Travel tip #10: Remember to look back and be grateful for how far you’ve come

St Patrick’s Day was spent cooped up in a French cafe in Galway working hard. Despite the rain and watching passers-by battle the wet wind, I wanted to join in on the parade, the fun and the costumes. I couldn’t have been happier when I striked off the last thing on my to-do list, dumped my laptop back at the hostel and ventured out into the streets at 7pm.

The streets were sprinkled with soaking wet trash, rain was drizzling at an angle that made sure everyone’s face was constantly sprayed; buntings with the Irish flag flapping furiously in the wind decorated the streets and drunk Irish were everywhere. Watching them chit chat in the drizzle, hold hands, make out or just run from one pub to another with their friends made me very very jealous.

For this first time in a while, I felt very very very lonely.

So I decided to treat myself to a nice dinner of steak and wine at Dela. Over dinner, I mulled over my situation, reminding myself that this feeling of loneliness will pass. I began scrolling through all the pictures I had taken over the last 5 months to distract myself and to attempt in vain to create a little more storage space on my phone.

Every photo reminded me of a sound, a smell or a smile. It made me feel better like I could do this. I can keep going on my own, in the unfamiliarity. I took my shivering butt to the Salthouse for some fantastic craft beer and marvelled at the energy of the crowd on St Patrick’s Day.

The night ended with me at the Crane bar watching some live trad. I had to pinch myself as I marvelled at the incredible music and for the first time that day, I whispered to myself boy, am I glad to be here.

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