The Pub Crawl!

So, due to my last rant of the couple having sex in my hostel room, I requested a room change.
My luck began to turn!
I made it to my new room to find an Australian girl who is my age, and has my exact sense of humour. We got along right off the bat.
She told me about her life in Australia, and all these stories she has about travelling across the world.
I envy her, really. She’s experienced some of the most incredible things in the world, and all I can say is that I came from the great white north of Canada…
We went down to the bar in the hostel and grabbed a cocktail.
We were approached by a 26 year old Irishman named Chris. He was running a pub crawl to 5 of the most popular bars in Dublin.
We decided to tag along with the group, and we were in for quite the wild ride.
The group consisted of about 38 university students, all drunk of their asses. And I happened to be one of them.
We started at the first pub where people were screaming Christmas carols into the karaoke machine, lights were hanging everywhere, an spirits were higher than the clouds.

Bar two, much more spacious. Chris decided to get a tad friendly with me, and he started buying me drinks. I could barely slur out words by the time we left.

Bar three, the Irishmen decided to be quite intrigued by the Canadian girl in the bar.
“Where ya from?”
“Canada!”
“FUCK OFF. No way you’re from Canada!”
I definitely wasn’t liking the attention, so I excused myself to stumble my way to the door.

Bar four was much nicer than all the others, lit with Christmas lights and trees, Cafe snacks being served until the late AM.
Chris continued to buy me drinks, and eventually, he started getting pictures of me in front of the Christmas tree and the hostel we were across from.
He was taking quite the interest in me, and I was starting to panic a little.

Bar five was fucked up.
A live band was playing, and I went to go sit at the bar with a few of the locals. An older man approached me. Maybe around the age of 45. He was wearing a blue tracksuit and runners.
“I’m out of place here.”
In an attempt to close the conversation, I said “You look fine, go ask anyone.”
He started getting closer to me, telling me that he’s the fifth richest man in Ireland because his father is an executive at some company he didn’t know the name of… Believable.
Hearing all of this, Chris finally stepped in.
“Mate, that’s my girlfriend.” Panic mode.
I couldn’t look the man in the eye. I fiddled with my hands and looked at my shoes.
“Is she, mate?” He stepped closer to me again.
“Yeah, you best be on your way now.”
“Is he your boyfriend?” That was directed to me.
“Um… Yeah…”
The man splashed his drink on me, and walked off.
That was it. Time to go home. I didn’t want to stay out any later.
The group of us all went back to the hostel and said our goodnights.
That was my day yesterday…

My Unfortunate Luck

So, here I am.
The last couple of days have been quite… Intriguing.
First came the 12 hour commute. Initially, I had the 12th to the 24th booked off of work, but due to some fragile circumstance, I was called in to work right before my departure. Lucky me. So after work, I headed directly to the airport to catch my flight.
Almost missed it, I swear.

I flew into Washington as my first stop. From there, I had to go to another airport across the city to catch my flight to Dublin.
I had booked a shuttle about a week ahead of time through some company online.
With my bad luck in effect, it didn’t show. I complained and made call after call after call, and I got nothing.
Last minute, an hour and a half before my flight, I had to catch a cab.
Thank god I didn’t have to go through customs again to get onto the plane.
I printed off my boarding pass and hopped on right before they closed the gate.
I was stuck in between an old man who snored all through the night, and a young teen who was overly obsessed with his girlfriend. 7 hours of that, and I was about to go insane.

Finally, the plane landed, and I missed an entire night of sleep.

Off to the hostel.

I arrive, I find my room without a problem, and it was empty when I showed.

I went downstairs to meet some people, grabbed some drinks at the pub, and laughed all night.
I arrived back up at my room to find a couple of non-english speakers having sex in the bottom bunk. I rushed out as quickly as I could, and ran to the washroom… The men’s washroom.
I need my bad luck to change, fast.
Currently, I’m sitting in the lobby waiting to find people that actually speak English. No luck so far.

The Countdown: 12 Days Before My Trip

Time has been moving so slowly. I’m pretty sure the ass-dent in the couch has become permanent.

It’s as if the clocks have stopped ticking just to build up my anticipation.

I’m already anxious enough; it’ll be the first time I travel alone across the world. I know I’m old enough to take care of myself, but as much as I’d like to say I’m a confident extrovert, I’m anything but. I still take my mum to the doctor’s office with me, and get her to tell the doctor my symptoms.

I’ll be rooming with 5 other people, all unfamiliar, and a possible chance of them all being male, or all being unfriendly. Maybe I’m just thinking of the worst possible outcomes, but that’s what I’ll prepare myself for. It’s best to be ready for the worst, right? Maybe a room with all guys would be funny? Or it’ll smell like a gym. Who knows.

I have to keep reminding myself that this is for me and my personal growth. Ever since my parents split up in the summer, I’ve wanted to get away, and look at that, I’m getting exactly what I wanted.

I have to give credit to my mum, though. She’s paying for my trip because my job doesn’t fund me enough. She actually popped the idea out there. She said that if I found a reasonable price to go somewhere for a little while, to present it to her, and then we’d go from there.

