Take Me to the World https://www.takemetotheworld.com Travel. Theatre. Life. Fri, 31 Jul 2020 01:12:39 +0000 en-CA hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 Update and a new project https://www.takemetotheworld.com/update-new-project/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/update-new-project/#respond Fri, 31 Jul 2020 01:12:39 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=28585 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

A quick update on my life and the new writing project (and possible podcast) that I'm doing over the next year and a bit.

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

2020 what a year that was. I mean I know it’s not over yet, but it feels like the longest year in recorded history. Technically this year is a leap year, so it is one of the longer ones.

I’m back working at my retail job right (with proper health and safety precautions), but the normal things in the past that help me to differentiate one year from another have been put on hiatus, mainly travel and theatre. I mentioned before that the one trip I had booked for this year was cancelled (obviously). Recently, found out the one theatre event I had booked has also been cancelled (not surprising). Plus there are no summer festivals this year (not in person anyway), and that has been weird.

But this year I did something (well I actually I started it last year on my birthday) that I found immensely helpful during the past few months (especially when I was at home). I did a daily writing project where I picked a music artist whose birthday it was that day, and wrote a blog post about them. I also picked a song of theirs and put it on a playlist. Now while this is pretty inconsequential in the history of humankind it helped me keep a daily habit of writing something, and gave me something to focus on (helpful when I was off work from March to May). If you’re interested you can view that now retired project here.

That project, writing daily and focusing on music (something I love) gave me the idea for another music-related writing project. There were several instances when I was writing about an artist during that project and I thought wow I really don’t know many of their songs and I’ve always wanted to listen to more of their work. That is the basis for my new writing project I’m calling the Deep Dive Music Project. Starting in September I’m picking 12 music artists, focusing on one artist per month, and listening to as much of their work as possible. Some of the artists here are fairly well known and others less so. All of them (for me at least) are artists I only know a handful of their songs (if that). I’ve never actually sat down and listened to a full album from any of these artists, despite enjoying the few songs of theirs that I know.

Basically this project is an excuse to listen to a lot of music. Some of the artists I’ve chosen have a huge discography and hundreds upon hundreds of recorded songs to their name, so I won’t be able to get through everything. But I plan to listen to a few of their albums (no compilations or Christmas albums) and then deep dive into 10 to 15 tracks for each artist artists. I want to actively listen to their music, and not just have it on in the background as I’m doing something else. I’ll share my thoughts and opinions on these songs, and maybe some fact-based research too (don’t expect an in depth biography of these artists). This isn’t going to be a these are the greatest music artists ever and here are there 10 best songs kind of deal. If I don’t like a song or album I’ll share that too.

Originally this was going to be on a separate blog, but I pay for hosting for this site and I figured I might as well use it. Make no mistake I still love travel and theatre, and will write about those things again as well, but I need to write about something else too. Maybe this isn’t on brand, but fuck that. Take Me to the World is about travel, theatre, and life – and in my life music has always been important. I just haven’t written much about it until now. I’m not entirely sure how it will work, but I’m planning to write a few blog posts during the month. I’ll share the songs and albums I’m listening to (likely with a Spotify link) so you can join me in this project if you want.

If you want to join me in this project you can. I’ll have the artists that I’m going to be focusing on for this project below, but this isn’t to say you have to pick the same artists. If there’s an artist you kind of know a few songs from, but have always wanted to get into more of their work then pick that person instead. I’m focusing on individual artists rather than bands, and on these artists solo work (though I may include some collaborations like duets and features on other songs). This list is in random order, and may not reflect the order thee artists are features on in the project.

  • Frank Ocean
  • Björk
  • Johnny Cash
  • Janelle Monáe
  • Marvin Gaye
  • Lana Del Rey
  • David Bowie
  • Tori Amos
  • Prince
  • Emilie Autumn
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Lady Gaga

I have a request from anyone who might be familiar with any of these artists. If you have song/album suggestions for any of these artists let me know in the comments. In particular I’m interested in the lesser known songs from these artists. Not saying I’m going to avoid the popular hit songs, but this isn’t meant to be a “here’s David Bowie’s greatest hits” and nothing else kind of deal. Especially if you know some obscure songs from any of these artists I’d love to here them. I’m also interested in extra research material like books, movies, to go into for these artists as well. The main focus will be the music, but I might talk about other art forms these artists have done (like movies for example) as well.

So yeah that’s my life for right now. And again I’ll still have some travel and theatre posts on here, but while things have shut down or slowed down immensely I want to give myself something else to focus on. More importantly I wanted to share this project with you so that you can join me in this music adventure.

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
https://www.takemetotheworld.com/update-new-project/feed/ 0
Why I Love Travel in May https://www.takemetotheworld.com/travel-in-may/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/travel-in-may/#respond Thu, 07 May 2020 23:08:27 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=28519 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

While we can't be traveling right now thinking back I've come to realize May is one of my favourite times to travel. Here are some reasons why that is.

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This helps to keep this website running.Thanks for your support.

Back in the before time when we could leave our house (remember those?) I liked to travel. While staying at home now I’ve been reminiscing about the month of May. I’ve only ever travelled to North American and European destinations in the month of May, so I can’t speak for traveling to every place on earth in May (also that’s impossible). However May has always been one of my favourite months to travel.

Much of this depends on where you’re going, but for many places May is considered either the off-season or the shoulder season. This means it’s usually less crowded than during peak travel seasons like holidays and summers. And prices during the off-season or shoulder season will be lower than during peak season. There are downsides to travelling outside peak season as some attractions (like outdoor ones) might not be open, or have more restricted hours of operation. If there’s an attraction you really want to visit and you’re traveling in May check see if it’s open in advance.

Another thing to consider is there might be holidays in May for the places your visiting. For example in Canada the Monday before May 25 is Victoria Day, which is a statutory holiday in the country. This is unofficially considered the start of summer, and lots of people will go out camping this weekend (though maybe not this year). For 2020 Victoria Day is May 18. Always check if there’s a holiday in May for the country your visiting. Obviously if you visit somewhere on a holiday it’ll probably be a bit busier than usual.

Another thing I like about travelling in May is the weather. Again, I’ve only travelled in North America and Europe in May, but I find the weather to be generally pleasant. Where I live there might be the occasional bit of snowfall in May, but it usually doesn’t last very long. Some places might get some rain in May, but it’s always a good idea to have a waterproof jacket on hand. I’ve also been to places like Cancun, Mexico and Las Vegas where the temperature in May is above 30C/86F. If you want to visit somewhere hot then there are definitely places for that in May. Check the weather for your destination so you know what to pack. For example the weather in San Francisco in May is a lot different than the weather in Las Vegas in May.

Finally, for the two reasons above (places usually not as busy, and generally good weather) I find May is great time of the year to go on a road trip. I’ve done several road trips in May. Two friends and I did a road trip to Las Vegas (with a stop at the Grand Canyon) in 2007. I went on a a short road trip around the east coast of Canada and the US with a friend in 2009. Finally I did a solo trip from Calgary, Alberta to Toronto, Ontario (took about a week of driving). I’ve also travelled by plane and by train (within the same country) in May and that’s been great as well. I have a feeling a multi-country train trip in Europe would be pretty awesome to do in May.

I don’t always travel in May, but when I do I always enjoy it. So here are a few photos from some places I’ve visited in May.

