March was a whirlwind of activity. I celebrated my 26th Birthday in style with a trip to Ireland with Lalit and our two good friends Gabby and Adam. We booked the tickets on a whim after I had a bit of a “you only live once” moment and decided to trek across the country for 48 hours that weekend. So we kicked off by flying to Dublin at the crack of dawn and took a bus to the heart of the city where we explored the local sites from Christ Church Cathedral to Trinity University to The City Hall. 12pm hit and we thought the timing was acceptable to have our first Guinness so we slid into a local pub just in time to watch a football match – I can’t even remember who played… although admittedly the attraction wasn’t so much the football as it was the spectators in the pub.
Exhaustion took over earlier than we expected and we left Dublin a couple hours ahead of schedule to go to our hostel in Belfast. Now… I’m not afraid to admit I was a little apprehensive about the whole hostel thing… the stories I’ve been told about the living standards have not been great and admittedly I’m a bit of a princess when it comes to things like this which is why it took me so long to actually try it…. but I will confess that I actually really enjoyed my time there. It was refreshing to be around so many carefree and like-minded people in our age group. Everyone was very friendly and we played drinking games for the majority of the evening.
In the morning we rented a car and drove to Giant’s Causeway, a coastline scattered with basalt rock columns, caused by prehistoric volcanic activity. The rock formations were strikingly unique compared to anything I had ever seen. Although they went up pretty high, they were so easy to climb it left us speculating whether they were a product of geography or just really poorly situated stairs.
After hopping around on the rocks we lifted anchor and ventured towards a structure that was man-made… The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. This bridge is 65ft long and stands 100ft above sea level between the coastline and a tiny island… oh yeah and it’s made of rope and wood. The only history I could really find on this was that fishermen originally raised the bridge to check on salmon nets…. but I would guess they also moonlighted as daredevils. Tourists now cross the bridge for the most part. I have a fear of heights that I regularly try to fight by doing things like this, and surprisingly I was able fearlessly cross the bridge as well as look down without a hint of light-headedness! Could I perhaps be over it? Guess I’ll have to be more of a daredevil in the future to find out.
That was enough adventure to wet my pallet for the next little while, so we slapped on our backpacks and headed back to the airport to go home. When Gabby and I got back we had our fourth visit about 4-5 weeks later, and I’m proud to say we have both officially passed Stage 1 of Pre Reg. This looming assessment is also why it took me a month to post the trip on the blog. Having a 3 hour session of scrutiny every 3 months since we started our jobs has felt like a long and drawn out process…. but we are better clinicians for it… and now we can finally see the light. Hopefully Stage 2 is a little easier on us.
Next stop for me is a trip HOME… to see my family and friends for the first time in 9 months. I’ve missed them and I’m counting the days til I see them again… so much has already changed on the little rock since I was last there, it will be nice to get up to speed 🙂 Stay tuned…