Writing Sample – Blog Post
From Penny-Pincher to Poshie
My original plan was to experience Dublin on a budget…sleep cheap, eat cheaper and tackle the city’s free and nearly free attractions. The opportunities for inexpensive siteseeing were endless, and things certainly started out on the right track.
I rode the bus into the capital rather than the train and saved a whopping €18. My first night was spent in a hostel, my second in a budget hotel. Meals included simple sandwiches taken at convenience stores or restaurant “early bird” specials.
On the first day alone, I wandered Grafton Street, visited several museums, dropped by St Valentine’s relics, wandered into an “Everything’s €2” store, escaped to a bookstore for two hours and lounged on a park bench in St Stephen’s Green. Everything a budget traveler should do, and in the end, I only spent €35 that day…and that included accommodations!
My budget obsession had me on the go, taking in freebies from the moment the garbage truck beeped outside my window in the morning to well after I climbed into bed with my eleven snoring hostel roommates at night. By the end of the second day, I realized it wasn’t the joy of finding bargains that had me keeping such a pace, it was the fact that I didn’t want to go back to my crummy room.
On the second morning, I dragged the chair from in front of the door of my seedy hotel room — I pushed it there because the lock on the door looked like it would fall off despite the extra screws put in at all angles in an attempt to secure the device, and I knew I had enough of Dublin on a shoestring.
I hadn’t booked my next night’s accommodations, so I opted for a night at the other end of the spectrum and booked a room at the Morrison Hotel…a place so swanky, it took me two extra minutes to find the toilet stalls in the bathroom because they were built in to the wall and covered with floor-to-ceiling mirrors.
This was the start of what I called Posh Day. A glorious 24 hours of pampering and luxury. I took in high tea, the theatre and hung out in trendy neighborhoods. It was quite a shift…and quite a shock to my credit card.
Regardless, traveling at the extremes taught me a great deal about the need for variety when exploring Ireland. I found wonderful places on my adventure on-the-cheap I would have never found otherwise, and Posh Day exposed me to a few joys I would have missed if I was in any other mindset.
I made sure to document the entire experience.
* Podcasts: http://irishfireside.com/48dublin.htm (I’d recommend #50 Posh Day)
* Dublin Blog: http://irishfireside.wordpress.com/category/summer-2008/dublin-2008/
* Posh Day: http://irishfireside.wordpress.com/category/summer-2008/posh-day/