2012 Trip to Ireland
The first time that I left the United States was in April 2012 to attend the Úll conference in Dublin. The conference was definitely more of an excuse or justification for travel. My main motivation was that my spouse and mine’s first child was due to be born in June. I feared that I’d never be able to see the world outside my home country once I took on the role of being a parent. Thankfully, this trip ended up opening the world to me and has started a (hopefully) life-long ritual of seeing other places.
The general purpose of the trip was to attend the various events that took place as part of Úll from the 27th—29th of April. I gave myself a day on each side of the conference to explore Dublin. In the end, I ended up skipping the last day of the conference and took a train down to Wicklow to escape the communal lodging of the hostel that I was staying in.
I was at possibily peak craft-beer-snobbery when I went on this trip and I probably looked down the mass-produced beer, Guinness, that Ireland is known for. However, after escaping the dreary Irish weather by slipping into a pub, warmed by a peat fire, I found it impossible to not fall in love with the stout. I have many fond memories simply sitting in a corner of a pub, people watching and chatting, while sipping on the black beverage during that trip.