Moving to Ireland in two months!

After uploading a video for Vegaway about the fact that I am going to be moving to Ireland, I may as well announce this huge change here!

As you may know, I am a 22 year-old portuguese girl that is currently working in three jobs while lives with their parents in Portugal. Being proud to be an independent woman, this is not the situation I pictured myself in when I thought about where in life I would be at this age. The fact is that this is a temporary situation that goes on since about six months ago due to my need to earn money. The purpose has always been to move to Ireland, right from the time I did the road trip around Ireland that I have been writing about for the past few weeks.

I was supposed to move to Ireland in June 2018 but the fact is that I can’t wait that long. I do not like the situation I am in here in Portugal. Even though I like being close to my parents, I do not like to live with them since I seem to be unable to be independent here.

The initial planned date was June 2018 for a reason. The process for me to be recognized as a Physiotherapist in Ireland takes time and resources at it will not be finished until three or four months from now, assuming the answer is positive. Having decided to move to Ireland two months before the initial plan, in March 2018, I expect not being able to work as a Physiotherapist right away. This little bump is the reason why I am currently trying to find an unrelated job to start earning money right since the moment I land in the beautiful island.

I will be living in Hector’s house, which will help me settling in. I still need to pack all my stuff and solve some unresolved issues here in Portugal. At least I already resigned from all my jobs here, which is a huge relief. I do not feel like I have too much to do before moving, which is why I feel happy as opposed to overwhelmed.

If you are interested, stay tuned and I will be sharing my experience, both here and on Vegaway. It may be interesting for someone who is moving to other place as well or even if you are simply curious about how a portuguese girl copes with moving to a rainy country.

I fell in love with Ireland and I can’t wait to be there!

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Waterford to Cork | Ireland 2017

We continued our road trip around Ireland moving from Waterford to Cork on the 17th July 2017. Even though we had other places we were hoping to visit between the two cities, it was the surprises along the way that made our day. Here is where we went:

Tramore

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A quick stop and we did not even went for the attractions! We just stood there watching the people enjoying their beautiful day on the beach. After picturing such a rainy country, it was refreshing to realise people still go to the beach!

Annestown

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A hidden beach that looks like it has so much to offer. We found it by mere chance and we spent about half an hour there. If I ever go to the beach in Ireland, this will probably be my first choice!

Dungarvan Castle

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Unfortunately this castle was closed when we were there and we could not visit it. This is an anglo-norman fortification founded in 1185. I am hoping to go back there one day since it looked beautiful from the outside.

 

I will leave everything we did in our days near Cork for next week’s post because as you will read it was a lot!

Online presence

Being online can be overwhelming, specially if you treat it as more than just a way to share personal information with friends. That is mainly due to the fact that each of us has many accounts that we do not use on a daily basis.

I have been reducing the number of online accounts I own for the past few months and I believe I have reached a point where I can monitor all my accounts on a regular basis.

Today I will be sharing with you all the accounts that I want to be public. I will also be sharing why I chose not to have accounts on several mainstream platforms.

Online places where I am

  • Blog Alexandra Pedro

Here is where I can express myself in all the possible ways. I can share everything I do on the other online places where you can find me. Basically, this is my digital home.

Vegaway is my brand. It is mainly about lifestyle, even though I do give myself some space to be creative. I like to record videos and I found it is a great space for me to find my voice, alongside this blog.

  • Instagram @thevegaway

I will be honest with you. I am not a fan of Instagram. Even though that is true, I do like taking pictures and I do need to find the necessary audience to create the community I desire both over this blog and the previously mentioned YouTube channel. Instagram is really popular right now and that is why I feel the need to use it to share the photos I would otherwise share in this blog. This will feature mostly food and places I visit, even though it will not be limited by those!

Besides sharing my reads here, I have two Goodreads groups: one in portuguese called Reading About and one in english called The Milexy Universe. This is where I can express all my literary thoughts, even though I usually replicate the best ones on this blog.

Online places where I am not

  • Facebook

Even though I do own a personal account in Facebook, for now, it is only used for personal purposes.

  • Twitter

Twitter never felt useful to me. Even though it is quite easy to build number of followers, I find it more interesting to share my thoughts both on this blog and on Instagram.

  • Pinterest or Tumblr

I feel like both these platforms can be overwhelming. I do remember feeling that way when I used them. That is why I chose not to use them.

 

I recommend you take a piece of paper (either physical or digital) and write down all your accounts. That will give you better insight on what you have going on and help you manage them easily.

Dublin to Waterford | Ireland 2017

As part of our road trip around Ireland, after a good night’s sleep in Dublin, we left for Waterford on the 16th July 2017. We decided we could drive to Waterford along the East Irish Coast. Here are the places we visited both in the 16th and 17th July.

Bray

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Even though it was not as hot as I am used to when I go to the beach (which is rarely by the way), there were people bathing at this beautiful beach. This was a quick stop but one I want to go back to in the future.

Wicklow

I was in this town and Wexford a second time in September 2017. Even though we went there in this first road trip around Ireland, it did not add much to the final memory I store in my head.

Arklow

I do not remember much about this city besides having lunch at the Bridgewater Shopping Centre. I do not recommend Abra Kebabra as an option for someone looking for plant-based options.

