Shannon: The Journey to Dublin

On the 8th of January 2019, I began my journey to Dublin. This was an experience that I will never forget because:

  1. It was my first long haul (and solo) flight
  2. Unexpected things happened

Even though I was excited, the funny thing is that when I was on my first flight, I thought, “I don’t want to go! I want to get off!” What probably didn’t help is that when I turned to hug all of my family goodbye at the airport, there were lots of tears.

Since I was leaving home for the first time, my parents were (understandably) a bit nervous about me going so far so I stayed in contact with them through the airport wifi. To keep me going for the second leg of my journey, I bought a bowl of beef noodle soup at Hong Kong airport. Sadly, I was unable to finish it as I had previously consumed two meals on the flight from Auckland.

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My “I’ve arrived safely in Hong Kong!” selfie
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I got this delicious soup at a noodle bar near the departure gates

Originally, I was supposed to have a 3 hour layover before I would catch my flight from Hong Kong to Dublin but we were informed at the departure lounge that the plane had been delayed for 3 hours. At this point, I had been on a 12 hour flight near a screaming toddler and wanted to arrive in Dublin so I could get some shut-eye. I had the choice to approach this situation in one of two ways:

  1. Go with the flow: take in the information, process it and entertain myself
  2. Let the emotions rule: give into exhaustion and frustration and spend the delay stressing about when the plane will arrive

It was not easy but I wanted to approach the delay with the more positive view. While I’m on this exchange, I want to make the most of experiences because I will carry those memories with me for the rest of my life. So, I talked to fellow passengers, went for a walk around Hong Kong Airport and found a pretty New Year display!

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New Year display in Hong Kong Airport. Sign: DO NOT EAT (the mandarins were real!)
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Our plane finally arrived at 4:30am (Hong Kong time)

When I arrived in Dublin, I was exhausted but excited to get to my accommodation. Being typical me, when I had picked up my luggage from the baggage claim (with help from a kind gentleman) and put it on a trolley, I ended up awkwardly shuffling forwards and trying to prevent it from careening into passer-by’s. It was only after someone told me to push down on the handle that I was able to manoeuvre it smoothly.

I ended up taking a taxi and the driver gave me an overview of Dublin as he drove to my accommodation. Everyone who I met was so kind and friendly when I asked for help and despite the challenges, this gave me a lovely first impression of Ireland.

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My first view of Trinity College-it’s right in the city centre
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The Bank of Ireland-also in the city centre

Thanks for reading my ramblings 🙂

Shannon

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