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Category Archives: sometimes adventure
Once again, I feel super lucky with my ever expanding circle of inspiring contacts across the world. People who achieve great things, are go-getters and want to make a real difference. One person who is no exception to this fact is Tom Ryan. A film director, writer and now, lecturer, Tom has quite a lot of success under his belt as a thirty-something year old. His 2017 release, Twice Shy has been the recipient of many awards, exceptional reviews and well-needed addressing of delicate subjects. Indeed Twice Shy has catapulted Irish films’ reputation into another dimension.
The movie has been on tour across Ireland and the world. Last year, it screened in the Lighthouse cinema for a week (later extended to a second week). This was followed by screenings in Cannes Film festival and more recently, in Berlin. Its cast includes rising stars and familiar faces including Pat Short, Ardal O’Hanlon and Emmet Byrne. Meanwhile, Shane-Murray Corcoran and Iseult Casey portray the developing relationship of a young couple in Ireland having to face a stressful trip to the UK for an abortion.
Abortion isn’t the only topic that has its reality brought to life in the movie. Mental health is addressed in a touching and real way. One scene in particular features a true and honest conversation that banishes stigmatisation and instead shows it is OK not to be OK.
We need this in Ireland at the moment. A movie that’s real and ensures light is shed on tricky topics. When we say ‘like in the movies’, we really need that to reflect real-life and vice-versa. Want predictable endings and cringey romantic scenes? Then don’t watch Twice Shy. How about pure constant happiness without ups and downs? Then really, don’t watch it. If however you’d like to walk away from your screen feeling contemplative, informed and like you’ve had a genuine experience, then do watch it.
During the movie, you’ll recognise not just faces you know but locations also. Filming predominantly took place between Dublin and Tom’s native Nenagh in County Tipperary. Hot spots like the Grand Canal and Una’s pub, provide a perfect setting. Colloquial references to school day familiarities such as Leaving Cert night, having the craic and moving up to Dublin from the country spring up. Sure we can all relate to something as an Irish person. On the other hand, as a non-Irish spectator, there’s so much to learn about how we operate as a people and our soft and genuine connection to life. We’re down to earth, family-focused and supportive. Even though our political systems appear to be letting us down, at least we have voices we can use and connections we can make. I don’t want to spoil the movie but the raw and real connection is an ongoing theme. Whether it’s between best friends, father and son or lovers, realness conquers all including trials and tribulations.
Twice Shy is available to stream on www.volta.ie
We’re indoors. It’s been approximately 12 hours since we’ve driven the car anywhere and Andrew is nicely intact outside. Andrew is our snowman you see. He is approximately 5ft 5″, pale with a big head and great dress sense. He’s a great example of how, when it snows so much your flight gets cancelled, you use that snow to avoid turning to feeling overly disappointed. Keeping the mind busy is vital especially if it involves creating something on a decent scale.
I was supposed to head to Budapest tonight at 19.30 from Dublin Airport. It was a long awaited treat with lots of planning gone in and my case already half packed due to the sheer excitement. I had the notion of going swimming outdoors in the thermals on a few occasions and staying in a fancy hotel room. Meanwhile, I’d be spending time with a great friend and reflecting on why life is so great and saying “Isn’t it lovely that we can get flights and trips so cheap and easily in 2018?”. Sure you can’t stop the weather.
When things didn’t go as planned, my mother would always quote my late grandfather (who clearly quoted another guy) ” Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”. That’s life you see. There’s always going to be something around the corner that doesn’t work out. Not to be a pessimist but flights will get cancelled, challenges will occur and something you’ve built up in your head and elsewhere will not come into fruition. It sucks but well, there’s always something else around to look forward to.
I’m using my free time to get blogging done (overdue blogging I might add), I’m planning some trips for the Summer and I’m having lots of downtime to chill and reflect on weeks gone by and, what’s to come.
And of course, there’s Andrew.