Wexford

Waterford

In the night between the 16th and the 17th July 2017, we stayed in a cute double-store cottage surround by panoramic views of green fields and horses. We had dinner in an indian restaurant called Eastenders, which we all loved and I can’t recommend enough.

On the 17th we went to visit the town. Waterford is one of the oldest cities in Ireland. It has a lot of story to tell, having been raided by vikings and invaded by both them and the anglo-normans. It is now known for its former glass-making industry. We had lunch at Obrien’s, which sells great plant-based options, and visited several beautiful places:

  • Reginald’s Tower – This is said to be the oldest urban civic building in Ireland. Even though we could have entered it, we decided by only staying around the exciting viking’s boat that is near the tower.

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  • Bishop’s Palace – This is a 18th century townhouse. It is interesting but not as much as I expected.
  • Medieval Museum – If you are looking for what to visit in Waterford, this is the place you should pay to enter. As I mentioned before, this city has a rich past that you can uncover in this museum through a guided visit. Unfortunately it is not as focused on the vikings occupation as I would want it to be, but it covers a lot of information about other parts of Waterford’s history.

 

From all the places I have mentioned, I would say Waterford is the one I would strongly recommend for people to visit, even though I was not let down by any of the cities mentioned.

Next week I will share with you what we visited next on our way to Cork. Stay tuned if you are interested in that!

A cliché love story in Paris

I read Paris for One, by Jojo Moyes, in two sessions. It is a very cheap and easy book. It must have taken me about three hours to read and, even though I do not regret reading it, it left me feeling it did not add much to my life.

I did not know much about Jojo Moyes besides having watched the movie adaptation for Me Before You. It was the first book I have read by her and I am not as excited to read her other books as I was before reading this one.

This is the story of Nell-from-England’s weekend in Paris after she gets dumped by her boyfriend (who sounds like the kind of guy I would have dumped a long ago). She then meets Fabien-from-Paris, curiously enough recovering from his own failed relationship.

Nell is an insecure woman who can’t seem to do much without a man backing her up. Even though I believe the point of the author was that she overcome being dumped in Paris by her boyfriend, it looked to me that she was only able to do so because she had Fabien to focus on.

All my issues with this book would add spoilers to this review and that is why I am leaving it as it is.

As a final note, I do not recommend Paris for One unless you are looking for a cliché love story in the French capital city.

Why should we choose an alternative lifestyle?

Being animals, we are all quite similar in the matter of needs, such as represent on the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs included below.

hierarchy of needs

That should lead us to think that we all need equal environments to fulfil those needs, but that is not what happens in that daily basis. Our individual characters, created both by genetic inheritance and experiences, lead us to be very specific about those needs.

Looking at the physiological bottom of the hierarchy, there is food, for example. While my brother will happily settle for a huge piece of dead cow, I would probably rather starve than eat that (how stubborn of me). He would not settle for my plant-based diet either. Even though the physiological need is the same, we choose different paths to fulfil it.

How many hours we sleep, the way and with whom we have sex, the amount of family members we want to have around us, the amount of property we need to own and to live in, the amount of friends we need, are all examples of how diverse our needs may get.

Lately I have been studying a little more about properties, mainly through watching videos online. There are so many different ways to build your house and so many different ways to live in it. I grew up in a big house, with plenty of room unoccupied. Watching these videos for the past few weeks I realize how much money and effort my parents put into a house that is only partly being lived in. I probably will not want a house this big but I will definitely give more use to the space surrounding it. This house worked for my parents and mine will work for me.

These are small examples of how alternative lifestyles may improve our life. If we would all live the same way, there would be no room for our personalities. Being vegan or having a tiny house may work better for someone than eating corpses or having a huge mansion. And that is fine.

Wicklow Mountains | Ireland 2017

Wicklow Mountains were the first place we headed to as part of our road trip around Ireland.

Before starting on what happened there, the five of us got together for the first time on the 14th July 2017, when we had dinner at Veginity, my current favourite restaurant in Dublin… in Ireland… oh well, in the world! I have only been there this one time but you can be sure I will return.

On the 15th July 2017 we hit the road, even though late that night we came back to Dublin to spend the night before starting the main road trip. We went to Wicklow Mountains in this first day, including The Great Military Road, Glencree and Glendalough Monastic Site.

 

Our path in the Wicklow Mountains with a little history…

Wicklow Mountains National Park was established in 1991. Originally covered with forests, it was cleared by neolithic farmers.

The Great Military Road (R115) was constructed between 1800 and 1809 to open up the mountains to the British Army to help them put down insurgents from the 1798 rebellion.

Glencree includes the barracks (used by the British Army from 1800 to 1815, then as a reformatory school, then to house german prisoners during the WWI, then to house german pilots and agents who planned anti-British activities who crashed in Ireland, and finally to care for german and polish war orphans), the German War Cemetery (which includes 134 graves of mostly German personnel and civillian from WWI) and Glencree River.

We have only seen Lough Tay, a lake shaped like a guinness pint, from up above because it was a long way down to see it and it was freezing (not literally)!

Lastly we went to Glendalough Monastic Site, a christian monastic settlement founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. We saw the gateway, the round tower and the cathedral, but my favourite part was the lake we explored afterward.

 

On our way back to Dublin we passed through Blessington, even though we did not actually stop there. Back in Dublin, we went to a place called Yogism, where we ate amazing pancakes and crepes, since we were too hungry to settle for a frozen yogurt.