London Heathrow, I had another dreaded 5 hour stopover. As all the restaurants were super busy I was asked to share a table with a few other travellers. No problem. I got talking to the guy opposite me, mainly because the cocktail he was drinking looked interesting so I decided to order the same(!), and he turned out to be a very good-looking and interesting Irish guy (if you are reading this…HELLO!).

We had a great conversation about work, travel and life, as he asked me why I had decided to jet off to Korea for a year. We chatted for a while and then he bid me farewell as he had to run to catch his flight. As he stood up to leave, he informed that he had been so intrigued listening to me talk and was so sad that he had to depart that he had paid for my meal and drink as a farewell gift. I was actually speechless but secretly delighted.

I’m sure we have all been that kind stranger too, at one stage or another. One memory I have, which while not entirely a ‘kind’ gesture, is certainly something that put a smile on the face of many strangers.

It was a day I will never forget…the day I got naked with a few thousand other brave souls in Dublin harbour as part of a Spencer Tunick Art Installation!

Standing knee-deep in the freezing, Irish sea or laying down on the hard, cold rocky pier back to back with naked strangers, as a ship sails in from England (no doubt full of puzzled passengers!) was a morning I’m not going to forget anytime soon! I can’t begin to imagine what was going through those passengers minds as they saw a few thousand naked Irish people welcoming them into Dublin Port at 5 o’clock in the morning! “Welcome to Ireland, the friendliest nation on Earth!”

Giving out FREE HUGS to bewildered students in a trendy shopping area in Seoul, South Korea was also a great way of spreading job to strangers! That, and the day I spent dressed as a clown and face painting kids for free in Dublin, Ireland.

Nothing can put a smile on your face like the kindness of strangers.

Please share your stories in the comments below! x

Zombie, Zombie, Zombie!

4 Aug

Some photos I took at the Dublin Zombie Walk today, where about 10,000 people, both young and old, dressed like the living dead and took to the streets in search of brains! Such a crazy, fun experience with amazingly creative people! And…all in support of charity!

Zombie Official

Zombies in Dublin

Zombie Nurse

A rainbow of color at the Dublin Zombie Walk

The (Irish) Sea of Nakedness

20 Mar

I will never forget the day I got naked with a few thousand other brave souls in Dublin harbor. It was for a Spencer Tunick Art Installation and was right up there with some of the wackier things I have done in my life.

Standing knee deep in the freezing, Irish sea or laying down on the hard, cold rocky pier back to back with naked strangers, as a ship sails in from England (no doubt full of puzzled passengers!) was a morning I’m not going to forget anytime soon! I can’t begin to imagine what was going through those passengers minds as they saw a few thousand naked Irish people welcoming them into Dublin Port at 5 o’clock in the morning!

“Welcome to Ireland, the friendliest nation on Earth!” ;)

"Welcome to Ireland!" A sea of nakedness!

It's a wee bit cold...a sea of nakedness!

Flash Mob – As Gaeilige!

13 Mar

I thought I would share this video as St Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and hearing this beautiful song in my native Irish tongue(as gaeilige) puts a smile on my face and sends shivers down my spine…in a good way of course. Although I am quite sad I wasn’t in Dublin to see it first hand!

3 days until Paddys Day…bring on the madness!

Temple Bar Trad Festival

30 Jan

I went out to meet a Spanish friend for lunch yesterday and ended up staying out til past midnight, thanks to all the free TradFest events in Temple Bar. I met up with a load of awesome couchsurfers and spent hours walking around from pub to pub listening to all the great traditional Irish music and even had a free Irish dancing lesson in The Arlington Hotel!

We drank, we danced on the street, we danced in the rain, we laughed, and I guess we all made some new friends!

 

Here is a little video I made of our Sunday Session! Yeehaaaaw!

Cycling in Dublin

30 Jan

This is my first ever video post, taken with my new GoPro camera that I got for my birthday! It’s a bit random and has an epic fail (very bad editing!!) about half way through but I’m pretty happy with it none-the-less!

In other news…I’m moving to Holland tomorrow so will be sure to update you all on my new adventure very soon!

Janet :)

 

It’s better to look UP than down!

15 Jan

Today was awesome. It made me realise how easy it is to make a big impact by doing something really simple; by looking up! As I only found out about the Global Flash Mob event 3 days ago, happening in 18 cities all over Europe (and perhaps elsewhere), I knew it would be difficult to get a big crowd. However through promotion on couchsurfing and facebook, over 50 people turned up this afternoon for some random improv fun! The vision of the event was ‘Youth Power and Initiative’ and involved everyone looking skyward for 5 minutes. Why? I’m not sure, but I like to think it’s about opening up your horizons, dreaming big and I guess as one passerby remarked today, “It’s better to look up than down!”

At about 1.45 we told the crowd that we were going to disperse and walk down Grafton street, Dublin’s busiest shopping street, and hang out near to Bewleys cafe. Then at exactly 2pm a guy will blow a horn and everyone will look up and freeze. Then after 5 minutes you will hear the horn again and everyone will casually walk away as if nothing happened. I knew it would be a bit of fun but I didn’t realise QUITE how hilarious it was going to be!

