When a Writer Drinks

When a Writer Drinks

Occasionally, when I drink, I start to write.  I often believe that the writing is profound, in a Truman Capote kind of way.  Then, I show it to Eric after, he reads it, shrugs his shoulders and I realize it was quite possibly, complete crap.  Because when a writer drinks, often times, it’s crap. On our way from Abu Dhabi to Dublin, we flew sheer across the Gulf.  Something I have never done during the day.  We were flying home to family, for a funeral, and certainly not the most celebratory of trips. That may have been why I had two, very good pours, of whiskey before 11 am.  Eric joined me.  At least I was not drinking alone. There was part of me that enjoyed the banter between Eric and I.  The discussions about our seat neighborhoods, the other people who boarded the plane, the fact that there was a window in the bathroom of our Etihad flight.  I think that we each relished the moment where we could pretend that this was a normal flight, a normal trip to Ireland, instead of a rushed, last minute booking to celebrate, and bury, someone who Eric thought of as a brother. I recognized how strange the flight was, even as we pretended to be normal.  Eric noticed that I had become fascinated with the landscape out the window.  As we made our way north, we flew over Kuwait City – so much beige, and in complete contrast to our landscape in Bali. Then, the map function on the Etihad entertainment system told me we were crossing over Baghdad. I...
Embracing the Cold in Limerick – Winter in Ireland

Embracing the Cold in Limerick – Winter in Ireland

In July 2012, we first set off on this round the world adventure.  Or this, Southeast Asia or bust adventure.  We knew that Asia, and more importantly, warmth was in our future.  We hate the cold.  I loved living in Chicago for five years, but I hate the cold.  I love the look of fresh snow, but I hate the cold.  I love jeans, tall leather boots, and sweaters, but I hate the cold.   Our first stop when we left the hot summer in the US that July was a holiday on the west coast of Ireland with family, and it was certainly not hot there.  The family picked on me mercilessly because I just could not get warm, wearing jeans and socks and sweaters, curling up under a blanket on the sofa.  And that was summer.  I’m a summer girl, and I enjoy summer all year round.  The cousins went swimming.  I wore a scarf. I, honestly, hesitated about evening attending World Travel Market in London.  Early November in rainy London?  I would much rather stick it out in the hot and humid rainy season in Bali.  I don’t even have clothes for cold and rain.  Regardless, we knew it would be a good opportunity, we had some friends to stay with in London, and we were positioned well to catch Depeche Mode in Dublin that same week.   That is how we found ourselves in Limerick for a week in November.  It would be a good chance to stop in to see the family.  I tried not to let the weather bother me.  After all, we...
Getting Matching Tattoos in Ireland

Getting Matching Tattoos in Ireland

After sharing our tips for successfully traveling as a couple, and even offering my first installment of our love story, I am starting to realize that perhaps we are one of those couples.  We get eye rolls from friends, and despite the fact that we despise PDA, we still manage to make people think we are just a little too close.  After all, we share a brain.  So, when we were at Eric’s cousin’s house in Ireland, enjoying a birthday party for her ten year old son, we decided to get matching tattoos in Ireland.  How ridiculous can you get?  The house was filled with so many of Sean’s cousins running around that I could not even count how many kids there were.  And, each of the those kids had a parent, who was drinking rather heavily.  We were joining them.   Every time I turned around my wine glass was filled. Every time I turned around, Eric had a new beer in hand.  It was actually a pretty fun night.  Probably the best ten year old birthday party ever.   Towards the end of the evening, and after many a drink, Eric and I decided to get matching tattoos.  Now, we are not stupid enough to drive drunk through the Irish countryside to get to the tattoo parlor.  We were at least smart enough to sleep on it, sober up, and then get tattoos.  But, it seemed the decision had been made.  So, in the morning, we emerged, slightly hungover, and made our way into downtown Limerick.  After doing some shopping and grabbing some lunch, we made our...
Jet Setting for Depeche Mode in Dublin

