Being a student involves spending a lot of time in the pub. On Friday, after a particularly drunk birthday night out, a friend invited me to Ireland for a few days.
It sounded like a good idea: I'd ride to Liverpool and get the ferry into Dublin. Surprisingly, the next morning it still sounded like a good idea.
That was when I thought I'd look into it for real, and a plan started forming...
Instead of riding straight to Dublin, I could ride south to a friend in Winchester. Then I could head into Cardiff where a couple of friends from uni live, and eventually head north to Holyhead, where the ferry crosses into Dublin.
It will be a good practice run for my big trip after easter, and hopefully will also remain relatively cheap, with petrol and food being the only costs.
According to Google Maps, the entire journey would take around 15 hours, so theoretically it could be done in a day.
However I am currently thinking of doing it just after New Years, and I imagine the weather won't be the warmest! The ability to stop every few hours (and hopefully overnight) would be very welcome.
This all depends on the kindness of friends of course, and what they're up to. In the end it could turn out to be quite an expensive trip, but well worth the effort.
UK against Europe
While travelling through Europe and seeing all the sights sounds a lot more glamourous, I'm actually quite excited at the prospect of doing this ride.
Having the chance to visit friends I hardly see, and also to visit Wales, a country I haven't been able to see much of, is a fun idea.
As for Ireland, it's somewhere I've always wanted to visit but at the same time never really got round to it, so seeing the country while in the tow of a native would be the best way to see it.
After this, I will hopefully know a little more about planning for a long trip. The amount of clothes and baggage that is safe to take is the question I am most interested in being aswered.
The Road Less Travelled
While I like to think that I can move around the country quite happily without getting homesick, I'm still not a well-travelled girl.
I have lived away from home at boarding school for my A-Levels, then moved to Essex University for three years to study, and finally I have moved down to London for a year.
Yet I still haven't seen much of the country I live in. There is a saying where I live, that states "if you go north of Watford Gap, you get a nosebleed!"
So I have never seen Scotland, or Ireland, or Northern Ireland. I have visited the outskirts of Wales, but barely ventured in.
My mum was born in Liverpool, and I have never visited the city. Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Leeds are all cities I'd love to see but have never made the opportunity available.
The English Tourist Board has loads of great tips on travelling round the United Kingdom, and if this trip comes to fruition, I plan to make full use of their ideas.
At the moment this all depends on finding out if the offer to visit Dublin still stands: but I'll find that out tomorrow!