Utah

My first big trip in the month of May was in 2007 when a couple friends and I drove to Las Vegas (I’d also visit Vegas in May 2014). This is a photo of Utah, a state I hadn’t been to before. Before taking this trip I could only really picture Utah as having lots of farms and Mormons, but I didn’t realize how diverse and beautiful the landscape was. This was in the southern part of the state.

Grand Canyon, Arizona

On the way to Las Vegas we stopped at The Grand Canyon (just a 5 hour detour, but worth it). Fun fact it was snowing when we were there (not heavily).

Moncton, New Brunswick.

In 2009 I went to visit a friend who had moved out to Nova Scotia. I flew to Moncton, New Brunswick and rented a car and also went to Prince Edward Island. Plus my friend and I drove down to Maine and New Hampshire. I’m glad I got to visit these provinces and states, but going to all 5 in 10 days was a bit too much. I also didn’t take a lot of great photos on that trip, hence this semi-okay one of Moncton, New Brunswick.

Chichen Itza, Mexico

In May 2011 I went to Mexico for a family wedding. While a lot of that trip was drinking at the resort and hanging out in the pool my family also took a day tour out to Chichen Itza.

Wolseley, Saskatchewan

In 2013 I did a solo road trip from Edmonton to Toronto. I got to see a lot of amazing places on that trip; ones I’d never known about. This is the town of Wolseley, Saskatchewan. I stopped here for a few minutes because there was a sign saying the town had a swinging bridge. I’m a sucker for roadside attractions on road trips. This photo was taken from that bridge.

Provencher Bridge, Winnipeg

Only got to spend a quick night in Winnipeg on my road trip. I didn’t have much time there but I did wander around The Forks (a historic site and green space in the city), and I took this photo of the Provencher Bridge. Winnipeg is a city in Canada I’d like to go back for a visit.

Lake Superior, Ontario

Stopped for this photo of Lake Superior in Ontario. This is the biggest of the Great Lakes in Canada (hence the name) and there were several points driving along the lake where is feels like your driving by the ocean.

Giant red Muskoka Chair in Thessalon, Ontario.

This is a giant red Muskoka Chair in Thessalon, Ontario. A Muskoka chair is similar to an Adirondack chair, except the Muskoka chair seat curves down at the back, and the Adirondack chair seat is flat. Also the Adirondack chair is usually a couple inches higher up and the arm rests are further apart than the Muskoka chair. Not sure how that applies for giant versions of these chairs.

Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls

Went to Niagara Falls, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York. This is Horseshoe Falls, which is on the border between the US and Canada, but this photo was taken from the Canadian side.

Dundas Square Toronto

Spent time in Toronto for a conference and blogging workshop after my road trip in 2013. This is downtown at Dundas Square.

Freemont Street Vegas

In May 2014 I went to Las Vegas for a few days with a friend. This is around Freemont Street, which I really enjoyed. I don’t have a strong desire to go back to Vegas, but if I did I’d spend more time exploring Freemont Street rather than the casinos on The Strip. Also, I’d do a day trip outside the city to Red Rock Canyon or somewhere like that.

Hotel MacDonald View of Edmonton

Sometimes you don’t have to travel far to travel. In 2015 I went to an event hosted at the Hotel MacDonald in Edmonton. I didn’t spend the night here, but we did a tour of the hotel including one of the rooms where I took this photo. This is overlooking The North Saskatchewan River and the River Valley.

Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin

In 2017 I was living in Dublin, Ireland and my parents came to visit me for a few days at the beginning of May. We went to a few sites around Dublin including this one, Kilmainham Gaol. It was  former prison where many historic Irish figures and revolutionaries were held, and sometimes executed. It’s now a museum and a really interesting to check out in Dublin.

Knowth, Ireland

My parents had also rented a car so we did a day trip to a few places outside of Dublin as well. This is Knowth a Neolithic passage grave at the World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne. This place predates the Egyptian Pyramids. There are actually several different sites at Brú na Bóinne including the passage tombs of Newgrange and Dowth. You have to take a bus from the visitor site to the passage tombs, but there is a guide there to tell you about the history of the site. Definitely worth taking a day trip out to Brú na Bóinne in you’re in Dublin.

Kilkenny Street, Ireland

At the end of May 2017 I went on a day trip to Kilkenny, Ireland. Before coming to Ireland if someone told me “picture a street in an Irish town” this is what I would’ve pictured.

Vigeland Park, Oslo

May 2018 I took a trip to Oslo, Norway. This is Vigeland Park, which is full of sculptures from artist Gustav Vigeland. I really enjoy Oslo. I was there just a few days before May 17, which is the Norwegian Constitution Day, a massive national holiday.

Balbriggan, Ireland

I moved back to Canada in early June 2018, so in May I visited several places in and around Dublin. This a quick trip up to the beach at the town of Balbriggan, which wasn’t too far from where I was living in Donbate.

Coit Tower San Francisco

Finally in 2019 a couple friends and I went to San Francisco for few days. Here’s a view from one the many hills in the city. The tall tower in the background is Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill, and to the left you can see part of The Bay Bridge.

Those are just some photos from some of the places I’ve visited in the month of May. Hopefully for May 2021 we’ll be able to get out and see some of the world.

Check out some more Photo Essays on Take Me to the World

What’s your favourite month to travel?

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
https://www.takemetotheworld.com/travel-in-may/feed/ 0
Musical Theatre Podcast Episode 10 – Love Never Dies https://www.takemetotheworld.com/musical-theatre-podcast-episode-10/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/musical-theatre-podcast-episode-10/#comments Sat, 02 May 2020 00:47:25 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=28427 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

On episode 10 of the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre podcast I talk about the musical Love Never Dies, which is a sequel to The Phantom of The Opera.

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This helps to keep this website running.Thanks for your support.

On episode 10 of the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre Podcast I talk about the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Love Never Dies, which is a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. Spoilers in this episode for both of those shows.

Note: This episode was recorded in April 2020 and as such most theatres (including Broadway, The West End, and National Tours) are suspended for the time being. I’ve still included resources to purchasing tickets for shows (where possible) for whenever these shows open up.

Where to Listen to Episode 10?

If you haven’t heard it yet you can listen to Episode 10 on Podcasts.com

You can also listen and subscribe to the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre Podcast on your favourite podcast app or website below.

Google Play

iTunes

Spotify

Stitcher

Tune In

Resources – Music

This has links (mostly on Spotify, unless otherwise stated) to the cast recordings/soundtracks that I mentioned in this podcast, as well as to some musical playlists.

It’s Broadway, Bitch – Spotify Playlist. This has over 2000 songs from different musicals I’ve either seen or have listened to obsessively. Most of the playlist is from stage musicals, but I have a few movie musicals and musical TV shows on here as well. Albums are in random order. Some songs contain strong language and subject matter, so listener discretion is advised.

Sounds of Broadway. This is an online radio station with over 4600 songs from 560 different musicals. This is a great way to listen musicals you know and discover some musicals you may have never heard of before. The station also has a great weekly podcast about musicals as well.

Love Never Dies (2009 London Cast)

Love Never Dies (2018). This one doesn’t specify the cast, but it seems some of the performers are the same as in the filmed stage version mentioned in the Video section below.

The Phantom of the Opera (1987 Original London Cast)

The Phantom of the Opera (2004 Movie Soundtrack)

The Phantom of the Opera Live At Royal Alberta Hall (2011 Cast). This was the same cast in the the Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall video below.

Resources – Videos

These are links on Just Watch (unless otherwise noted) for the following movie versions of the musicals I talked about in this episode. Just Watch will have links to where you can watch these movies on various streaming sites.

