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The trip thus far…

Editor’s note: This will be an abridged version seeing as I’m currently typing on a Belgian computer and some of the keys are different and it’s extremely frustrating trying to type. An example?

Here is that sentence, pretending that I’m using the typical American Qwerty keyboard. “This zill be an qbridged version seeing qs Iù; currently typing on q Belgiqn co,puter qnd so,e of the keys qre different qnd itùs extre,ely frustrqting trying to type;” I’m having a grammar seizure right now.

Well lets start from the beginning

May 28: It really hasn’t hit me that I’m going to Europe, that it’s finally here. Plane ride.

May 29: Uh-oh, first day away and already I had a ” this place is weird, I want to go home” moment. I put on my big girl pants and got over it. Belfast was nice, but the weather was confusing. Wasn’t Ireland supposed to be cold wet and rainy? We had blue skies and sunshine. Hmm, maybe it’s a fluke. Jet-lag sets in around 4pm Ireland time. Justin and I fall dead asleep on the bus to Downpatrick. Bernie, Joe’s mom and who we will be staying with met us at the train station. So nice and I can tell already I’m going to love my time with the Bryn’s. They live on a gorgeous farm in Northern Ireland. And of course I have to say it, it’s soooooooo green here. You really have to see it to believe it.

May 30- Justin and I have the day to walk around Downpatrick. It’s a really pretty area, with rolling green hills and shockingly polite people. Bernie, big Martin and little Martin are unbelievable. We felt like we were at home the whole time. Bernie kept trying to feed us and made delicious food. Little Martin and Justin played hurling in the fields. Bernie, Justin and I went for a nice walk through the village. This is the most relaxed I’ve been in a long time. It’s so soothing here.

May 31st- Justin and I miss a bus to Dublin by 1 minute. I’m not exageratting. We were there at 8:36, the bus was scheduled to leave at 8:35. So we catch the bus at 9:35 and head to Dublin. We decided to just skip the whole city and hop on a train to Galway. Everyone we asked said we had to go there so we didn’t want to miss it.

Our bus getting into Dublin was a few minutes late and we had about 20 minutes to catch our train which was convienently located on the other side of town. Justin, in his infinite wisdom, didn’t show me exactly how far we had to go to catch the train so I just walked as fast as I could the whole time. With a 40 pound pack on my back and my smaller backpack in hand, it felt like trying to run in a dream. Like you feel your legs moving but you look around and don’t seem to be going anywhere. We made it to the station with 4 minutes to get our Eurail passes validated and run to the train. We walked the length of Dublin in under 20 minutes. I think it’s about a mile and a half.

Turns out we picked a great weekend to go to Galway seeing as it was hosting the Volvo Ocean Race. Google it. It’s big. So big in fact, every hostel in town was booked. So we had to haggle a hotel room down to a reasonable price and hope a hostel opened up tomorrow. We walked around for a bit, the city was fun. We went to the Spanish Arches bar and listened to an amazing cover band. How amazing? Justin and I ruled the dance floor. That’s how amazing.

June 1st-More Galway. Moved into the Hunlay house hostel. Really clean and welcoming. Met two German girls who might host us in Frankfort. Walked around the Ocean Race some more. I went for a run later in the evening, thinking it´d be nice to see the ocean around sunset. I guess girls running isn´t very common in Ireland because I got quite a few stares and even a few drunken shouts.

June 2nd-Leave Galway for Dingle. Absolutely gorgeous. See the pics. No better way to describe it.

Ok, that´s enough for now. I´ve uploaded more pics on Flickr. The link is on the right.

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Ireland Update

Computer and internet time is very limited. I’ve uploaded a few pictures to flickr which you can see at right. More to come soon (hopefully). Cheers!

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Lisa Lubin-writer, producer, world traveler

On the eve of my first overseas adventure, I thought I’d share a story I wrote on former Columbia teacher and current world traveler extraordinaire Lisa Lubin.  You can follow Lisa on

Lisa Lubin refers to the future as L.A.W.T., life after the world tour. “As the months tick by I do think about what the heck I will do,” she says. But after a life like Lubin’s how much more exciting could it get?

Lubin is a former Columbia College television professor and was a specials producer in the programming department for ABC7 in Chicago for 9 years. She produced several weekly shows, most notably “190 North” a program focusing on Chicago entertainment, trends, and style. During her time at ABC, she was nominated for an Emmy 10 times, winning three of them.

Then she left it all to travel the world.

Lubin has visited 312 cities in 45 countries, that’s 22% of the world. Starting in October of 2006 Lubin traveled to South America, then to New Zealand and Australia, then up through Asia and over to Europe and the Middle East. She documented it all on her website,

“I have always loved traveling. Since I was little I loved exploring new towns and places. I would ride my bike down new streets mesmerized by something I’d never seen before,” said Lubin.

Lubin’s passion for travel was just as clear to her coworkers.

“No one was really surprised when she decided to travel. She talked about it for a long time,” said Cathy Vlahgiannis, who worked with Lubin at ABC.

“She is one of the most secure people I know and I thought it was a terrific idea,” said Frank Bianco, who hired Lubin to teach the “Creating the News Package Class” at Columbia College.

The travel bug bit Lubin after she backpacked through Europe after college. Since then, she’s made a promise to herself that she would travel “somewhere far away” every year. She stuck to her promise, but the longest she’d ever been away was three weeks. So how did she make the jump from occasional vacationer to yearlong world traveler?

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The best 5 minutes I ever spent.

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‘PhotoDimensional’ exhibit incorporates both photography and sculpture at MoCP

In an effort to buy more time to write upcoming posts, I give you a story I wrote on an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Photography.  It also counts as my first published article, which you can view on a real website here.

March 20, 2009 – An imposing wood beam, covered in torn roofing tarp, hangs from the ceiling to the floor. Scattered vertical blinds intertwined with a rumpled bed sheet and other ordinary household items lie nearby. Across from the beam rests a line of cinderblocks, broken and exposed.

It looks like a disaster scene, but that’s the intent.

“A lot of people walk in and then see the piece and are taken aback. They ask ‘Are you open?’ Because it looks like we’re under construction,” said Corinne Rose, education director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago.

The site-specific piece, “Debris Field” by Chicago mixed media artist Heather Mekkelson, is part of the MoCP’s current show “PhotoDimensional.”

Mekkelson uses photos of natural disasters from newspapers and the Internet to influence her work, and then recreates the mood of the picture. While the piece may look haphazard, Rose says Mekkelson uses her background as an artist to complete the piece.

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