Posts Tagged With: nature

Breaking Ones Own Expectations

July of 2013, Welly Size 10

My Dear Readers,

I never expected for school to completely take over my life. Today I came upon my poor little blog and it needed some love. It’s literally been six months since my last post because I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I haven’t even been on WordPress! Well, I’m back baby, and better than ever!!!

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m an extremely cautious person. I hate being in trouble, so I always try to learn all the proper manners, laws, and other important tid bits that others may not think of. And I don’t like to make unsafe, chance-y decisions. So when I got into a car with a New Yorker and two South Africans and drove around the Burren to the Cliffs of Moher I was absolutely astounded at myself.

In America you don’t hitchhike if you can help it. Rather untrustworthy of others in general, we are self reliant on getting from place to place unless it’s public transportation. This isn’t the same in Ireland; staying on the farm, everyone who wasn’t American talked casually about hitchhiking to different sites, and seemed surprised at my reluctance. Being a young female, there is an instilled fear of traveling in America. I think it’s from watching too many crime dramas.

So when I met the lovely New Yorker named Elena who offered to let me tag along with her and two South Africans named Cameron and Cameron as they drove around The Burren, I never expected to take them up on the offer. So I left Galway and began a whole new experience with complete strangers and managed to have an adventure that can never be compared.

We got on the road and once more the gorgeous expanse of Ireland just took my breath away. If you’ve never seen just the average view of Ireland, then you are missing out. Even living in New England which is very green and gorgeous, there is no green like Ireland green.  I mean…..

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We made a few stops along the way…

Dungaire Castle

Dungaire Castle

Cameron and Cameron! And moi!!!

Cameron and Cameron! And moi!!!

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To snap some truly amazing pictures…

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We stopped at the beach!!! DSC02468DSC02480

I had no bathing suit… But that didn’t stop me.

The water was fantastic!

The water was fantastic!

Until we finally made it to the infamous Cliffs of Moher.

DSC02538Due to Ireland’s famously rainy weather, the fact that we made it to the Cliffs on an unbelievably gorgeous day was incredibly lucky. And I did not waste a single second. I’m only posting a few of the pictures I got to take, but believe me, I took at least a hundred.

DSC02541 DSC02545 DSC02553 DSC02576 DSC02579 DSC02591 DSC02593 DSC02614 DSC02621 DSC02625I even managed to face one of my most powerful fears: heights. I’ve never been a fan, especially of man-made heights. But the Cliffs definitely made me feel rather ill.  If you walk far enough you can reach an area of the Cliffs that doesn’t have suicide barriers  as you may have noticed in my previous pictures. Well, I managed to stick my head out over the sheer edge of the Cliff, and stayed there for several minutes. After rolling far enough away from the edge though, I promptly rolled up into a ball and had a panic attack. But afterwards I felt proud of what I had been able to do; I had faced one of my fears (though I still haven’t cracked it!). Believe me, if you want to give facing your fear of heights a go, the Cliffs of Moher is the place to do it.

Until my next adventure,

Viviana Ayre

Categories: Europe, Fresh Prints, Ireland, Past Tides, WWOOFing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lack of Internet = Lack of Posts, or How I Realized That I’m an Internet Addict

July of 2013, Boot Size 10

My Dear Readers,

So I want to address something that I’m sure many Americans have realized when traveling: we are spoiled.

My best friend tutors six years old, and she has horrified me with the knowledge that all of her students own either a tablet or a smartphone. This as a base is terrifying to think about, especially since when she also told me the kids had no idea what hopscotch is.

Desk, meet my head. Repeatedly.

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This! This is hopscotch!

I’m terrified of the day when children don’t know what jump ropes are until their obsessed over their appearance and weight and go to a gym with them.

So for those of you not living in America, yes this is sort of what America is becoming these days. Is it everyone? No, but as I’ve said, every stereotype lies a grain of truth. And America’s addiction to technology (which I admit I’m a part of with my own array of tech) has crippled our ability to enjoy anything outside the net universe.

I didn’t not think I was as bad as most Americans; I pride myself in enjoying the outdoors when I’m not being assaulted with work and school at the name time. But living in Ireland for one month, I’ve realized how addicted I am to the internet. The wifi at my farm was located at the owners house, and to use it you had to sit outside under a small awning that does not necessarily protect you from the rain that is so common in the land of green. So while you got to see two posts from me while I was actually in Ireland, I gradually lost interest in lugging my seven pound beast of a laptop all the way to the house and shiver in the cold. In a way, it helped my addiction to the internet, and I’m looking forward to taking advantage of my new tan- yes, a tan in Ireland- and going out to enjoy America for more than just the internet-verse.