I didn’t think it would happen. That night, I found a cheap-ish trip to Dublin to stay in a hostel, and I completely dwelled on it the entire night. The next morning, I put the travel itinerary in front of my mom, she looked at it for 3 minutes, and to my surprise, she passed me her MasterCard and said, “Book it.”

Maybe it’s guilt from what happened between she and my dad, or maybe it’s because she wants a break from my depressed attitude. But I can’t believe that I’m getting this opportunity.

Either way, I appreciate her generosity so much. She has done so much for me, I would consider myself to be one of the luckiest people in the world to have a mom like her.

But back to the basics. The part I’m most nervous for is flying there. It’s a 13 hour commute with a 6 hour layover in Washington, where I have to transfer airports to catch another flight. I don’t know what to do there. I’m booking a shuttle, but does that mean I have to collect my bag before I transfer? WHY CAN’T THIS BE A NON-STOP FLIGHT?! What if I miss my shuttle? Or maybe we’ll get stuck in traffic and I’ll miss my flight. Or my baggage might get lost on the way to Washington. OR EVEN ON THE WAY TO DUBLIN!

I’m also worried that I might forget a necessity! I drew up a list of things to bring, but I keep forgetting important things like deoderant and shampoo. AND SOAP. I NEED SOAP. I just remembered that now.

Fuck, this is going to be a long two weeks. (Pardon my language).

When I leave, I’ll be posting daily with photos and stories from inside the hostel ad around the town! Beer is cheap there, I’m sure there will be some good tales to tell… Or embarrassing ones.

CHEERS!

The Life of Spontaneity

Recently, I’ve found myself completely miserable. All I do is try to keep myself busy, so I overwork everyday just so I don’t have to sit alone with my own thoughts.
I’ve always been capable of coping with my own problems, but recently, I just can’t get it out of my head.
When I got home from work last week, I started building; doing physical labour is totally out of the ordinary for me. I don’t like to do it, but it keeps me occupied for hours.

So, I decided that I needed to escape. I wanted to find myself. Not stay in a hotel uptown for a few days, but really escape.
Last night, I planned something spontaneous. I booked myself a 14 day trip to dublin, leaving on December 12th.
I have family there, but I’m not going there to visit them. I’m going there to find me. I’m staying in a hostel with university students just like myself, exploring what the world has to offer them.
Although most of these people are travelling in pairs, I’m travelling alone. I don’t want someone by my side 24/7. I want time for me. I want to be spontaneous and act on impulse. I want to meet people I would have never met, interact with friends I would have never interacted with. I want to live recklessly, only so I can come home and say that I’ve done this, I’ve taken risks, and I’ve tried new things.

Hopefully, I return with a newer sense of what I want out of this life.
Maybe I’ll return a little less miserable.

Here’s to hoping!

I Have No Idea What I’m Doing

Okay, the average young adult has an idea of where their path is going to lead them on the career spectrum of their life. After high school, you’re expected to jump right into a specialized field of which you’re going to pursue for the rest of your life. After paying tens of thousands of dollars, you have a degree or specialization, and then you’re off to find your career.
This is where everyone is headed, but how in the bloody hell was I supposed to know what I wanted to do when I was a mere SEVENTEEN years old? I had no fucking clue.

This is what happened:

At seventeen, I had this delusion that I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. Great, my parents loved it and supported it. They paid my way through my first and second year of school, and I’m so grateful for that. But at the end of my first year, I thought to myself, “What the fuck am I doing? A teacher? You’re an idiot.”
Little voices in my head told me to get the fuck out and start over. How could I? My parents were paying my way through school, and they were overjoyed with my career choice! I couldn’t just disappoint them like that.

So I kept on trucking. I made it through another year of blood, sweat, tears, and ten page thesis papers. But those feelings never left. I was losing my passion and motivation to do well in school because I really didn’t care for what I was doing. I didn’t want the ultimate outcome. Truth is, I had no idea what I wanted.

One night, in the middle of constructing a Feminism thesis paper, I found myself fighting back tears for the hundredth time. Three more years of schooling, and a lifetime of a career I didn’t even want. Something had to change.

I picked up my phone, 2:20am, and I called my mom.
The second I heard her voice, I broke down. I told her everything.

To my surprise, she handled it a lot better than I had thought.
“Amanda, I knew this call was coming,” she said, “you were never destined to be a teacher.”
I guess I wasn’t. But why couldn’t she have saved me the trouble and told me that before I applied for school?!
The hard part was breaking it to my dad.
“You were supposed to be the smart one,” he lectured, “the only kid that didn’t fail.” Way to make me feel like a winner, dad.
He meant well, but he’s socially awkward and chooses his wording very poorly.
After an hour long argument, he agreed that I could change my mind on deciding my future. No father would want to see his daughter miserable for the rest of her life.

Where am I now? Well, I’m twenty, and I’m a university dropout living with my mom. I work full time at a daycare, and I play guitar and sing in my spare time.
In September, I’ll be going back to school for the Creative Industries Program at Ryerson University.
There, I’ll be able to study the arts; anywhere from live performance to journalism, pop culture to fashion, marketing to publishing.

