In case you haven’t heard the news from Hobgoblin’s blog, it looks like we’ll be going to Ireland next year! It’s not 100% for sure, but it’s likely enough to get excited about. What happened is that Hobgoblin’s university offers a study abroad option there a couple times a year, and Hobgoblin will have a chance to teach a course as part of the program. The course is two weeks long, and our plan is that I’ll join him for the second week and hang out there while he teaches, and then we’ll spend the following week traveling on our own, perhaps to London and Paris, unless we change our minds and decide to go somewhere else.
Even though we’ve wanted to go to Europe for a while, it was just a vague plan, a nice idea, until this opportunity came up. Not only will Hobgoblin get paid for teaching the course, but his airfare and lodging will be covered, so the trip will cost only my airfare and the cost of the London and Paris trips. The one thing that has to fall into place is that enough students have to register for Hobgoblin’s class, and as long as that happens, we’ll be going. Woo-hoo!
I visited Germany and Switzerland when I was in high school and again in college, but that’s the extent of my European travel, so I’m thrilled to be able to go back. Interestingly enough, the town in Ireland we’ll be visiting is the place where one branch of my family originated. I actually have no idea whether this is my branch of the family or not, as people with my last name come from both England and Ireland, but still the possibility that I’m visiting my roots is pretty exciting. Perhaps it’s time for some genealogical research? Hobgoblin tells me that someone with my last name will have an instant crowd of friends in this particular town — all I’ll have to do, apparently, is tell people my name, and I’ll have people buying me drinks and inviting me over for dinner. It sounds like fun.
We have a whole year to plan, as the trip will be next May, and in the meantime, if anybody has any advice on how to find cheap-but-not-dreadful places to stay in London and Paris, let us know!