Travel, home and away
Elen Johnston talks over her summer travels and undertakings, showing that plans made away and at home both make for great stories.
After my study abroad year I got a bit of travel fever so I set aside some money to travel with my
friend. Thanks to our indecision and lack of forward planning we booked a last minute weekend
trip to Paris. We took the Eurostar and after losing each other on the Guard du Nord platform we
navigated the metro and found our hostel in Place de la Nation. The circular plaza was lovely
and busy even in the evenings and we loved our hostel, particularly its air conditioning. Despite
my fear of heights, we went up the Eiffel tower. I did have to cling to my friend but eating crepes
with a complete view of Paris was a strong selling point.
My favorite part of the trip was skipping the metro and taking the two hour walk from our hostel to the center. We made lots of stops including a fruit market, eating pistachio, orange blossom, and rosewater ice cream, and taking Polaroid photos. As much as we didn’t want to be stereotypes we did try the TikTok hot chocolate, and I can confirm it’s worth it.
As much as we didn’t want to be stereotypes we did try the TikTok hot chocolate, and I can confirm it’s worth it.
The day after Paris me and my boyfriend visited Cork, Ireland. Our original motivation for the trip
was an Orla Gartland concert in Cork, but the highlight of the trip was watching live comedy and
sipping my first ever Guinness. We were stereotypical tourists and took a McPaddy tour bus
through the Irish countryside. We were definitely insufficiently dressed for the rainy cliffs of
Moher but the view was enough to distract us from our shivering. I thoroughly felt like I was
living out my very own ‘leap year’ rom-com and I was very excited about it.
I ended July attending Truck Festival my first music festival. I’m autistic but my boyfriend is a
sensory seeking music fanatic and, despite my initial reservations about Bombay Bicycle Club, Sam
Fender & Matilda Mann’s performances made the absence of showering a reasonable sacrifice.
I started a summer internship at a bookshop cafe in August called Book-ish. Its funded by the
university and my internship basically involves me making cute tiktoks of books, coffee, and
cake in a beautiful little town. Which makes the 2 hour and a half commute worth it. That’s what
I’ve been up to.