Ireland in general, and I’m sure much of the world outside of America, has a distinct lack of technology. Many places are cash only, and lacks ATMs in order to allow you withdraw money off of your card. Being so used to every store having some sort of free wifi, I found myself floundering for an internet connection in order to send a text to family members to assure that I was still alive and not kidnapped while I was taking my couple days off out and about seeing what Ireland is like.

Because honestly, how can anything on the internet beat seeing this in person?

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Nevertheless, this next month is going to be filled with posts about my adventures in Ireland, one month late because internet access to post was lacking…

And I’m okay with that.

Until my Next Adventure,

Viviana Ayre

Categories: Fresh Prints, Ireland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s finally here!!!!

9:00 June of 2013, Boot Size 10

My Dear Readers,

I’m here! In Ireland! It has actually happened!!!!

I would have posted sooner but I haven’t had a moment to sit down and really type out anything aside for contacting some loved ones. It’s my second night and I’m finally getting to sit down, relax, and really absorb what it’s like here.

John- the owner of the farm- didn’t waste a minute before putting me to work. I put my luggage down in my room and immediately one of the other wwoofers began showing me the morning routine. And it goes a little something like this!!

8:00 AM– Feed the animals. This involves not only feeding the animals but putting certain animals out, such as the goats. All of the goats get taken out every day to the field to graze on grass and the like.

9:00 AM (or whenever the animals are done)– We begin whatever task John sets out for us. My first day, it was transplanting pumpkins and cutting tomatoes. Today (or in this case yesterday as I’ll be posting this tomorrow) we were to prepare the field and plant basil. Lots and lots of basil. Tomorrow (today)? Who knows!!!

11:30 AM– Tea time!

12:00 PM– Back to work either finishing our project from before, or starting a new one.

2:00 PM– Communal lunch time, cooked by the Millanes.

3:00 PM– Back to work!

4:30 PM– Animal time. The goats go back in their pens, and are fed. That and the fowl, ponies, horses and such get fed again.

Once feeding is done– Time to milk the goats! About six goats need milking which we do, then strain, bottle, and date. We don’t sell the milk, but consume it for ourselves and use some to feed one of the baby goats who isn’t old enough to be weaned yet.

After milking– Free time! So far I’ve been to the pub and just hung around with other wwoofers getting to know them.

               Overall it’s a lot of work but I’m loving it. I’m learning a lot and getting a lot of good-for-me exercise. My legs are sore from crouching and standing constantly, and I’m getting a bit burnt from all the sun exposure. I’m absolutely loving it.

Definitely stay tuned for more stories the longer that I stay in Ireland and have new experiences!!!

Until my next adventure,

Viviana Ayre

Categories: Fresh Prints, Ireland, WWOOFing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Less Than Three Months To Go…. My Feelings

March of 2013, Boot Size 10

My Dear Readers.

Lately I’ve been watching Friends for the first time instead of doing my schoolwork, and those have you who have watched it know exactly what accent I’m typing this in…

Oh… My… God!

All that aside I’ve come to realize just how exhilarating and yet terrifying it is that my trip to Ireland is inching closer and closer. This will be my first true time traveling 100% by myself. I’ve always been with family or as part of an ambassadorial group. Now I’m taking my first ever solo trip, and it’s for the longest time I have ever been away from home. The combination of excitement and sharp terror is absolutely exhilarating.

My life has been an absolute whirlwind lately between my classes, spending time with my partner, my part-time job (feels like full time) and my internship (which is working conventions). Considering that it has been a challenge to bit sleeping and eating in there, let alone get ready for Ireland, I’m amazed that I have the time to sit down and bust out a post for you guys. I have 65 days now until I leave for one of the greatest farm countries in the world, and I couldn’t be more excited. Add in planning out activities for my weekends, and looking up all the music festivals I want to go to and I have my hands full. I’ve scoured guide books, watched travel TV specials, and skimmed the blogs- surprisingly the least helpful so far.

