How to Travel with a Homebody
By Anthony Galasso
Like many of you, I love traveling. Whether it’s the culture, the excitement or the escape, I enjoy nothing more than to challenge the boundaries of my own comfort zone and see how I fare in this vast world we live in. However, I know that not all people feel the same.
Some people, like my fiancée, are quite content with the time they spend watching Netflix on the couch, lounging around and taking naps. This is by no means a terrible way to live your life. In fact, most nights I find myself plopped down right next to her, eating popcorn and watching our favorite television shows. However, for someone as eager and excited as I am to see the world, I have to get out there and see more…and I’d really like to share those experiences with her.
See, she’s never traveled outside the country before. Because of this, she’s nervous about traveling to far away lands that may be…different. However, she’s willing to give it a shot. That’s why it came as a pleasant surprise when she approached me with a short trip to Ireland she found online. I’m not sure what possessed her to look for tickets, but having never been to Ireland myself, I wasn’t complaining.
Personally, I like to think her sudden enthusiasm for traveling had to do with the fact that, before we started dating, I had traversed my fair share of the world already and nagged her to come with me. If I’m being honest with myself though, it probably had less to do with me and more to do with the stress of her job. She simply wanted to escape.
We purchased the tickets right away, and I began planning. I started to look up fun things to do in Dublin and dreamt of renting a car and driving through Ireland’s famously green, grassy hillsides. By the end of our trip, I learned that I couldn’t push the boundaries the way I wanted…and that that’s okay.
Make A List
I figured leading my fiancée through a country I’d never been to myself might be a bit intimidating, so I made a list of things for us to do while we were in Ireland. That way, we could pick and choose what we did or did not want to do.
We both like to enjoy the occasional drink, so obviously we wanted to visit the Guinness Brewery and Jameson Distillery as soon as possible. Additionally, we planned to see the Book of Kells at the Trinity Library, enjoy a drink at The Brazen Head – supposedly one of Ireland’s oldest pubs – and visit noteworthy monuments like Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and the Dublin Castle. We even planned to go to the Leprechaun Museum, a gimmicky tourist attraction that was surprisingly entertaining.
We hit every single one of the spots we picked and more, even running into Usher (yes, THE Usher) at the Guinness Brewery, which was oddly fun. He’s shorter in real life. All in all, I wanted to make sure we had options.
Keep Them Comfortable
I still stand by making a list, but it should be noted…you don’t have to hit everything on your list. I forgot this, and it became apparent that I’d gone a little overboard.
I wanted my fiancée to enjoy her first trip abroad just as much as I enjoy every trip I’m on. Therefore, I tried to squeeze a month’s worth of activities into the first two days of our trip. Needless to say, that didn’t go over well with her. It was quite exhausting, even for me.
We ended up slowing things down, took in our surroundings and continued to enjoy all the wonders Dublin had to offer…at our own pace. It was much more comfortable for the both of us. She didn’t have to feel rushed the whole time, and I didn’t have to feel like I had to show her the entire city.
Just Have Fun
I think we can all agree that having fun is the single most important part of traveling. I don’t regret being over-prepared, since we probably wouldn’t have known what to do in Dublin had I not been. However, I quickly learned that it’s okay to relax and actually enjoy the trip you’re on.
My solo-travels led me to believe that I have to see every attraction, taste every local dish and soak in as much culture as possible. While that’s fun too, not everyone enjoys the commotion that accompanies it.
It’s important for me to note that we both decided to make the trip back to Ireland someday to explore other classic Irish sites like the Cliffs of Moher or the Giants Causeway. But for now, all I’m looking forward to is our next trip: seven nights in Costa Rica enjoying volcanoes, beaches, zipline tours and delicious food. She picked that trip too…so I guess I did something right. Love that girl.