With about 50 people looking up at the same spot for 5 minutes, nearly everyone that passed looked up too. People seemed totally baffled as they couldn’t work out what we were looking at. One old lady asked each and every one of us “What are you looking out? What are you doing?” and when the person kept their mouth firmly closed and their eyes to the sky she moved on to the next person then the next eventually I heard her snapping her fingers and saying to the guy behind me “Come on! Snap out of the trance!”

Lots of people stopped right next to me trying to figure out the exact spot I was looking at. In the end all the waitresses from Bewleys cafe couldn’t contain their curiosity, opened the second level doors, walked out onto the balcony and strained their necks sky wards to figure out what we were looking at. At this stage I think it took everyone freezing every last muscle to stop themselves from laughing! Some people found it unnerving as I heard 1 girl remark to her friend, “Everyone is just frozen, what are they LOOKING at? This is freaking me out. Quick, let’s go!” Hilarious! After 5 minutes we heard the horn again and everyone dispersed as if nothing unusual had just occurred.

Ahhh another random day in Dublin.

Flash Mob Dublin Video

FREE HUGS DUBLIN

11 Jan

Also check out FREE HUGS SEOUL, KOREA

So last weekend I organized a FREE HUGS day in Dublin. About 10 or more couchsurfers showed up, and despite the cold wind, we had a fantastic few hours hugging randomers….I must have hugged over 200 people!

Free Hugs is a funny thing. At the start, people are nervous, or scared or embarrassed. But once you get or give your first few hugs, you start smiling more, become relaxed and really open up to everyone that passes, without discrimination, as hugs and people come in all shapes and sizes!

Little kids would walk up to me shyly, and give me a timid hug. Teenagers would run at me at and leap or jump into my arms. Some would swing me around. A drunk, and perhaps homeless woman, hugged me and kissed my FREE HUGS sign, then said ‘God Bless’. Another man gave me a bear hug so strong it nearly squashed me. One lady was quite upset and thanked me saying she had just got bad news and that the hug really brightened up her day. One guy asked me to virtually hug his friend..on the phone! Some groups would ask for a group hug, then run away giggling while others would embrace you and you could really feel the goodness of the hug. Some asked for a kiss, and were politely declined! So yea, hugs and people come in all shaped and sizes!

A truly wonderful, and free, day in Dublin!

Clowning Around Dublin

28 Nov

How would you like to dress up as a clown for the day, prance around Dublin city and promote International Children’s Day by doing some free face painting?“,was the question that started it all.

“Ummm of course I want to dress up like a clown and prance around the streets of Dublin!!”, was my speedy reply!

And so started our plans for International Children’s Day in Dublin! We recruited a few other active, fun-loving couchsurfers and some of my friends from Uni until we had a sizable troupe of clowns. We put a load of bottles of bubbles, face paints and raided our wardrobes for the most eye-catching, vibrant, and colorful clothes we could possibly find!

Clown Troupe Marching to Work

Riding the Bull...entertaining ourselves!

On that fateful saturday morning, we all gathered on Henry streets, outside the early leaning centre (we were aiming at kids, so seemed appropriate!!) and set up camp. We had bubble blowers, jugglers, face painters and a general carnival atmosphere all around us. We put up a little sign that said “Free Face painting” and waited….

Slowly but surely parents with their young offspring in tow approached us to enquire about what we were doing. They kept asking, “How much does it cost”, or “How much is the face painting?”. They simply couldn’t digest what we were saying, “It’s FREE!” They kept trying to find the catch. Were we some religious group? Were we going to start handing out leaflets and forcing customers to take them? Nope. Just free face painting. Just spreading the love and putting a smile on as many people’s face as possible, which is payment enough in my mind.

Out dedicated Bubble Blowers; Linda and Betsy

Our little tigers

 Soon enough word spread, and we had queues forming from all angles to avail of the free face painting. Some people were so chuffed with the end result that they kept offering to give a few Euro, which he politely declined. It was such a great feeling just to do something for FREE and know that your making loads of people, both parents and children happy!

It was one of the most fun days I have ever had, but after hours of jumping about, surrounded by hyper activity, shoutings, laughing, the clowns were exhausted. So around 6pm, as things quietened down, we decided we deserved a well over due pint!! We set off towards Grogans on South William Street but not without some hilarious tangents along the way! 

Tired clowns at Break Time

Busy beavers

 We formed a train and danced our way in and out of random bars and restaurants. We stopped to take a picture with our mate Bob The Builder and even stopped traffic as we marched across Dublin’s busy streets!

One of the funniest moments came as we were waiting to cross a street and 4 of us clowns stood alongside 2 local Guards. One of them turned to us and said, “What have we got here? 3 clowns?” And I looked down the row at us and at them, and cheekily said, “Try 6!“. Luckily at that moment the light turned green and away we ran, in search of more smiles and some long over due pints! An amazing day!

Six Clowns standing in a row!!!

Relaxing with a pint after a long day at work!!

More clown friends!

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