Love Never Dies (2012 Filmed Stage Production)

The Phantom of the Opera (2004 Movie)

The Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall (2011 Filmed Stage Production). This was the production shown on The Shows Must Go On.

The Shows Must Go On.This is the YouTube channel mentioned in the episode that has been featuring different Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals throughout the quarantine. The shows go up at 7 pm (British Time Zone) and only stays up for 24 to 48 hours. There are also song clips from past shows that have been featured on the channel.

Resources – Websites and Apps

Love Never Dies. This has links to where you can buy tickets for all productions of Love Never Dies. Due to Covid-19 productions might be on temporary hiatus.

The Phantom of the Opera. This has links to where you can buy tickets for all productions of The Phantom of the Opera. Due to Covid-19 productions might be on temporary hiatus.

Reddit Musicals and Reddit Musical Theatre. Both of these subreddits are great places to go if you want to talk about musicals, get tips (if you’re a performer), and to get recommendations on shows to check out.

Reddit Box 5. This is a specific subreddit for The Phantom of the Opera, but there is also some discussion about Love Never Dies on here as well.

Broadway Musical Home. This is an amazing website for any musical lover. They have an alphabetical list of over 300 musicals, and you can look up musicals by different categories like “based on a book” and “based on real life.” For anyone or any theatre company looking to put on a musicals you can check out the Rights page, where you can find where to get the rights to put on a variety of musicals.

Playbill has listing for shows (musicals and plays) in New York, London and National Tours.

Today Tix is an App for both iOS and Android. You can use the app to buy cheap, same day tickets for shows in cities like New York, London, Toronto, Chicago, and more. I used this app with great success in London and highly recommend it.

Use the Code JGZYL to save £10 (or $10) on your first order with Today Tix.

Check out some more Musical Theatre Podcast Episodes on Take Me to the World

What are your thoughts on Love Never Dies?

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
https://www.takemetotheworld.com/musical-theatre-podcast-episode-10/feed/ 1
Life During Uncertainty https://www.takemetotheworld.com/life-during-uncertainty/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/life-during-uncertainty/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2020 22:28:45 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=28420 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

Life is uncertain right now, but what's helping me deal with everything going on now is reflecting on the experiences I had in Ireland.

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

There’s a problem with writing for a travel blog in the time of a pandemic. I don’t know if what I’m going to write is important. I don’t know if it’s going to help anyone, but I hope it does. I worry it might seem over indulgent. Then again that could be anxiety popping in.

First I want to take some time to address my privilege. I am safe and healthy, and so far my friends and family are as well. I’ve been able to say home from work since about mid-March and have received some wages. I’m now temporarily laid off (and not sure on when I’ll be able to go back to work). Since I live in Canada and I can apply for some financial support from the government. I’m an introvert and haven’t had any issues staying home. However I’m also living with my parents and my brother, so I’m not entirely alone. The weather has gotten nicer (the snow has finally melted) and I’ve been able to get outside and go for walks. We have food, medicine and other supplies in our house. All things considered I’m doing well.

This is a blog about travel though, so I should write something about the fact that the only trip I had planned for 2020 will likely get cancelled. I’m about 98% sure this trip is not going to happen, at least not for the dates we originally booked. A couple friends and I were going to go to Portland, Oregon for a few days in June. The main reason being to attend the Alanis Morrissette concert. I’m a child of the 90’s and Jagged Little Pill was the first CD I ever bought.

So far the concert is still going on, but that could change. More importantly the border between Canada and the US is closed right now. It’s hard to say if the border will be opened by the time this trip is supposed to happen. The hostel we’re staying at cancelled our reservation but they are also closed and won’t be reopened during our trip. I got an email saying our flight has changed, meaning we won’t land in Portland until the next day.

I’m not stressed, anxious, or sad that the only travel I had for 2020 is likely getting cancelled. This statement might seem ridiculous to some, but if this situation had happened a few years ago I would have been devastated. I would have put on a calm demeanour and said I was fine, but inside I wouldn’t have been fine at all. Since I was 21 I’ve taken at least one trip a year to somewhere that’s new-to-me. Knowing I have a trip to go in the future helps to keep me focused and optimistic for the feature. When I’m not travelling ,or when I don’t have an upcoming trip planned I start to feel anxious and depressed.

While I wish I could go on this I understand I probably can’t. This pandemic is beyond anyone’s control (how we respond to it isn’t). There is no anyone who’s at fault for my trip getting cancelled. There is no one to blame for this situation (except the virus itself, but that isn’t going to fix anything). Everyone is doing the best they can in these strange times.

What’s helped me deal with this likely trip cancellation, and with the pandemic in general is reflecting back on my time in Ireland. When I moved to Ireland in August 2016 I came there alone, and I initially spent a lot of time alone as well. Eventually I got to know some people, but I didn’t have any close friends. Let me say this was through no one’s fault but my own. I tend to not talk to people I don’t know; it takes me a while before I start to feel comfortable around others. And while I could chat with friends and family online there was an 8 hour time difference. Often they wouldn’t be able to respond to my message for several hours and vice versa for myself. My parents and I would video chat every few weeks, but they were the only people back home I chatted with in real time.

Now I’m introverted, and even though I love travel I also love spending time at home. However; there came points while I was in Ireland, when I realized I’d spent days not talking to anyone. It took me several months (after an initial call center job that only lasted 2 weeks; which was not the job for me) to find work. For a while the only things I would say were phrases like “are you hiring?” “is your manager in?” and “here’s my CV.” I pretty soon came to realize that mental health had suffered greatly from being isolated.

With the situation going on now even though I’ve been laid off I’ll get hired back on when it’s safe to do so. Plus I’ll get hired on for the same wages and position I was in before. When I first got to Dublin I spent months looking for work with no luck. I had someone money saved for emergencies, but rent in Dublin is expensive (more than I realized). Soon that account got dwindled to nothing, and I was much to proud (read: stubborn) to ask for help. Finally I got an interview for a job I knew how to do and I was so relieved. Then a few hours into my first shift I was told it wasn’t going to work out, without any explanation.

I can’t explain how much that destroyed my mental and physical health at the time. I went home and cried, feeling broken and wondering how I was going to afford rent or even food. Then I got sick and I’m pretty sure it was in large part due to all the stress I was experiencing. I was in bed for 2 weeks, exhausted and nauseous only leaving my room to go to the bathroom. The only food I could keep down were a few saltine crackers I kept by my bed. Eventually I got better, and found employment, but it still took months and it wasn’t easy.

For myself at least, the first few months living in Dublin were much harder than what I’ve had to experience with this pandemic so far. There I was alone. I didn’t know anyone (aside from my two flatmates, but I didn’t know them well). I was running out of money (like I said rent in Dublin is expensive and my account got drained fast). When I got sick in October 2016 I was done. That might have been the worst month, psychologically and physically, I’ve ever had. I felt broken. I couldn’t stop crying. For me to stay home with my family, where I’m safe and have security and food is not a big deal. This to me is easy; I’ve got this.

I don’t say this to belittle anyone else’s experience. I know there are people who are going through hell right now, and I empathise with them. Whatever emotion your feeling whether it’s sadness or anger or fear or relief or whatnot is valid. I’d never want to demean your feelings or experience. While things in the world are a bit uncertain right now I’m not as isolated or stressed as I was in the latter part of 2016. My mental health during this pandemic is much better than it was when I first was in Ireland.

