As you travel solo, being totally responsible for yourself, it is inevitable that you will discover just how capable you truly are.
If you love this song, you can check out my playlist “Sit down and shut Up” or “Pack your bags” on SoundCloud.
A couple of weeks ago, I unlocked an important stage of independency in my life- travelling alone. I know I go out alone most of the time, but I think travelling all by yourself to a place where no one knows you, a different city or a country, would give you a different kind of perspective.
I was set on to go to County Clare (in the west of Ireland) and finally see the famous Cliffs of Moher. If you’ve watched the movie Leap Year, it’s where Declan, an old-fashioned Irish country boy, proposed to Anna, a successful real estate stager in Boston. If you haven’t seen that movie, I suggest you watch it after you read this post. *wink* Or if you remember Half Blood Prince (hello Potterheads), that particular awesome scene of Harry & Dumbledore, along with crashing waves and gigantic stones – that was the cliffs.
I booked a nearby bed and breakfast home just across from the Cliffs of Moher so I can perfectly see it when I drink my tea in the patio. But y’know, sometimes things just can’t go our way. My host called me the day before my trip and told me that she had to cancel my booking because she needed to go somewhere for the weekend due to a family emergency. Her daughter from Dublin is having a baby! She called all the other bnb’s in the area but everywhere else is full.
That was very thoughtful of her, despite everything I was really thankful and I truly appreciated all her efforts. But I couldn’t just stay home for the weekend and do nothing. I was determined to go somewhere on my own. I wasn’t exactly sure where, but as long as it’s far from where I was, I’d get my butt off the couch and travel. And I had to find a place within a day.
If it wasn’t for the visa restrictions, I could’ve gotten myself an affordable plane ticket and flown to a nearby country. But to this day, I can truthfully say that I did not regret exploring more of this country I live in, a place I can now call my second home.
So I searched online for bnb’s in Ireland and called (if I’m not mistaken) over 20 of them. Everywhere is full for the weekend. But I still couldn’t give up so eventually, after a series of rejections, I found one. A bed and breakfast farm house in Mullingar, Westmeath. Where on earth is that? I remember asking myself and questioning my impulsiveness. But I phoned them anyway and a lovely woman named Aidee answered.
In just a few hours, I basically found and booked myself a bed and breakfast home, magically found a way how to get there, booked a train ticket, and packed my stuffs.
Hello there granny.
Welcome to a little town called Mullingar in the midlands region of Ireland.
Entryway to the bed and breakfast farmhouse
I was already enchanted just by taking a walk outside. This serene, blissful place was all I needed to get away from the hustle-everyday life in a big city. That lake over there (it’s actually farther than it looks in the photo) is Lough Owel. During my second day, I was actually planning to sit by the shoreline, bring some food, read a book and take pictures.
Just so you know, one couldn’t directly go to the lake. It may seem close but there was no pathway in the picture. No shortcuts. I literally had to hike on the main road, then follow the train trail. I think I was halfway on my journey when I stopped because I felt a sense of fear to continue during that time. It was dead silent and you’re lucky to see a few persons on the road. I know it’s a typical county life, but it’s probably best to find someone to go with next time, or maybe with a group.
But I didn’t feel any regret, really. I loved staying inside because it felt so much like home.
Speaking of which, I am about to show you a few pictures of the interior. You’re going to fall in love.
On your left is the breakfast area. And on the right is my favourite place, yep – it’s the coffee area.
And the room where I stayed in for two peaceful nights. I wish I could show you more photos. The other half of the trip photos is in the other roll of film which is isn’t developed yet. But I still am going to show it to you soon, probably in my portfolio under the interiors section. But really, I’m still going to look for the roll anyway.
After I settled in and unpacked my belongings, I rushed (yes, rushed, like a hungry little panda) downstairs to have some homemade biscuits and coffee which is one of my favourite parts. I can’t tell you enough how I experienced love at first taste with this. I felt like the queen of England mixing my own coffee, milk and sugar, and munching over these heavenly homemade biscuits. They’re honest-to-goodness so so good.
For me, the best part of travelling is meeting people and connecting with them. I was very lucky to be able to meet two of the most wonderful people in the planet – a beautiful traveling couple from France. I arrived an hour before them and while I was sitting by the coffee area like the queen of England, they arrived from a long road trip from Galway and as soon as they settled their bags upstairs, they came down to have some tea too. I asked them to join me in the coffee area as I just thought, who wouldn’t want to enjoy their afternoon snacks overlooking the sunset?
The naturally curious nature in me provoked me to ask so many questions which they were happy and enthusiastic to answer. We talked for hours about what’s life is like in France, about their children, their love story (how they met in college), and their travels. They’ve been to so so many places and they’re set on to see more. I was deeply moved by how they don’t see travel as a luxury but as an essential part of their lives. It’s like breathing. The more places they’ve stepped foot in and explored, the longer and more meaningful their lives become.
I know because I can sense it by the way their eyes smile when they reminisce about their past travels and how they look at each other while remembering all the small details. I wish I could perfectly put into writing all the stories and laughters we’ve shared with each other. I’m still looking forward to meet them in the future, and l’ll definitely tell you all about it when that happens.
Je vous remercie monsieur et madame!
Nothing will ever beat a good ol’ homemade breakfast.
We sat together for breakfast the next morning. They were off to the airport after but there was no rush since we chose to eat early so we’d have more time to chat. We enjoyed our big breakfast while we continued our topic yesterday about travelling. They sure are young at heart, folks!
I’m not good at OOTD’s (or fashion, in general) but I remembered I took mirror selfies so why not try to share with you my minimalist personal style anyway. Haha
On your left
Top Forever 21
Shoes Forever 21
On your right
Top Tola Vintage
To wrap things up, here are four photos with natural light leaks by mistake. I accidentally opened my camera again without rewinding the film. I initially thought the whole thing would be damaged but to my surprise, only a few were, and I think they’re absolutely gorgeous.
I wish everyone a great week, a great month (Hello, June!) and a great life! To everyone who are travelling, or wishing to travel, I could not think of any other message to you than this. It’s from Kinfolk and no one ever said it better:
Worldly experiences don’t start and end at the baggage claim, and it’s what we do with those memories once we’ve unpacked our suitcases that really makes a difference in the long run. After all, travel is a mentality as much as an action, so it doesn’t matter if our adventures start on the side of an alpine mountain or end in our living rooms. Simply getting out there and interacting with the world around us can be just as satisfying as any poolside retreat.
Photography Camille Alaura
Equipment used Olympus OM2n x Kodak Portra 400 film , iPhone
Location Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland
Bed & Breakfast Lough Owel Lodge
*not a sponsored post
PS – I truly would love to know what kind of post you guys wanted to read about. If you have something in mind that you’d want me to create, please comment below! Would greatly appreciate it. ♥