On Sunday we traveled by bus and train to an area called Howth, a fishing town east of Dublin. It was very easy to get there since all we did was take a bus and then, of course, a train. CAPA, the organization teamed up with the Pitt for this study abroad trip, gave us a city transportation card called a Leap Card so all of our public transportation is “free” to us. In Howth, I walked around the town; I spent the majority of my time there with Keith. As we walked we chatted and photographed the scenic area. With about 30 minutes left I got Fish and Chips and it was so fresh.
I do believe if I were traveling alone, I could easily find my way to Howth without any issues. Since I go to Pitt and it’s a city school, I am extremely comfortable using public transportation. The only difference between a PORT Authority bus in Pittsburgh and a bus in Dublin is the Irish bus has two levels of seating. In short, I could go to Howth and make it back with no problems. Taking the train was also very easy because Howth and where we got on the train were both the ends of the line. So even if I forgot where to get off, I would know that the last stop is my destination.
Some tools I would use to navigate the city are Google Maps, prior online research of the surrounding area, a portable charger, and common sense. Google Maps is great. In a functional sense, the app is pinpoint accurate and so user-friendly. Before I left on my trip, I would research online the best route to take to get to Howth. This way I would not get confused, at the moment when traveling to Howth. Even though my phone has a long battery life, I always bring a portable charger when traveling. My phone is a necessity when traveling since I do not have a physical map. Finally, I would use common sense. By this, I mean, if I ever did get lost, I would ask a train station employee how to get to Howth. Irish people are extremely friendly and will always help whenever they can. Navigating does not make me nervous because I like to explore. Even if I get lost for a hot second, my tools and strategies will get me where I need to be. Living in Pittsburgh for the past three years has taught me so many lessons about navigating in a city.
In preparation for bumps along the way, I would also research alternate routes to take. From this trip alone, I, as well as the entire Ireland group, have experienced bumps to our original plans. This trip has taught me how to adapt when something unexpected arises so I would take these lessons when navigating by myself. In the previous paragraph, I wrote how I would ask locals for directions if I ever lost my way, so this is one way I would act to get to where I am going. The biggest travel plan I have learned from traveling from Pittsburgh to Charlotte to Dublin is instead of flying to Charlotte, which has very few flights a day, I would spend a little more money and fly to a bigger airport instead like JFK, Logan, or even O’Hare. Also, I am never flying American again internationally. Their service left a sour taste in my mouth and the number of delays, even after actually being on the plane, was ridiculous and preventable. I understand from a money standpoint why Pitt chose this route. But if I were traveling alone or with my family, I would fork over more money to give myself a better shot of no issues when traveling.
I hope you enjoyed reading my blog today. Thanks for your time and more content is on its way shortly.