Last week, I got off Skype with one of my dearest friends, Allison, and realised… I hadn’t touched our Ireland pictures ever since we got back.
Way to go, Atikah. I guess it’s about time I start writing on my Europe adventures again.
Ireland is magical, more so than I had expected. In fact, I found out that ‘Ireland is home to more natural wonders than any of [their] European cousins’!
I’ve to be honest though, the first time I kept the intention of going to Ireland, I’d just watched Westlife’s ‘My Love’ music video.
I was a huge Westlife fan (don’t smirk, you were too!) and had the hugest crush on Mark. I found out a couple of years too late that he swings for the other team, so oh well. But what didn’t change was the fact that these men hailed from Ireland, and I needed to experience what this magical land of Irish people and four-leaf clovers has to offer.
So it made a whole lot of sense to make Ireland one of my travel destinations when I was staying in Manchester.
I’m pretty fussy about who I travel with – if I actually agree to consider you as a partner while I’m travelling, I must really like you. :p
It was a no-brainer though when I brought up the idea to Allison about travelling to Ireland together. We’ve travelled together before and she’s one of my closest friends in Manchester. I was still in a pretty fragile state and facing teething issues with regard to the breakup with the ex, so I knew it was a whole lot smarter idea to travel with a trusted one whom I know will have my back.
We then decided to travel to Ireland the unconventional way – an overnight journey by bus!
The great thing was I’d discovered National Express and MegaBus – bus companies I kept using to travel around the UK. They suited my budget and needs comfortably – I didn’t need to use the railway trains at all – plus I loved the experience taking long bus rides afforded. It gives me time to think while enjoying the scenery the country has to offer.
I found out that National Express runs through Manchester to Ireland via Liverpool.
I was even more excited when I found out that we were going to cross the Irish Sea from Liverpool to Dublin!
I didn’t actually pause to think how that was going to work.
When the bus got onto the ferry and the driver told us we should get off, Allison and I were like two kids in a candy store.
Y’guys, I felt like I was in Titanic!
It also felt like God was presenting me with a gift as a balm to my wounded soul. I couldn’t have been happier.
We eventually settled down at the bar area to sleep.
I even chatted with the Irish bartenders when I went up to them to refill my water bottle. The Irish accent is sexy, by the way.
I woke up shy of subuh and got up on the deck to witness the sunrise alone.
I still remember the experience vividly. Being out in the open sea is already such a powerful & humbling experience, what more adding on a beautiful sunrise albeit in a cloudy sky? Allahu akhbar.
It made me realise I am such a small being dependent on His protection & guidance, and that whatever pain I was going through was part of the whole process. :’)
I’ll be back with more on Ireland!
Till then, Eid Mubarak to all my lovely Muslim friends and readers, and happy holidays to everyone else!
I hope you’re having a meaningful time with your loved ones. 🙂
Lots of love,