Last night – the first night of my big European adventure – I thought I had made a terrible mistake.
It was a long travel day and though I was excited to land in Europe I was nervous as I left the airport. A quick phone call home to hear the voices of my loves helped but as I got in the taxi and realized he had no idea where he was going (despite the careful directions I had been given by my Airbnb host for exactly this possibility) my nerves were back.
Was he just trying to charge me more than a normal trip? Was he taking advantage because I was a single female traveller? Was I going to have to face this every time I got in a taxi?
Eventually, I got the driver to pull over and look up the address on his phone and then we were good.
The Airbnb was just as I expected it to be. The owner was there to great meet and give me the down-low on all the quirks of the little house. I met one of the other guests – a writer from Germany – and then after several thank-yous to the host, I retired to my room to figure out what to do next.
It was 6pm local time which was 10am Saturday morning for me. I had now been awake for 26 hours and was feeling it. Plus my last food had been a Starbucks sandwich at the Amsterdam Airport nearly 6hours earlier.
I decided to take the host’s advice and head out to a nearby street that he said had “lots of restaurants” I had my map and the directions to head down New Street (that isn’t so new) and turn left on Long Lane (which is quite short) and I would be there.
The directions were good but as soon as I reached the main street I knew I was way out of my comfort zone. And while doing a thing out of my comfort zone was the point of this trip I wasn’t ready yet. And I knew it.
I was intimidated by every place I walked past. Full of happy patrons drinking pints of beer – dark, light and in-between – who I’m sure would have been lovely people but I didn’t think I had it in me to face it.
And so I wandered for 2 hours in a complete circle trying to work up my nerve to go in somewhere. Finally, I picked a place. The corner store.
I bought some pop, chips, and cookies and took them back to the flat for a sad solitary meal. And I worried. Worried I had made a terrible mistake. Worried that this trip would not be what I desperately wanted – and needed – it to be.
I finally fell asleep around 10:30pm and just hoped I would wake up to a better day. And a better attitude.
Luckily I did. And spent a lovely first day in Dublin.
I met Mary. I explored. I chatted with locals. I ate. I wrote. I enjoyed.
Hoping that feeling doesn’t come back. And if it does I will have the confidence to ignore it and carry on.