Will I pursue it? Well, I already used my Get Out Of Hell Free card, so if I don’t, it’s gonna cost me.

Why I Will Never Return To A Casino Again

The other day, 4 friends and I decided to go out on a Friday.
“Let’s do something cheap,” I said, “I’m broke off my ass.”
Collectively, we agreed to stay at my apartment for the night and drink until the sun came up.

Unfortunately, those plans changed when my roommate’s mom came for an untimely visit. For lack of better words, she’s psychotic.

We couldn’t stay at the apartment, but in the town that we live in, where could we go?

Casino. Not exactly a money saving night, let me tell you.
After taking back six lovely shots of coconut vodka each, we were ready to go. We all dressed up to the nines and walked to the taxi station up the road.
Murph, he was our driver. He arrived at the station 20 minutes late in a giant, silver soccer mom van. Let’s do this.

The five of us piled in, I sat in the back with my friend Wesley, two sat in front of us, and the social butterfly, Paul, he sat in the front.
“Murph, my man. Have you ever won big at the casino?” Paul threw his arm around Murph’s shoulder.
“No one does, kiddo.” Murph pulled out of the parking lot, and we were on our way.

The entire ride there, we screamed to songs on the top 40 countdown while flailing our arms in some sad attempt to dance in seat belts.

We pulled up to the casino, paid the driver, and made our way to security for admission. A bunch of drunk 20 year olds going to gamble just screams “easy money”, so they checked our ID’s and let us in without hesitation.

First thing was first; we had to drink more. We grabbed stools at the bar and ordered rum and cokes. Chug. Refill. Chug. Refill. Chug.
Good to start gambling.

Disoriented, I made my way to the slot machines.

Now they say I was there for about 2 hours, constantly pulling the crank, sliding in money, and pulling again. I, however, only remember being there for about 5 minutes.

I’d like to tell you I came out richer than when I had arrived, but that’s hardly ever the case.

In the two hours that I sat at one machine, I was down a whopping $640.

Thank god for Wesley, he pulled me away from the machine and took my wallet.

We all walked out broke. What do you do when you’re having an unlucky day? Drink.

To the bar we went.

Paul called Murph to pick us up and take us to the nearest bar in town.

When we arrived, it was packed with people who went to my university. As I said my hellos, I tried to spot anyone else who was familiar until I came across my ex boyfriend.

Long story short, he and I dated for three years, got engaged, he cheated and I hadn’t seen him after that until I showed up at the bar.

The only empty table was right beside his.

Bring on the vodka.

I’m glad I don’t remember the rest of that night after the shots were brought out, but I wish I could remember the small exchange of conversation between my ex and I.

I guess things are better left forgotten.

Love?

I want to talk about love, and the extents we go to find it. But I also want to talk about the misconceptions rooted around the word that no one seems to understand.

It’s not love that hurts. Love actually fulfills the voids that you carry in your life. It lightens the moods you support on your shoulders, and it completes the circle that we apparently follow to achieve happiness. No, it’s not love that hurts you. It’s not being loved in return.

Statistically, we go through about seven major heartbreaks before we find our ‘soulmate’. Seven. That’s a substantial number; substantial enough to completely deter you from even wanting such a thing. I envy those who marry their high school sweethearts and their grade school romances. That, however, is not my story.

I have a story, though. It’s filled with ache, vulnerability, anger and hate that it really isn’t a good story. But it’s not over yet. As long as my pages still turn, my story goes on.

But I’m almost at the point in my life where I may not want to find my happily ever after. My ending might be different from most. Maybe, I’ll end with twelve cats, and not a lover to my name. It’s tragic, but not a tragic love story.

I don’t want to define my life around the person I find myself marrying. It’ll be what I make of myself. Maybe a husband and a family, maybe not.

But isn’t that what everyone is so afraid of? Being alone? Truth is, we’re never alone. And I’m not going to preach words of faith here; I’ll preach words of realism. These days, when someone says “alone”, they tend to mean “without a lover”. But in today’s society, does that really constitute being alone? I don’t think so. There are approximately 7.6 billion people on this earth. Wherever we turn, there are people late for meetings, children playing in the parks, animals running down the streets. These are all bodies and souls that surround us. We’re never alone. Contextually, you may feel alone because you might be lacking something you think needs to be fulfilled, but literally, we never are.

That’s what bothers me. You don’t need to be in love like the tragic Romeo and Juliet. You don’t need to have The Notebook romance. All that you’ll ever have in the end are memories, and yourself. It may not be the same body you had when you were 25, but you’ll still have you, and every experience that came along with you.

Stop thinking that we must have love to feel complete. Stop joining dating sites to speed up the process, stop going to bars just to get some human affection from the horny drunk two stools down. Stop throwing yourself out there because of a fear that you may end up not finding someone to spend the rest of your life with. The only love you should ever move mountains for is the love for yourself. And that, I would quote.