While I was in Ireland as soon as things were okay or stable for a bit something would come up to disrupt everything. Before I came to Ireland I knew I wasn’t great with change. Perhaps the universe got the message and decided “yeah don’t get comfortable ever because we’re gonna change things up for you.” I thought the move to Ireland itself would be the only big change I’d need to worry about, but it wasn’t. I had 4 different jobs in Ireland, and I had to move 3 different times (not including the initial move to Ireland).

None of these things were what I wanted, but just what happened. The last place I moved to was in July 2017. My birthday is July 23, and I had booked a few days off from work (a job I’d luckily been at for several months at that point) to go to Cork. Then I found out I’d have to move to a new place by the end of July. The place I was moving to would be able to let me move into my room about a week early. Since I knew I couldn’t afford to take more time off work for my trip and this move, plus I’d have to pay rent and a damage deposit for this new place I just decided to cancel my trip. Financially I couldn’t have afforded to go on this trip and move.

I spent my birthday that year moving by myself from Dublin to the small town of Donabate. I learned places in Ireland usually came furnished with a bed and wardrobe, so I didn’t need to move those items. But I did need to pack other items like clothes, bedding, food, etc into a suitcase and large backpack and move them by public transit. First walking 15 minutes to the bus stop, next taking the bus to Malahide, and then the train to Donabate and then another 8 minute walk to my new place. I had to make this trip several times that day and was exhausted by the end of it. This wasn’t how I wanted to spend the only birthday I’ve celebrated (so far) in another country.

One of the places I visited frequently after I moved to Donabate.

I was sad to have cancelled my birthday trip to Cork, but to be honest I was also kind of numb to everything that had happened. It was at the point where I thought “yeah of course this is happening, because why wouldn’t it?” I’d experienced so much change uncertainty during the 11 months of my time in Ireland thus far. Nothing surprised me. While things did work out, and I go to go to Cork that April my birthday move taught me something important. Don’t get comfortable, because life is here, life is chaotic and life doesn’t care about what you want.

I didn’t write a lot about Ireland when I was there because I wanted time to process things. Despite how it might seem on this post my time in Ireland wasn’t all bad. The hard stuff was hard, but there was a lot of good as well. I got to see some amazing places and learn things about Irish history and culture I didn’t know before. I eventually talked to people, and when I did I realized I could have talked them earlier and no one would’ve been offended like I’d assumed. We think our brains are smart, but they can be pretty stupid.

My time in Ireland taught me the importance of my mental health. How I shouldn’t keep myself isolated when things are hard. If I’d asked for help, even asked for someone to talk to early on I have no doubt my experience would’ve been better. Most important Ireland taught me not to get comfortable. I learned things change whether you want them to or not.

Obviously this pandemic is different than what happened when I was in Ireland. I don’t want to equate the two experiences because what’s happening now is completely unprecedented. Yet, I know everything I went through in Ireland is helping me to process what’s going on right now. I’m grateful that during this pandemic I’m with people I care about and who care about me. I’m grateful that I can talk to my friends via text or video chat and there isn’t an 8 hour time difference. I am relieved to know I’ve got support from the government to help me pay my bills. I am lucky that I can stay home, write, play piano, watch Netflix and learn German (I’ve always wanted to learn German).

I don’t want it to seem like I haven’t had any fears or anxieties during this time, because I have. When I was still at work (before our store had closed) I felt a lot of anxiety, particularly because I work at a store close to an airport. My eyes would feel watery and I’d wonder if it was allergies I usually get in the string, or if I was dying. Once we were informed our store would be closing I was relieved. I didn’t have to worry about factors I couldn’t control (basically what other people were or weren’t doing).

When the pandemic first broke out I felt a lot of anxiety watching the news and going on social media. Now I limit my exposure to the news to about an hour per day. This was also something I learned in Ireland. When I was in Ireland the 2016 US election had occurred and my only exposure to the election campaign were memes I saw about it. Now, if this seems like me being uninformed and avoiding reality maybe it was. At that time, with all I’d been through, I mentally couldn’t handle reading every news site and political commentator. Plus I am Canadian. I couldn’t have voted in the election. I couldn’t have changed the results.

“Staying informed” can easily cross over to the point of “ruminating over things you can’t control and stressing because there’s nothing you can do.” It seemed like many of my fellow Canadians back home had crossed that line during the 2016 US election. In Ireland I realized while it’s important to stay informed, I should get overwhelmed by things I can’t control. Instead of worrying about this things I can’t change I focus on what I can change. That is my actions, my attitudes, my behaviours.

Watching the news constantly and looking up things like how many people have corona virus right now? doesn’t help me. Most importantly it doesn’t change what’s going on. I can’t force everyone but essential workers to stay home, no matter how much I’d like to. I can’t change how a foreign government responds to the pandemic in their own country. What I can do is stay informed with what my government is doing. And let me say if you live in a country where you have the right to vote remember how your government responded to this pandemic the next time you’re at the polls. If you want things to change then don’t be apathetic when it comes to voting. Yes, sometimes life brings change, but sometimes we need to be that change.

I don’t want to sound out of touch with this situation, or like I don’t care because I do. This pandemic is serious, many people have gotten sick and many have lost their lives, which is heartbreaking. Essential workers are putting their lives in danger every day. Seeing that many are doing so with a lack of personal protective equipment is infuriating. People are stressed/scared/overwhelmed/traumatised. I’ve been there too. Today I feel all right, but tomorrow might be different.

I’ve heard sentiments like “I can’t wait for things to get back to normal.” I get that people don’t want to stay in this state forever, but to be honest I don’t want things to go back to normal. I don’t want things to return to how they were before, because things before weren’t great for everyone. This pandemic has shown people how much inequality exists in the world. We’ve been able to see the damage we’ve done to the planet and to each other. To say the world should go back to the status quo before the pandemic is cruel and unfair. I want things to be better than they were.

I don’t have any exact answers. I don’t want things to stay they way they are now, but I also know they won’t. The big thing I learned about in Ireland, more than historical facts or how to pour a perfect pint of Guinness or anything else is change. The only constant in life is change. Nothing, whether you perceive it as good or bad, will last forever. While I don’t know how things will change I know they will. The situation we’re in now will not last forever. Things might get better, things might get worse, but they won’t stay the same.

This might not be a comforting statement, but it’s the only truth I know. Things will change. I hope we’ve taken the time to look within ourselves, to prioritise our mental health, and to connect to others (even if it can only be online) to handle whatever change comes next.

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
https://www.takemetotheworld.com/life-during-uncertainty/feed/ 2
Musical Theatre Podcast Episode 9 – Reviews of Come From Away, Six, and Waitress https://www.takemetotheworld.com/musical-theatre-podcast-episode-9/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/musical-theatre-podcast-episode-9/#respond Mon, 06 Apr 2020 00:07:28 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=28408 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

In this episode of the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre podcast I review the three shows I saw in 2019 Come From Away, Six and Waitress.

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This helps to keep this website running.Thanks for your support.

On episode 9 of the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre Podcast I review the three musicals I saw last year. They were Come From AwaySix, and Waitress.

Quick correction: in the podcast I state that King Henry VIII’s first wife Catherine of Aragon didn’t bear him any children, but this is incorrect. She did have a daughter, but at the time (cue: the patriarchy) you had to have a son to be the heir to the throne. I also I wished one the shows good luck, when I should have clearly said “Break a Leg.”