If you’re stuck indoors this week or stuck in a disappointing twist in your life. There’s a few things you can do to turn it around and hopefully, feel better.
*Plan something else! When do you next have some free time? What have you been thinking about for ages and not planned or booked? Do it! Life’s short. I’ve just looked up flights for my Summer trip in July.
*Write a list of the positives to come from the situation. Did you save some cash by not partaking in a certain adventure? Has this time allowed you to achieve something you’ve been procrastinating? What goodness has come from it?
*What does this mean to you? Having a twist or turn in your day, week or life can evoke certain feelings. This can teach us something about the path we’re on and what we’d like to achieve in the future. For me, I feel disappointed that I didn’t get to travel today as I love visiting other places and don’t enjoy being stagnant for too long. What have you learned?
*Life can be a bit unfair and certain situations will remind us of that. You never know what’s around the corner. Make the most of the current moment and think of how lucky we are to have it.
Mind yourselves wherever you are.
It was my last two weeks in Chile and while I was excited to get home. I was also keen to make the most of it. With a little money left and some energy, I booked my bus trip to Pucón- a city I had learned loads about from friends and was curious to visit.
In preparation for the trip, I headed to the local shopping centre to find the best deal on buses. As it was over 35 degrees outside (in December), I was keen to take an overnight bus trip. And so, I booked it to head off that night! The bus was due to leave at 23.00 and so, I set off (in usual style) an hour early to the bus station. With a few random turns and wanderings down dodgy streets, I found my way to the station and set up shop right next to where my bus was due to depart. Cue ten past eleven and it turned out, my bus had left without me.
Sad and with a huge backpack at my feet, I approached the information desk and pleaded for another bus. Only to find out that well, many other people wanted a seat to Pucón too. Sadly, there were none available.
As it turns out, being a lost Irish girl in a big city had its positives. A man approached me with a big smile and said he’d give me his seat. He not only carried my bag and helped me settle in, he gave me a blanket and snacks to relax me. Never underestimate the kindness of strangers.
Santiago central to Pucón is a 9.5 hour journey. This is another reason I recommend the overnight bus journey. No surprisingly, upon arriving there, it is necessary to stretch your legs which is a perfect chance to explore the town. As it’s further South, the temperature is lower and so, wrapping up warmer is recommended.
The town of Pucón is right next to the mountains which makes it super picturesque. There are snow-capped mountains and so, the amount of outdoor excursions is plentiful. Some activities I did were cycling (you can rent a bike for as little as 3euro per day), hiking in the forest and sledding down a volcano. These are all accessible and can easily be signed up for at hostels or by searching online.
For me, I couch-surfed for the first night so the hike I went on happened by chance. The guy I stayed with ran hikes each morning and so, he said I could come along. These were based in El Cañi and the hike we did lasted for over 7 hours! This area is easily accessible with a bus from the town to the countryside which costs no more than two euro.
As I moved into the town on the second night, I signed up for activities at my hostel. The hostel I stayed in was La Bicicleta and it comprised of a private room for 35euro per night. This was a bit pricey for hostel however it is more expensive in Pucón and I wanted to pay for quality as it was my last trip.
Finally, the trip up the volcano was the highlight for me and something I highly recommend! The journey comprises of a car trip to Villarica, one of three (active) volcanos in the region. The beauty is that you can get a lift some way up the mountain or you can hike the whole way up. It’s not an adventure for the faint-hearted as it is super steep and covered in snow. Cramp-ons are needed with a full training beforehand. The intense journey up-mountain is followed by sledding down the mountain to the bottom (highly recommend!).
This region in Chile has a high percentage of German influence as so many Germans settled there over hundreds of years. This is reflected in the beers (with Germanic names) and the blonder looking appearance of the locals.
Traveling alone has its perks (as featured here) and this trip was no exception. Doing this adventure with a friend or group would be equally exciting.
For further info or post requests about Chile, comment below or PM me.