Travelogue: Europe in Review

July & August 2002

What a trip, right? I’ve been dreaming of visiting Europe since I was a teenager and it only took me 37.5 years to make it happen!

Some general thoughts now that I’ve had time to process it all:

  • The lack of ice and air conditioning would be dealbreakers for me.
  • Ireland had palm trees. I did not expect that!
  • The trip was mostly great, except for the week that I was sick with a nasty cold (not COVID, I tested)
  • My favorite: IRELAND. Are you kidding me? IRELAND.
  • My least favorite: Amsterdam. I think the city leans a little too hard into its vices. The prostitution didn’t bother me, but the trashy pot culture did. I truly have no judgment if you’re a marijuana user, but I just didn’t love the trashy marijuana-themed gift shops that littered the streets.  It just attracts a certain crowd and I didn’t love it. We both thought it was worse than a place like Las Vegas!
  • I’ve always hated ham — but when I was sick, my comfort food was ham and cheese sandwiches from Centra (kind of like the Kwik Trips of Ireland). I now love ham. What has happened to me?!
  • The weather in Ireland was my dream come true — I think I really could live there.
  • I did not love having to pay extra for what seemed like everything — bags, bathrooms, etc.
  • I’ll never travel to Europe during the summertime again. Nooope. Not doin’ it. Unless it’s a place like Ireland where you kind of have to go in the summer in order to have decent weather.
  • I’m an introvert who has many of the HSP (highly sensitive person) qualities — as a result, many parts of this trip were overwhelming to me: the crowds, the heat, the noise, the unfamiliar everything. I truly struggled on many occasions. And I share this because this blog is full of the highlight reels — but there’s always more going on behind the scenes!

My favorite souvenir. I will never not LOL when I see these.
And here’s a cool mosaic at O’Hare