Where to Listen to Episode 9?

If you haven’t heard it yet you can listen to Episode 9 on Podcasts.com

You can also listen and subscribe to the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre Podcast on your favourite podcast app or website below.

Google Play

iTunes

Spotify

Stitcher

Tune In

Resources – Music

This has links (mostly on Spotify, unless otherwise stated) to the cast recordings/soundtracks that I mentioned in this podcast, as well as to some musical playlists.

It’s Broadway, Bitch – Spotify Playlist. This has over 2000 songs from different musicals I’ve either seen or have listened to obsessively. Most of the playlist is from stage musicals, but I have a few movie musicals and musical TV shows as well. As I see more musicals and listen to more cast albums I’ll add them to this playlist. The albums are in random order. Some songs contain strong language and subject matter, so listener discretion is advised.

Sounds of Broadway. This is an online radio station with over 4600 songs from 560 different musicals. This is a great way to listen musicals you know and discover some musicals you may have never heard of before. The station also has a great weekly podcast about musicals as well.

Come From Away (2017 Original Broadway Cast)

Six (2018 Studio Cast)

Waitress (2016 Original Broadway Cast)

Resources – Videos

There aren’t any movie musicals of the three shows I saw. However as mentioned in the episode the musical Waitress is based on a movie of the same name. You can find links to watch the non-musical movie Waitress (2007) here. It’s pretty much the same as the musical, minus the whole musical aspect of it.

Resources – Websites and Apps

Come From Away. This has links to where you can buy tickets for the Broadway production of Come From Away. Due to Covid-19 this production might be on temporary hiatus.

Six. This has links to where you can buy tickets for all current productions of Six. Due to Covid-19 some of these productions might be on temporary hiatus.

Waitress. While the Broadway production of this show closed in January it does have some International and National tours. Due to Covid-19 some of these productions might be on a temporary hiatus.

Reddit Musicals and Reddit Musical Theatre. Both of these subreddits are great places to go if you want to talk about musicals, get tips (if you’re a performer), and to get recommendations on shows to check out.

Broadway Musical Home. This is an amazing website for any musical lover. They have an alphabetical list of over 300 musicals, and you can look up musicals by different categories like “based on a book” and “based on real life.” For anyone or any theatre company looking to put on a musicals you can check out the Rights page, where you can find where to get the rights to put on a variety of musicals.

Playbill has listing for shows (musicals and plays) in New York, London and National Tours.

Today Tix is an App for both iOS and Android. You can use the app to buy cheap, same day tickets for shows in cities like New York, London, Toronto, Chicago, and more. I used this app with great success in London and highly recommend it.

Use the Code JGZYL to save £10 (or $10) on your first order with Today Tix.

Check out some more Musical Theatre Podcast Episodes on Take Me to the World

What musicals did you see in 2019? Any musicals you hope to check out this year?

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
https://www.takemetotheworld.com/musical-theatre-podcast-episode-9/feed/ 0
For The Travellers Coming Home Because of Covid-19 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/travellers-coming-home/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/travellers-coming-home/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2020 04:18:38 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=28331 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

I'm socially isolating (and you should too if you can). So I decided to write a note to those who are coming home because of Covid-19.

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

I just want to say I’m sorry you’re having to come home earlier than you wanted because of Covid-19. And yes I’m apologizing for a global pandemic because I’m Canadian and apologizing is in my nature. I’m sorry you have to cut your vacation/study abroad/work abroad experience short and go home. It sucks. I know. I’ve been there.

I mean I didn’t have to go home because of a global pandemic and a virus that is spreading faster than we’d like with no vaccine for it. But I know what it’s like to have to cut a trip short. I went through something similar in Ireland.

I still haven’t written a ton about Ireland, and I am still processing my experience there (after almost two years of being back home in Canada). The people in Ireland are wonderful and the country is beautiful, but my experience was hard and filled with a lot of ups and downs. It wasn’t always easy, but I don’t regret going.

If you don’t know the story I went to Ireland on a working holiday visa in August 2016. I was supposed to stay there for two years. However the last job I worked was a temp job for an office that I started in February 2018. That May I was told my position was ending. Now I knew the job was a temp job. I wasn’t given an exact timeline when I started, but I was hoping that it would end closer to July or even early August. But it ended at the beginning of May. I had a short trip to Oslo, Norway planned and I wondered if I should cancel, but I did end up going.

Then I also had to find a way to stay in Ireland. I didn’t have enough money so I would need to find another job to stay til the end of my visa. And aside from the fact I hate job searching (had some pretty stressful experiences over that so it gives me a lot of anxiety) I also realized no one would hire someone on a working holiday visa that was ending in 3 months. I also knew that legit places that could hire me would ask for my GNIB card (which allowed me to work legally in the country). They’d be able to tell my visa (which couldn’t be renewed) would expire in a few months.

It took a lot of time and energy for me to find the work I did (I had other jobs before the office temp one), and I  couldn’t go through that stress again. I’d be spending time and energy on something that was going to last a few months at most. And then if I found a job I’d have to work to save up money for rent, and I wouldn’t get to spend the last few months enjoying Ireland. I’d just be working to survive and then go home.

So I made the hard decision to come home earlier than I wanted. Now I still got to spend a couple weeks around Dublin before I left. I got to take walks at my favourite park, go to the beach. I visited some museums. I took a hop on hop off tour in Dublin because I found a cheap Groupon deal and why not? I even went to some local day trip spots like Howth and Dún Laoghaire one last time.

A big tree stands in the forefront all alone on a grassy field, with several other trees away from it in the background.

A photo from one of the last visits I made to the Newbridge Estate where I was living in Donabate. Also, see how that big tree in front is by itself? Way to socially isolate tree! That’s how you flatten the curve.

I had some time to process my grief over not being able to stay in Ireland as long as I had wanted. And some might say, “yeah but you were going to have to leave eventually, so what’s the big deal if you left early?” And for me it comes down to a lack of control, because really if I had the money to stay longer, maybe €800 to help me with rent and bills I probably would have stayed another 4 or 6 weeks. But I didn’t have that option. Circumstances changed and I had to come home early and it sucked. And while I missed my friends and family back in Canada I didn’t want to leave Ireland so soon, and the way I did.

I cried so much when I was leaving Ireland. Especially when I thought about how far I’d be from the ocean once I got home to Edmonton.

I know for a lot of you coming home you also probably didn’t want to come home so soon. And I know that if coming for you is going to be a lot different than it was for me. I got to come home to family and friends. I got to see the new bridge in my city and attend festivals and check out new restaurants and all that. For those of you coming home now, especially if you’ve been gone for a while, it’s going to be different than my experience. Any travellers coming home from another are being advised to self-quarantine for a couple weeks. You’ll be isolated your loved ones (aside from perhaps any people you’ve travelled with who also live with you). You’ll probably be feeling a lot of reverse culture shock, particularly if you’ve been away for a long time.

Please for your mental health stay in touch (online, over the phone, etc) with your friends and family. Eat healthy meals. Be kind to yourself. Find something to do at home (whether that’s journaling, meditating, working on an online project, reading a book, yoga etc). I encourage you to stay informed with what’s going on, but don’t stay glued to the news or social media because you’ll just get more anxious than you need to be. Practice good hygiene (proper hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds, sneezing into a tissue or your elbow, and not touching your face). Stay away from others for at least 14 days, just in case. If you start feeling unwell call your doctor or healthcare provider to find out what to do next.