With all this excitement going on I haven’t even been able to share my experiences at the conventions I’ve been going to. I promise that for my next upcoming convention (Quinnicon in Connecticut) that I will be much more proactive in getting my encounters out there because trust me, I’ve had some doozies. I’ve also been contemplating some Past Tides to share with you, but lately so much has happened in the present that I haven’t had time for the past! I swear I will get better. 🙂

I would definitely love to read anyone’s tips for traveling in Ireland, and what to see while I’m there. I should have about four weekends to gallivant, one day at least already taken up by a planned day trip. Also anything you’d like to hear about, let me know! Your comments fuel my writing soul!

Until my Next Adventure

(Coming Soon!)

Viviana Ayre

Categories: Fresh Prints, Ireland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Own Plane Tickets Now!

February of 2013, Boot Size 10

My Dear Readers,

Oh my goodness…. Oooooooh my gooooodness!!!!

I’m going to Ireland!

Of course I already told you guys that but it’s really, really official now!!!! I actually have a flight purchased and everything!

Depart:   Boston, MA  (BOS) Shannon, Ireland  (SNN)
Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Flight #/ Carrier Depart Arrive Travel time Meal Aircraft Cabin Seats
722    06:30 PM  BOS 08:05 PM  PHL 1h 35m A319 Coach 5E
Stop: Change plane in Philadelphia, PA   (PHL)
776    09:05 PM  PHL 08:40 AM  SNN 6h 35m Dinner 757-200 Coach 20F
  • Flight # 776 : Arrives next day, Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Return:   Shannon, Ireland  (SNN) Boston, MA  (BOS)
Date: Thursday, July 11, 2013

Flight #/ Carrier Depart Arrive Travel time Meal Aircraft Cabin Seats
777    11:35 AM  SNN 02:05 PM  PHL 7h 30m Lunch 757-200 Coach 20F
Stop: Change plane in Philadelphia, PA   (PHL)
723    03:15 PM  PHL 04:29 PM  BOS 1h 14m A319 Coach 5E

DO you see? DO YOU SEE?! Ermehgerd I’m really going to Ireland for a month. I can’t even describe how excited I am to be me right now. I have my farm, my wellies, and now my plane tickets to Ireland! I’m currently getting more information about what I will be doing on the farm, and when I will have days off to explore this beautiful country.

As a note I’ll most likely start up a daily vlog while I’m there in order to let my loved ones know how my life is going over there. And of course I love all my readers, so you’re all invited to watch! I’ll post more information on that when it gets closer to the actual date of me leaving.

Let me know what you guys want to know about Ireland!

Until my Next Adventure,

Viviana Ayre

Categories: Fresh Prints, Ireland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Don’t Forget to Wear a Coat!

November of 2010, Boot Size 10

My Dear Readers,

So, every trip has its screw up, and when I went to Guatemala for a few days to attend my uncle’s wedding, I made a minor mistake… I forgot to bring a real jacket.

Now, one might think, hey you’re in a tropical area, why worry about the lack of a proper jacket? That’s what I thought. But I was wrong. Boy was I incredibly wrong.

So here’s the story: My uncle’s wife is a native Guatemalan, and so they had two weddings. One was located in our home state for legality, the second was in Guatemala for his wife’s family. As bridesmaids, my sister and I manage to scrape together the funds to go for three days (a very touchy subject…. not something I’ll cover today). With our dresses and some traveling clothes, we set out for a country that had never really been on our list.

It took me three planes, my sister two; I had to fly to where my beloved sister lives so that we weren’t traveling alone. After that we flew down to South America, but had to take a smaller plane to Guatemala itself. It was the first time I’d ever boarded a plane by walking across tarmac (usually we have those little hallways straight to the door).

Our pilot boarding the plane

Our pilot boarding the plane

We arrived in Guatemala late afternoon early evening, and we went to dinner and check out our hotel. Our hotel that looked like it was enchanted…

Our bed with handmade textile blankets

Our bed with handmade textile blankets

The courtyard, complete with fountain

The courtyard, complete with fountain

This was the hallway. No joke.

This was the hallway. No joke.

Yeah, it was gorgeous. The food was amazing too. As a farming major, there’s just something about super fresh eggs that just makes your taste buds go to heaven… Man, were they yummy. Pair that with some re-friend beans (first time ever having them), fresh mango slices, bread, and fried plantains (swooning just thinking about them) and you have a very classy and beautifully presented breakfast. As a note, it’s hard to have coffee in America when you have coffee fresh from the number one farm in the world… I’m spoiled…

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Anyways! My uncle’s wife and her family offered to take my sister around the sight seeing. What that meant was leaving the town we were in and driving two hours around some mountains to get to another city surrounded by volcanoes and a lake. I do apologize for the lack of names, but I never got the chance to get the names of the cities and mountains before family differences stopped me. Nevertheless, I cannot get over how beautiful it was to make our way through the windy mountains to a city that was completely isolated. The only way to get there was by the long windy road, or by boat.

