Sunday, July 17, 2011

Becoming a World Traveler

They say that talk is cheap and action speaks louder than words, so I've decided to stop talking about traveling and do something about it.

Currently am on a mission to become a "world traveler". Doing lots of research both online and through various travel guides. I'm reading a lot about the history of the county I'm planning to visit plus various sites to visit during my stay. I will note that I'm currently in the planning stage of my "new adventures" and that I've not purchased any plane tickets or booked any rooms as of lately. I know your probably wondering where in the world am I visiting but the title of my blog is probably the biggest clue I can give.

I've always wanted to visit the Emerald Isle. I enjoy watching movies and tv shows that take place in that beautiful green country. I myself have Irish in my blood even if just a wee bit but enough to make me intrigued by a country steeped in mystical folklore. I recently found that one of my ancestors came from Northern Ireland in Ulster. When I was born I was not given an ordinary plain name for a girl but one that I would eventually grow to love. Not many people I know can say that their name appears in the dictionary except for me. I'm a Colleen and very proud of it. Although I don't have red hair but have fair complexion with occasional bits of natural red highlights poking through my lackluster brown hair. Dictionary definition of colleen: an Irish girl. I don't think you can find a simpler definition than that.

In my journey or rather quest to learn all I can about this majestic island I found that not everyone covers every thing and not everything is as it seems. As mentioned earlier I've been reading several well known guide books as well as listening to some very good travel videos that are available for viewing on YouTube. I've even watched some good travel shows on public television and cable about travel in Ireland.

What I've learned in my travel planning is that there is a lot to do in Dublin, so much so that if you don't visit the rest of the island first you may never leave the capital city. While Dublin may be Ireland's largest city, Cork City in County Cork is the republic's second largest city. All of the most popular travel guides mention Cork City except one which is a shame.

There is a lot of stuff to do in Ireland's second largest city. Cork City has been referred to as Ireland second capital in a few of the travel guides I've read. Books that omit this city are really missing a lot. In 2005 Cork City was named European Capital of Culture. There is also lots of stuff to in and around Cork City.

Like I said not everything you read is true so do lots of research, read comments from other travelers when booking a room at a hostel or hotel. Try to make a couple friends from the country you plan to visit on one of the social networking sites because they will know what's worth your time and what's crap. I've made a couple friends so far in Ireland just by using an online dating site that has an international branch.

If you check out travel videos on YouTube you will find that they feature locals and are not paid spokesperson. The Discover Ireland web site is a great place to start your Ireland Adventure. It seems like everyone has a website no matter what they are selling. Most hostels have some sort of website which is great because you can find comments left by recent visitors.

It use to be that the hostel was a place for the young but now it seems like everyone can enjoy this cheap room and board without breaking the bank. I first started looking into cheap hotels but found that they weren't all that cheap especially if all I was gonna do was sleep after a day of sightseeing. The more I started looking into various hostels the more they became a necessity in my travel plans. The key to finding a good hostel is to read as many comments left by recent guests and then judge whether or not that comment has any merit.

In my hostel discovery I found that comments left by individuals from the United States held more merit than persons from Norway or even Finland. Since I'm an American I wanted to know what other Americans thought although I read other travelers comments. I also learned you have to take the good with the bad when you choose to stay at a hostel but being well informed beforehand is always best. Choose wisely. So far I've found that the Aaran House Tourist Hostel in Cork sounds like a great place to spend a few nights while exploring various site in County Cork. If someone is willing to make a return to a hostel that's definitely a plus in my book. Some comments complain about there not being any good restaurants near this particular hostel but because it is close to the train/bus stations I will definitely consider staying there when I visit Cork City.

Like I said do you homework, read everything you can whether its in a book or online, check out individual website for various tourist sites and hotels or hostels. My favorite website are and You can also find out a lot of information by watching videos on YouTube as well. Anyone can make a video and post it on YouTube so there are quite a few videos that individuals have done on their trip to the Emerald Isle.

I'm also currently learning to speak the language of Ireland which is Irish Gaelic. Gaelic may not be the primary language of the island but in some communities called Gaeltachts. Irish is the spoken language of choice.

It's getting late and I've been working on this blog far too long not to post it. So here it is in all its glory. Please feel free to leave me comments about your travels. Being an unexperienced world traveler I need all the help I can get. So if you've gone to Ireland please tell me about it. I've only been to Toronto, Ontario, Canada and have never left step foot on any other continent except North America and would love to read comments from those experience travelers. One day I would love to visit Spain and Italy and maybe even France. Like I said its a good idea to make friends in other countries via various social networking sites because you never know when you might need some advice. I will post more about my trip to Ireland soon but for now I will finally make this blog my official new post.

Thanks for listening and get out there and do some exploring of your own.