Most of all grieve. Feel sad for the loss of your trip and for the loss the things you were hoping to see and experience on your travels. Feel angry at this stupid fucking virus we can’t get a hold of quite yet. Feel upset at the lack of control you have over this whole situation. Feel what you feel (but don’t take it out on others). If you need to talk with someone reach out to a professional. Everyone’s mental health is taking a hit, and if you need to talk to a therapist via phone or online do so. There’s no shame in getting help.

In hindsight I can see that me coming home from Ireland wasn’t just about me being sad to end my work abroad experience earlier than I’d expected. It was also about me being uncertain and scared about my future (or as I really felt, a lack of a future). It was about feeling powerless and out of control of my own life. We like to believe that we have control. Many of us like to believe we have it figured out, or we can figure it out. Last March did anyone think I bet a year from now there’s going to be a global pandemic that’s going to kill thousands, shut down travel, shut down country’s borders, cripple the economy, and make terms like “going into quarantine” a common thing? No, probably not (unless you’re a doomsday prepper who’s been preparing for the apocalypse for the past twenty years).

My point being that no one currently alive now has ever lived through anything like this. The world just started to learn about Covid-19 a couple months ago, but even a few weeks ago borders were still open. Social isolation was just starting to catch on where I live. Last week I was still going to work at my retail job. Now, my work has shut down (at least til March 28, maybe later). I’m socially isolating. I know people in quarantine, and know of people who likely have Covid-19. I have friends and family who are in the high risk category for getting Covid-19 and not being able to recover. I have family in the healthcare field who may be exposing themselves to this virus every time they go to work.

This is a weird world we’re living in people. Things are not as they used to be, and the future for a lot of us is uncertain. I know travel is a luxury that many people can’t afford, and in the grand scheme of things having to cut a trip short shouldn’t be a big deal. But this is different. This isn’t cutting a trip short and coming home because you ran out of money (I mean maybe that’s also true for some of you). This is cutting a trip short because a health pandemic has taken over the globe that we don’t have a vaccine for yet. This is coming home because your country might be closing it’s borders, and if you don’t leave now you don’t know when you’ll be able to get home. This is ending your travels because the world has stopped functioning the way it did a few months ago. This is coming home to a very uncertain and different future than what you’d probably imagined.

I don’t want to end this on a bummer note. I know people are angry and confused and sad and anxious about everything that’s been happening. And even as an introvert it sucks knowing the only thing I can do is stay home, wash my hands properly for 20 seconds, not touch my face, sneeze/cough into a tissue, and stay away from other people as much as possible. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but I also know if everyone does this we can help to flatten the curve, helping to not burden the global medical system, and helping to save lives. When it feels out of control I think to myself how lucky I am that me staying home is doing a small part to make things a little better.

I like to try to look for the silver linings in these strange times, and I encourage you to do the same. I like to watch the videos of people in quarantine in Europe singing from their balconies. I like hearing how people are cheering the doctors and nurses when they go home. I like reading how the canals of Venice have cleared up, and that there’s less smog in China. I like to look back at my travel photos and think of how grateful I am that I’ve been able to visit the places in this world that I have. I like to put on my favourite upbeat songs and dance. I like to look at stupid memes and laugh at the absurdity of life.

In these times it’s important to have hope. It’s the first day of Spring today and the change of seasons always feels like a little reset to me. And it reminds me that everything ends, and at some point so will this situation. I can’t say for sure what’s on the other side of this, but I wish for us to make it through together with greater courage, plenty of wisdom, and more kindness for each other.

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
https://www.takemetotheworld.com/travellers-coming-home/feed/ 1
My Favourite Free Museums in Dublin https://www.takemetotheworld.com/free-museums-dublin/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/free-museums-dublin/#respond Thu, 12 Mar 2020 05:18:03 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=26739 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

Ireland's capital city can be a bit pricey, but luckily there are several free Dublin museums you can visit. These were my favourites.

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This helps to keep this website running.Thanks for your support.

This post was originally published March 11, 2020 and with the Covid-19 outbreak that’s been happening in several countries (including Ireland) it’s best to check and see if these museums are still operating during their normal hours. From what I understand they probably are, but if the situation in Ireland gets worse (and I hope it doesn’t) attractions like museums might close or possibly restrict visitors. Stay safe out there people. Wash your hands and if you’re sick stay home.


St. Patrick’s Day is coming up soon, which has me reminiscing about my time in Ireland. Dublin can get a bit pricey (especially if you’re drinking Guinness in the pubs all day long). If you want something cheap to do in Dublin (or if it’s raining, which happens) here are some free museums to visit. These are all museums I visited (some several times) while I was in Ireland. They’re all free for the most part, but there may be special exhibits with an extra cost. If you can donate a few Euros to keep these museums running I’m sure that helps them a lot. Be sure to visit the website for each of these museums to check their hours of operation. There are of course paid museums in Dublin as well, which I’ll be featuring on future post.

Note: The Liffey River divides Dublin into a north side and a south side. In this post I’ve divided the museums to those on the north side of the river, and those on the south side of the river. Most are still within the city centre, but for each museum I also listed nearby train and Luas stations (the Luas is the above ground tram). You can take the bus, but walking or taking the train/Luas will be the easiest way to reach most of these museums (particularly those on the south side).The addresses linked in this post will open to the museum’s location on Google Maps. I also made a Google Map of these museums (and put in the nearby Luas/train stations). Feel free to download or save the map to your phone to help you get around Dublin.


Museums on the North Side

Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane

The Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane is an art museum on the north side of Dublin (but still in the city centre). It has several paintings and works from artists all over the world. It features both permanent and rotating exhibits. My favourite permanent exhibit was the one on Irish artist Francis Bacon. The Hugh Lane houses many of his works, and has a re-creation of his art studio. It gives you information on Bacon’s influence on the impressionist and surrealist movements. The Hugh Lane is a small museum and is great to wander through for an hour or so.

Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane is located at The Charlemont House, Parnell Square, Dublin 1. If you’re taking the train the closest station is Connolly (about a 20 minute walk). If you’re taking the Luas it’s close to the Parnell Luas Stop on the Green Line. From there it’s about a five minute walk.

National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History

The National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History is run by the Irish government and has two museums in the same  building. One half of the building houses the Decorative Arts Museum. The other half houses the History Museum. The Decorative Arts Museum has displays of items like furniture, clothing, and arts and crafts. It’s an interesting way to see how life in Ireland has changed over the years. Unfortunately, I never made it to the History side of the museum. On my next visit to Dublin I’d want visit that part of the museum. Since there are two museums here be sure to give yourself time to see both (unlike myself).

The National Museum of Ireland  – Decorative Arts and History is located at the Collins Barracks, Benburb St, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7. This museum is further out of the city centre, but it’s easy to get to on the Luas. Take Red Line and get off at the Museum Luas stop. From there it’s about a 3 minute walk.

Museums on the South Side

Irish Museum of Modern Art

I don’t mind visiting art galleries, but I’ll be the first to admit that modern art really isn’t my forte. Then again I don’t know much about art in general (one reason why taking an art tour is a good idea if your an art noob like me). The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) is an art museum featuring contemporary works from Irish and international artists. They have both permanent and temporary exhibits. IMMA is also next to the The Gardens at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, which are great to wander around if it’s nice out. I only visited this museum once, but if you’re a fan of art (particularly modern art) then take a few hours to check out IMMA.

If the weather is nice you can check out the gardens outside the museum. There’s even art outside.