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We took pictures.

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We ate new foods.

Fresh made in the restaurant, including the chips!

Fresh made in the restaurant, including the chips!

Some of them were yucky.

Banana curry soup... yuck

Banana curry soup… yuck

Nevertheless the most important thing I learned in Guatemala was the one thing that I forgot to pack.

Bring a proper jacket (a sweatshirt would work too).

I should explain my thought process. Guatemala has a very warm climate, so I brought a little navy blue jacket that didn’t button shut. This proved to be my undoing as I realized that we spent the majority of our time in the windy mountains. We also traveled across a very windy lake!

Note how it's a half jacket.... Also the adorable little turtle backpack I purchased

Note how it’s a half jacket…. Also the adorable little turtle backpack I purchased

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Sometimes, yes, I took the coat off.

Sometimes, yes, I took the coat off.

 

Now yes, my arms were covered, but it was a half jacket that didn’t button/zip/attach at all. So all the lovely little breezes that whipped my hair straight up…

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Were mildly uncomfortable!

I wish I’d remembered at least a sweatshirt to cover up with. Nevertheless it was a minor issue, just a small lesson to be learned. But make sure y’all remember your jackets before you leave the country!

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Until my Next Adventure,

Viviana Ayre

Categories: On Traveling, Past Tides | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

How to Incorporate Travel Into Your Education

October of 2012, Boot Size 10

My Dear Readers,

So as a college student I have been very run down with the fact that school and work has pretty much absorbed my life; that hasn’t been taken up by those two categories I try to devote to my boyfriend and my family. This previous summer I did essentially nothing. At most I managed to go to the parks in my area like Canobie Lake Park (I actually went to that one a lot). With this in mind I didn’t want to repeat that next summer.

Since I’m already saving up for my Disney trip January of 2014, I had to make sure this trip was within a college student’s price range. And since I’m a college student who only works weekends, that’s make it even tougher. But I was determined to make it work. With this in mind I also had to consider my schooling: maybe I could incorporate travel into what I want to do for my future.

While right now I’m just your average Biology major, but its destiny is to be switched to Sustainable Agriculture and Livestock. I have a passion for nature and animals, and my ultimate goal is to bring good eating and living to those who think that they cannot due to their living situations such as those living in apartments or in the city. You don’t need to have land and a garden to have fresh herbs and other product. That is what I hope to donate to the world with my little slice of life.

But with this in mind I’ve been pondering about how I can travel while working a career that- frankly- deals a lot with staying in one place. How will I be able to get out an experience the world and all the culture that it holds?

I’m surprised I didn’t think of it earlier honestly.

WWOOFing!!!

I have no artistic ability, so no I did not make this graphic. I actually found it on another blog! SO credit to them if they made it: http://elleswim.net/2010/10/05/324-wwoof-in-central-america/

Alright make all your dog jokes now and get it over with. Trust me I giggled the first time too.

WWOOFing stands for World Wide Organization on Organic Farms. And it’s pretty much how it sounds. It’s a world-wide farming community that helps organic farms get in contact with volunteers who have a hunger for knowledge and getting their hands dirty.

One thing I love about travel is going off the beaten path and not only being able to experience the country but being able to experience the people. It’s the people that make up the meat of the cultural pie, and I prefer interacting with the people than just getting my picture taken at monuments. That’s just boring.

With this in mind, I will be WWOOFing in the country of Ireland!

This picture was taken by my father. All credit goes to him.

That’s right, Ireland. A country well known for it’s farmland and love for self-sustenance and organic practices. WWOOFing will be able to let me not only see Ireland, but to experience Ireland. I’ll be able to get in there, get my hands dirty, learn new foods, new skills, new sayings. I’ll be living and breathing Ireland!

Look at all that green!!! Again, this picture was taken by my father. All credit goes to him

I will be leaving not long after my anniversary with Tom in June, and I will be staying on a farm for about a month. I have about eight months to save, plan, and prepare for working on a farm, and taking day-trips out when I can. As the time gets closer to my departure I’ll be posting about home-stays and prepping for long term travel. I’m also more than willing to take suggestions and answer questions about WWOOFing, farming, travel, and any other burning questions that you wish to ask. Just leave a lovely little comment and I’ll make a post about it.

