Ireland!

ireland-cliffs_6017_600x450I’m going to Ireland next month, isn’t that fun?! I’m leaving from Boston on Sunday July 21st at 6:30 PM and arriving in Dublin at around 5 AM. The five hour time difference will generously eat away my entire night of sleep:) I’ll take a one hour bus ride to Belfast where Liberty has an office. Yes this is a work trip. We work with a wholly owned subsidiary there and members of my team go over all the time to work in person. It’s finally my turn so I’m heading out. I’m going there with one of my other coworkers and we’ll be there for the week, traveling back on Friday.

I’m pretty excited and pretty terrified as I’ve never been out of the country before (my honeymoon cruise does not count). This is real travel. Generally larger groups go, often times with someone who has been there before. Not us. We are both newbies and we are being dropped in Dublin to fend for ourselves. Once we land from our 6 hour direct flight we have to buy a bus ticket and find our bus to Belfast. Apparently all of the ATMs over there take US credit cards so we should be ok. Since it will be Monday when we arrive, we are given a little lee-way to take a nap and don’t have to head into work until about 1. The people in that office often work slightly later shifts anyway (10 – 6; 5 – 1 EST) to more closely match the US shift. Needless to say Monday will probably not be that productive.

After work I’m sure they will take us out drinking a couple of times. There are usually quite a few stories about bars and late nights when people come back; we will probably be no different. It will be very very interesting. It is a totally new place and I’ll be completely out of my element. I know I’ll miss Sally and the boys terribly but Sally and I can chat over IM and I’ll give the boys a call each night before bed (6 PM for them, 11 PM for me :). Hopefully I won’t be too home sick and will be able to have some fun while I’m there – get to know our Irish crew and take some pictures. We don’t need a car so we’ll be doing most of our traveling on foot or via public transportation, which is fine. It’s helpful that they all speak English although it’s not quite as clear as I’m used to. At least I’ve had a few years of phone conversations to learn how to translate.

There are a bunch of logistical things that I still need to figure out. I’ve got my round trip plane ticket and hotel. My passport is up-to-date. I’m going to bring an international power adapter for my Mac and I have a European power cord for my PC (I have to bring both, yuck). I don’t need traveler’s checks because they take US credit. I still need to pack all my crap and make sure I don’t forget anything and figure out what I’m doing with my phone (international roaming anyone?). I’m going to bring my camera and hope that I don’t lose it. Ugh. Most of my trip will be paid for by Liberty, including the transaction fees and conversion fees so the only extra money I need is for souvenirs and non-life sustaining beverages. I do need to call the credit card company to let them know I’m traveling overseas so that they don’t deny my card.

The whole thing is crazy, it’s nuts. It’s going to be fun and exciting, new and invigorating, unfamiliar and terrifying. I’m going to miss my family. All in all it will be good for my department and good for my career. I’ve always wanted to go to Europe and I can’t complain if my company is going to foot the $2,000 bill for it. I’ll be over there through Thursday and will leave Friday morning. Luckily I get to use the time difference to my advantage on the way back and will be home at around 1:30 PM. I’m sure I’ll be tired but at least I’ll get to enjoy my full weekend. So that’s that. I’ll be across the ocean in less than a month. Sally will be with the boys all week. I’ll have to get her a really good souvenir:)

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