The Irish Museum of Modern Art is located at the former site of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Military Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8. IMMA is outside the city centre, but it’s still easy to get to. Take the Luas (Red Line) and get off at the James’s Luas Stop. From there it’s about an 8 minute walk. Note there’s a small canal you’ll cross on the Bow Bridge, but you won’t have to cross the river if you get off at the Jame’s Luas Stop. 

Chester Beatty Library

The Chester Beatty Library was one of my favourite free museums to visit in Dublin. Alfred Chester Beatty (known as Chester Beatty) was an American businessman and philanthropist. He moved to Dublin in 1950. In 1953 he started a library of his collections of rare books, manuscripts, and pieces of art from around the world. After his death in 1968 the Irish Government was given his collection. The Chester Beatty Library was opened on the grounds of Dublin Castle in 2000 (note there is admission to go inside Dublin castle, but the grounds are free to explore). The Chester Beatty Library also offer tours, and they have a rotating exhibit (both of which are free).   didn’t realize how much I liked looking at old books (and book illustrations) until I went to the Chester Beatty Library. And then returned there several times.

The Chester Beatty Library is located on the grounds of Dublin Castle, Dublin 2. There isn’t a train station nearby (the closest would be Tara Street or Pearse, either one’s about a 20 minute walk). The closest Luas would be the Dawson Street Stop on the green line (about a 15 minute walk).

The National Photographic Archive

The National Photographic Archive (sometimes called the Gallery of Photography) is a small photography gallery located in Temple Bar. It’s actually run by the National Library of Ireland (more on them in a bit). I only stopped in here once for a quick look around. Aside from photographic archives they also have a small photography exhibit, which changes throughout the year. As well they offer photography services like courses, a darkroom, printing and other photography support. If you’re in Temple Bar take a break from the overpriced pubs and check out The National Photographic Archive.

The National Photographic Archive is located at Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin 2. The closest train station would be Tara Street or Pearse (either one’s about a 20 minute walk). The closest Luas would be the Dawson Street Stop on the green line, which is about a 15 minute walk.



Booking.com

The Science Gallery

The Science Gallery is a museum run by Trinity College. It’s kind of like if a science museum and an art gallery had a baby. This isn’t a science museum for kids. Not that kids can’t come here, but the exhibits are generally geared towards adults. There are one or two science based exhibits about a particular in depth topic. Exhibits change every few months. Whenever I was in the area I always liked to pop into The Science Gallery to see what was new. The last time I was there they had an exhibit on extinct and endangered animals, and interesting exhibit on medical bio hacking (this was a couple years back now, so I’m sure it’s changed). There are often lectures at The Science Gallery about a variety of scientific topics as well (those would have an extra cost to attend). This is a unique museum for the scientifically curious.

The Science Gallery is located at The Naughton Institute, Trinity College, Pearse Street, Dublin 2. If you’re taking the train it’s about a 7 minute walk from Pearse Station. If you’re taking the Luas it’s close to the Trinity Luas Stop on the Green Line (also about a 7 minute walk).

National Museum of Ireland – Natural History

The National Museum of Ireland – Natural History is another Irish Government funded museum. It’s what some people refer to as The Dead Zoo. It’s small museum about natural history, involving taxidermied animals. There are two floors to this museum. The first is about Irish animals and the second is features animals from around the world). This museums isn’t very big, and you could see this museum in a short period of time. I’ll admit there are definitely better Natural History museums out there. So if you don’t have the interest or time I’d say this is a museum you could skip.

The National Museum of Ireland – Natural History is located at Merrion Street Upper, Dublin 2. If you’re taking the train the closest station is Pearse (about an 8 minutes). If you’re taking the Luas it’s close to the Dawson Street Luas Stop on the Green Line (about an 11 minute walk).

National Museum of Ireland – Archeology

The National Museum of Ireland – Archeology is another museum run by the Irish Government. It’s also right next to the Natural History Museum, so you can see both in a few hours. This museum is one of the bigger free museums in Dublin. There many artefacts and exhibits here about various periods in Ireland. There’s stuff from the early Neolithic and Bronze age. There’s a massive exhibit about the Viking period of Ireland. It features artefacts from the Celtic, and the early Christian period in Ireland. There’s also a small exhibit about Ancient Egypt. I visited this museum several times and always loved it. One thing I will say is this museum doesn’t offer wheelchair access for the upper floor exhibits. This museum also doesn’t give a ton of historic context for all their exhibits. One video in the Clontarf 1014 exhibit started with the narration of, “everyone knows about the Battle of Clontarf.” All I could think was “uh I don’t, what’s that?”So here’s the Wikipedia page on that battle so you’ll know what that’s all about.

Some Viking artefacts at the National Museum of Ireland – Archeology.

The National Museum of Ireland  – Archeology is located at Kildare Street, Dublin 2. The closest train station would be Pearse, and would then be a 10 minute walk. If you’re taking the Luas it’s close to the Dawson Street Luas Stop on the Green Line (about a 4 minute walk).

National Gallery of Ireland

The National Gallery of Ireland is an art museum, which is also very close the National Museums of Archeology and Natural History. It has historical sculptures and paintings by Irish artists like Maclise, Burton, Leech and Henry. It also houses work from other European artists such as Goya, Caravaggio, Van Gogh and others. While I visited some of the exhibits were closed (assuming for restorations), so I didn’t get to spend too much time here.

Inside the National Gallery of Ireland. This picture was taken the day I went blind on the train, which was a not fun experience.

The National Gallery of Ireland is located at Merrion Square West, Dublin 2. The closest train station would be Pearse, and from there it’s a 6 minute walk. If you’re taking the Luas it’s close to the Dawson Street Luas Stop on the Green Line (also about a 6 minute walk).

National Library of Ireland

The National Library of Ireland is close to the National Museum of Natural History and the Archeology Museum. Also the National Gallery is close by too. This area is really like the unofficial museum quarter of the city. The National Library of Ireland is a library, but doesn’t offer lending services. It’s more of a call ahead for a research paper type of library. For the general public there are a couple of exhibits the library has that are free to check out. One is on site and it’s about Irish author and poet William Butler Yeats. There’s also an exhibit about World War 1 that’s outside the main building (but in the area if you’re interested – I never visited this exhibit).

Outside the National Library of Ireland.

The National Library of Ireland is located at 7-8 Kildare St, Dublin 2. The closest train station is Pearse, and is then a 10 minute walk. If you’re taking the Luas it’s close to the Dawson Street Luas stop on the Green Line, and is then a 4 minute walk. If you want to visit The World War 1 Exhibit it’s at 2-3 Kildare St, Dublin 2. This is about a minute walk from the main building (shown above) for The National Library of Ireland.

What’s your favourite museum in Dublin? Do you enjoy free museums as much as I do?

Check out some more posts about Ireland

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
https://www.takemetotheworld.com/free-museums-dublin/feed/ 0
Goodbye to the Decade – My 2019 Trip to San Francisco, and Why It’s Okay to be a Tourist https://www.takemetotheworld.com/my-2019-trip-san-francisco/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/my-2019-trip-san-francisco/#respond Tue, 11 Feb 2020 02:58:43 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=28282 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

It's the last post in my retrospective of my travels in the 2010s. Today I'm looking back a trip I took in 2019 to San Francisco, California.

