“Summer was a good day last year” –Man at the bar.
Galway has been a heck of a ride so far, I feel myself becoming very comfortable in the city. It’s a very bohemian place, a place for artists. When I was in Dublin I was eager to meet people who were also in Ireland on a Working Holiday and now that I’m in Galway, I see where they all have fled. It’s bittersweet, I have people I can finally relate to and people that are also unemployed that are going after the same jobs as me. You see my dilemma? All speculation aside, they are all wonderful people and I wish them all the luck in the world with finding work. I’ll save a little bit of luck for myself.
When I’m not frantically job searching I’ve been hanging out with my wonderful Canadian friends. We make amazing dinners every night which have included; stir fry, lasagna, meat and veggies and chili. That chili was scrumptious. Last week we found ourselves getting involved in what I’ve heard called an “Irish Lock In”. I first heard about a Lock In from an Irish lad in Banff and that’s when it clicked “I need to go to Ireland”. Basically an Irish Lock In is when the bar closes but you are still inside, drinking. You are locked in. So we found ourselves one a Monday night in the mood to go out for a pint or two, we were invited into a pub that was about to close by the bartender, he wanted some Canadian company. One thing led to another and the bar was closed, the blinds down, us hiding and drinking under the security cameras with the bartender and I was shitfaced. Our lock in lasted until 4:00am, if I had had one more drink I would have fallen off my rocker. An authentic Irish experience.
The next morning, which was a hazy morning, I pulled myself together and went to hand out some resumes around town. After about 3 stops Laura (my Canadian pal) and I decided to stop into The Jungle Café for a coffee fix. I am so glad we did. Friends told me that people in Galway will go out of their way to converse with you and you’ll make friends anywhere you go. My friends were right and we ended up being joined by two 50ish year old Irish men. They were eager to tell us their travel stories, crack jokes and teach us about the Irish culture. We sat around for about a half an hour chain smoking, drinking coffee and chatting before they casually checked their watches and left in a jiff. I felt in that moment, I am in Ireland. Because, yes there may be beautiful landscapes and remarkable pubs but the people are really the national treasure of Ireland. It was so simple. I was glad to put my resume distributing on halt for that experience.
So I had discovered the social culture of Galway and what seems to be the West Coast, now it was time to see some natural beauty. Laura, Raph and I took a tour to go see the famous Cliffs of Moher. The cliff highest point is 214 metres and it spans over 8 kilometres. As our bus was driving up to the lookout we couldn’t see out of our windows from the fog, I was laughing. Of course we come all of this way just for the cliffs to be covered by fog, that’s Ireland. We got lucky though and when we parked he told us to go as quickly as we could because there was a break in the sky and my god, the cliffs are EPIC. The mixture of wind and mud was slightly terrifying, I felt like I could have been taken by the cliffs on that day. Alas, I just crouched and held onto the wall in terror when the winds felt too strong. It was breathtaking watching the cliffs appear and disappear in between the fog. I am kind of happy that we saw them in that weather opposed to a perfect , sunny day. It was eerie. My sister, Emily, messaged me saying that she loved my pictures of the cliffs and I was a little surprised because to me the picture wasn’t all that great. The picture did not do it justice; these cliffs are huge and leave you in awe. If you are in Ireland you must go, we spent two hours roaming around the pathway and there wasn’t a dull moment.
I was fortunate enough to take a bus journey out to the Connemara National Park yesterday for a job interview. I have lived in the Canadian Rockies and thought that nothing could ever compare to that beauty, I’ve kind of lowered my expectations of other places because I thought I had seen the best. The mountains here have a different beauty to them though; you can’t put the beauty of the Rockies and the Connemara on the same scale. My job interview was a 10 minute walk to the National Park gate and of course, I journeyed up for about a half an hour and was left smiling ear to ear with the view. It was the combination of the mountains and the sea; it was so calm and peaceful (even with the aggressive wind). And that was just the beginning of the trail. I need to know what it’s like 2 hours further. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my hiking shoes, common mistake when going to a job interview. My job interview went well and I should hear back in a week as to whether I’ll live in this serene little village of 200 people or not. At this moment in time, I have opportunities on the horizon and I know that things are going to start happening. Money will be made!
As for the job hunt, my ideal job is working in a hostel or guesthouse in order to learn more about that industry. One of my many ideas about my future includes opening my own hostel. I know what it’s like to travel and stay somewhere that isn’t home. I’ve learned the good and bad qualities of a hostel and have the ability to see it through the customer’s eyes. If I had my own hostel one day I would want to create a safe haven for travelers and make them feel at home. It’s important to provide opportunities for guests to meet one another and make it a social place. Anyways, I am getting ahead of myself. I have reached out to about 50 hostels across Ireland expressing my interest in working. Now I wait. If I can give any advice on applying to jobs it’d be just go for it. Send a simple email to the company you are interested in, the worst thing that will happen is they will say they’re not hiring. I’m excited to see where I end up at this point. I know it will be good.
As a small sign off I want to stress being safe while traveling. You make friends from far and wide and 99% of the time it is genuine but there is a chance you’ll meet a bad apple. Just avoid situations that you have a bad feeling about and always keep your belongings in check.