So I hope you all you travel lovers will be able to take a long look at what you want to do for your career, and maybe you’ll be able to find a way to incorporate travel into it! Because nothing is better than doing what you love in a completely new and foreign place!

Until my Next Adventure,

Viviana Ayre

Categories: On Traveling | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Appreciating the Small Stuff

June of 2012, Boot Size…. Wait…. I was wearing toe shoes!!!!


My dear readers,

So a midst my busy life of of working to save for school, conventions, and visiting Tomas, I have decided to change some aspects of my life. You see, I used to be an avid biker, but then I met the internet and we were swept into a passionate love affair. So my once muscle toned body fell into disrepair, and while I am lucky that I am naturally thin, I am now massively out of shape and have more fat (though well contained fat), than muscle. So when I decided to change my diet to alleviate my ADD (no more high fructose corn syrup since major studies in places like UCLA and such are coming out and saying HFCS aggravates ADD and ADHD), I decided to also get active again. And I started yesterday with a nice, brisk walk with my mother in our local park for an hour before my 7-3:30 work shift. During that trip I got some lovely pictures of the lake and the local goose families with my phone.

A bunch of geese and goslings! The goslings have gotten huge in the past couple weeks.

After my shift I stopped at my dad’s house to watch Legend of Korra before using his Kinect to do an exercise routine. Dear goddess my legs were burning a bit by the end after all the walking and standing from that day, so I kept it short and stayed with the tutorial before calling it quits. I broke a small sweat considering I spend most of my time hooked to a laptop when I’m not traveling, so I figure it’s a start. Add in my new diet choices and I’ve had a good start.

Well this morning the mother, Tony, and I decided to take another walk. This one was a little later in the day (started around seven) and I traded in my boots for my toe shoes in the hopes I could do some climbing. Well unfortunately my mother’s foot acted up so we stayed on the easy trails, but I got a few more pictures in.

You see, I have extreme issues working in a gym. I’m rather self conscious (thanks elementary school) and I don’t like other people creeping on my excercise. But taking walks in the park? Especially one with really awesome hiking trails? For me that is how I like to excercise. Because there is more to the work than just walking in place. I mean, which would you rather: running in one place with creepy people trying to look over your shoulders to see your burned calories, or walking though this?

Tony enjoyed the ride, since I found my old mini purple backpack. So that’s his place to chill when he’s not being a perv and riding in my shirt. We found the beaver dam, but no beaver sadly. Our music was the sound of bullfrogs croaking out a jazzy tune, which was pretty sweet. Hopefully we will get there early next time, and if we’re quiet we will be able to spot more wildlife. While boots keep your feet warmer, my toe shoes helped me walk a lot quieter considering I have a heavy step. So when I go for nature watching I’ll definitely wear them again.

Yes, I’m wearing my favorite sweatshirt, and Iron Man suit. Paired with yoga pants. I’d just woken up, sue me!


Tony was rather put out that the geese weren’t out today. But he loves lake scenery!

Now I’m just getting ready for a trip up north to the White Mountains this upcoming Tuesday/Wednesday! It’s a gift from my mother, and I’m pretty excited to go. I will definitely post pictures while I’m there.

Oh and did I mention we saw the cutest chipmunk ever?????

I love my phone’s camera…..

Until my next adventure,

Viviana Ayre

Categories: Fresh Prints, Home-Tied Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Destination Mountains!

April of 2012, Boot Size 10/11

My Dear Readers,

As my school year starts winding to a close I took the time to notice that June is approaching. June of course, being Tomas’s and I’s one year anniversary in our budding relationship. This said, I wanted to be able to have a nice weekend seeing that our actual anniversary falls on a Saturday.

🙂

That in mind I thought a simple adventure would be the best course. And that is why we are going to be heading to the mountains. And that is why a new countdown is beginning, keeping track of the days until we can make it up.

I plan to make this as cheap a trip as possible, though I haven’t decided whether to camp in a tent or rent a cabin. Nevertheless, I will show you in the days leading up to the trip how you can go on a cheap but gorgeous trip to the scenic White Mountains.

Until my next adventure,

Viviana Ayre

Categories: Fresh Prints | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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