Don't Count The Years, Count The Memories! :)
My most popular VT page seems to be Dublin, which I'm delighted about. Dublin is such a popular destination, it can be hard to try to write something that doesnt sing the praises of Temple Bar & Trinity college! There is more to Dublin than that.
But don't just look at this page and Dublin, please check out my other pages too!
I did quite a lot of backpacking when I was a student, but now that I have joined the real world, I get to travel for my business sometimes. Which is nice :-) I still enjoy going on road trips. But I've been a bit spoilt by executive travelling, I couldn't share in a hostel dorm now full of snoring strangers, now that I'm used to hotel suites WITH FREE SOAP & TOWELS!!!!
So here is a basic history from my first foreign excursion in 1998 til now.
1998 - Geneva (my first time on the Continent!), Munich, Spain
1999 - Austria, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Belgium.
2000 - Prague
2001 - Backpacking around the Baltic states from Finland to Poland in two weeks. Germany on business.
2002 - Andorra, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and the UK. Learned to drive, got a car and did a couple of daytrips in Ireland.
2003 - Did not stray too far. I visited Paris, the Isle of Man and Belfast, Northern Ireland. And the usual weekends away in Ireland.
2004 - Germany & Switzerland. Northern Ireland, Netherlands.
2005 - Weekends away around Ireland, Scotland and Northern Ireland, business trip to England, a week in Portugal
2006 - Killarney, Limerick, Wexford, Amsterdam, Belfast, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego and Mexico. (a pretty good year so far!)
2007 - Berlin, Aran Islands, Belfast, Hungary
2008 - Galway (for work), Lough Ennell, France (Lille), Belgium (Bruges & Brussels)
It is important for me to try to blend in as much as possible. I _hate_ to stick out as a tourist. As a translator and language professional, local accents and dialects fascinate me & sometimes I might even learn something ;) If I don't go abroad at least twice a year, then I get very upset *grin*
Also, out of reasons of convenience, necessity, whatever, I usually travel on my own, which is why I think "blending in" is important. As a single female traveller, I do not want to draw attention to myself, who needs that kind of hassle? Some of my pages will have tips for single female travellers, which are 100% based on past experiences.
I refuse to stick to a guide book - I prefer to discover a place my way.
Why follow a path that has already been trod upon? Just because some bar/restaurant/musueum is in a guide book does _not_ mean it has to be visited for the sake of it.
I believe in only visiting places that genuinely attract you, not for the sake of ticking it off in a tour-guide list just because some book says it is a "to-do" thing. You would not catch me dead in any of those Dublin bars recommended in tourist guides! :) They've been completely ruined for me and other locals because they are are now full of tourists consulting their little guidebooks, marking it off as "OK, we've done that one". HOW BORING!! Grrr! Look up from your precious little book and actually SEE what is going on around you! I'm not a big fan of package holidays either - I don't see the point of going to some ugly resort in Spain full of Brits & Irish people getting drunk and avoiding the person they shagged the night before. Depends on the resort, of course. :) Some people love that sort of holiday, I don't.