Jet Setting for Depeche Mode in Dublin

According to Wikipedia, the Jet Set:   “was a term for an international social group of wealthy people who traveled the world to participate in social activities unavailable to ordinary people. …” Despite our record of traveling to the far corners of the globe and back, I’ve never considered myself a jet setter.  I mean, while working in the States we flew to Rome for Labor Day and to Amsterdam for Thanksgiving, but that hardly placed us into the category of jet setter, even with our former incomes.  There was also the time we flew first class, last minute, to Hong Kong for Christmas, and had an epic trip, which included an expat Christmas party, bar hopping until 6 am, and absinthe cocktails.  Okay, maybe we were jet setters.  Jet setters probably don’t use miles though.    With Depeche Mode being one of our favorite bands, and having officially started this permanent journey heading to the DM Baar in Estonia, it only seemed fitting to fly across the world to see them.  In fact, it totally made sense.    We were living Bali and knew that World Travel Market was going to be in London at the  beginning of November.  As we contemplated whether to go, I obviously checked the Depeche Mode concert schedule and noticed they were playing in Dublin just a few days later.  Under the guise of a trip to Ireland to see family, and encouraging Eric’s mother to fly out to Limerick to see us, we found ourselves booking a flight to London, a Ryan Air flight, and two tickets to see Depeche Mode in Dublin...
ITB Asia and WTM London for Bloggers

ITB Asia and WTM London for Bloggers

Leaving Bali, in hindsight, may have been a mistake.  When we left, I was on a high.  I was healthier than I had been in years, and we had really found our groove – new friends, a new routine.  We were being productive and had settled in nicely. Then.  We left. We left so that: 1) I could attend TBEX Dublin, the conference for travel bloggers; 2) we both could attend ITB Asia in Singapore, a large travel industry conference; and 3) we could both attend World Travel Market in London, one of the largest travel conferences in the world.  It was two months of travel, with the express purpose of conducting “business.”   For Eric, who is selling advertising on a contract basis for a couple travel websites, this seemed like a no-brainer.  A chance for him to network and make contacts that might prove fruitful.  For me, though, as a travel blogger, I was unsure why I was going to these conferences, and what I hoped to get from it.  I had no clear plan, other than show up, smile, and carry business cards. ITB Asia in Singapore ITB Asia brands itself as one of the leading B2B conferences for the Asian travel market.  The goal is to provide a forum for buyers and sellers to meet, introduce themselves, and sign deals. What the what?  What does this mean for travel bloggers? What is a Travel Buyer? There were over 800 exhibitors at ITB Asia in Singapore.  After only a handful of tables offered at TBEX Dublin, the number seemed overwhelming at first.  The majority of the...
Traveling Solo to TBEX Dublin

Traveling Solo to TBEX Dublin

So much for healthiness.  So much for being a good yogi.  In Dublin, I was a bad, bad yogi, being transported back to my old life – conferences, work, free drinks, little sleep.  I  found myself in some level of intoxication four times in three days.  I was so far from my life back in Ubud.  Apparently, this is TBEX, the travel blogger convention. I woke after the third night in Dublin and used the toilet in our tiny dorm room.  The lighting in there was awful, but that did not dissuade me from staring at myself in the mirror.  For the first time in a long while, I felt that I looked my age.  My new TBEX friend, Adam, had told me the night before that it seemed that I am having problems accepting my age.  I like to believe that I am okay with where I am in my life, at the age of 38.  I am often told that I look young for my age and was recently asked what kind of face cream I use.  I don’t use anything.  I am entirely product free. But that morning, I realized I had not had a breakfast in 4 days, and had not had a proper dinner in just as long, that I was on a predominantly liquid diet.  Between parties at the Guinness Storehouse, an Expedia hosted open bar at the Odeon, cocktail hours and night caps, I drank a lot in 3 days.  It hit me hard, particular because I had spent such a good chunk of the last 5 months getting healthy.   I...