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

This is the final post in my 10 part retrospective looking back at a specific trip from each year of the 2010s. Read more about the series here. Today I’m talking about the 2019 day trip I took to the San Francisco, California. Previous editions of this series include


This is it, the final trip I’ll be talking about on my 2010s travel retrospective. In 2019 I didn’t do a ton of traveling, but I went to three places. The only new to me destination though was San Francisco.

This was a trip that I took with two of the three friends who’d come with my to New York City back in 2014. And it wasn’t a trip I necessarily expected to take. My one friend messaged me New Year’s Day 2019 and ASKED “wanna go to San Francisco?” I looked at the airfare, saw I could afford it and booked a ticket right away.

There are some places I visit where I just kind of wander around and do whatever, and then there are other places I visit where I want to hit the tourist spots. And this isn’t a post about traveller vs tourist (the entire dichotomy of that debate is based on a false premise that the two things are different and that you have to choose one, which isn’t true). Anyway when it came to San Francisco my friends and I wanted to do a lot of the tourist things.

We took a hop on hop off bus tour. We went across the Golden Gate Bridge (it’s very windy, particularly on an open air double-decker bus). We rode the cable cars. We went to Alcatraz (something I really wanted to do). We had sourdough bread at Boudin Bakery. We wandered around Chinatown and went to the place where fortune cookies were made. We wandered around Pier 39 and had lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, and spent some time at Fisherman’s Wharf. We did a harbor boat cruise where we went from the Golden Gate Bridge to the the Oakland Bridge (fun fact did you know there is someone on both of those bridges touching up the paint all day long…the guy on the Golden Gate Bridge saw our harbor cruise and waved). We walked down Lombard street (none of my friends or I wanted to drive down that street). The one semi touristy thing we didn’t do was spend anytime around Haight-Ashbury, but that’s mostly because we ran out of time.

A back alley of Chinatown in San Francisco.
Wandering around Chinatown in San Francisco.

I realize that above paragraph is just a boring dear diary list (you know, dear diary today I did this then I did this and then this,, etc) of my time in San Francisco. But I’m pointing all this out because if I’d gone to San Francisco myself I probably wouldn’t have done all this stuff. I tend to just kind of wander about when I travel solo. This can be great and lead to discovery things I never knew about, but it’s often stemmed from this subconscious/internal monologue of me going “okay you’re broke, you can’t afford to do all the stuff you really want to do, so just wander about this park because it’s free.”

A heart with the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay in Union Square, San Francisco, California.
There are several hearts in Union Square in San Francisco, which is a free place to visit. This heart was painted by Tony Bennett, who sings the famous song “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”

And I’m not here to tell you to break your budget (because I’ve gone into debt for some stupid reasons and I don’t want to encourage that mindset), but sometimes it’s worth paying a little bit more when you travel. I always try to balance things out. Like for this trip my friends and I stayed in a hostel because San Francisco is expensive af and my job only has part-time hours so I’m hella broke. But we splurged on some of the experiences we did like taking that harbour cruise, or visiting Alcatraz. If there’s something “touristy” that you’re interested in seeing you should budget the money out to do that. And when I travel alone I sometimes get overwhelmed with everything I could do that I don’t do much of anything. And when you travel with other people you have well other people’s opinions and preferences and ideas of things to do. I likely wouldn’t have gone to the California Academy of Sciences if I was in San Francisco on my own, but both my friends wanted to visit the museum, and it was actually a pretty cool museum to visit.

Outside of the old Alcatraz Penitentiary.
One of the places I wanted to visit was Alcatraz. It’s pretty popular to visit and tickets are limited, so it’s best to buy the tickets in advance. Alcatraz is run by the National Park Services, so be sure to buy tickets from https://www.alcatrazcruises.com because they’re the only website where you can buy official tickets for the ferry to Alcatraz Island.

I feel like I should have some grand epiphany when I travel, and particularly with this post being the end of this travel retrospective. And I do have realizations when I travel, usually about the places I visit, sometimes about the people I travel with or the people I meet on the road or about myself. And I don’t want to say you have to travel, because I know that not everyone has the means to travel or even wants to travel the way I do. For myself travel is the best learning experience I have, and I am so grateful for all the travel opportunities I’ve had in the 2010s. And of course I look forward to a new decade of travel experiences in the 2020s.

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
https://www.takemetotheworld.com/my-2019-trip-san-francisco/feed/ 0
Goodbye to the Decade – My 2018 Trip to Belfast, and Why I Love Day Trips https://www.takemetotheworld.com/my-2018-trip-belfast/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/my-2018-trip-belfast/#respond Wed, 29 Jan 2020 20:09:55 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=28275 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

In 2018 I took a day trip to Belfast to see some of the political murals in the city.

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

This post is part 9 of my 10 week retrospective looking back at a specific trip from each year of the 2010s. Read more about the series here. Today I’m talking about the 2018 day trip I took to the Belfast, Northern Ireland. Previous editions of this series include


In May of 2018 I’d been working as a temp at an office job in Dublin when I found out my contract was ending. I liked the job, but I knew it was temporary. When I found out it was ending a little sooner that I’d hoped I decided I’d come home to Canada in early June. I spent the next few weeks traveling, around Dublin, but I also went back to Belfast, Northern Ireland. I’d gone to Belfast the year before and spent a couple nights in the city. I wanted to go back to Belfast for a day trip to see some of the political murals in the city.

I’m going to attempt to give a little background on Irish and Northern Irish history, but I won’t be able to cover this topic the way it deserves. So here’s a brief, but also not so brief summary.

Ireland (as in the whole geographical island) was once under British rule. During this time some people wanted to break away from British control (known as Nationalists or Republicans). Others people wanted to remain under British rule (known as Unionists or Royalists). There was more nuances to it than that, but I don’t want to write a thesis paper on this complicated topic. Several independence movements started, which lead to a civil war (the Irish War of Independence) from 1919 to 1921. In 1949 all the counties on the island of Ireland voted whether to become an independent republic, or to remain under British rule. Six counties in the north Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone voted to remain under British rule. They formed the country of Northern Ireland and joined the United Kingdom (along with England, Scotland and Wales). The other 32 counties became the Republic of Ireland, which we refer to as Ireland today. Belfast became the capital of Northern Ireland ,and Dublin the capital of Ireland.

But the story isn’t over and that’s where The Troubles come in. This was a period from 1968 to 1998, when violent conflicts and bombings took place in Ireland and Northern Ireland (and some in England as well). These acts were done by both paramilitary groups and the British army, and mostly stemmed from political ideologies. The main two being about how Northern Ireland should be governed, and whether or not it should join the Republic of Ireland. During this period communities, neighbourhoods, and even families were divided into Republican/Nationalist versus Unionist/Loyalist. 3,500 people died (52% being civilians) from violent conflicts and bombings. On Good Friday 1998 the Belfast Agreement (also known as the Good Friday Agreement) was put forth. Both sides surrendered and a ceasefire was declared. In The Northern Ireland Assembly both Republican and Unionist parties should have equal power. As well at any time a referendum could be held for Northern Ireland to vote on whether to stay in the U.K or join the Republic of Ireland.

That brief overview was quite long, but also I’m sure I missed a ton of stuff. I do apologize for that, but there’s no way I can cover this topic in depth. But the too long didn’t read summary is; the history of Ireland and Northern Ireland is very complicated. Nowadays (or at least in 2018 when I was there) you can travel freely from Northern Ireland to Ireland and vice versa without any issues. I’m not sure if that will change with Brexit. I hope not because it’s from my understanding that a hard border (one with border patrol) between the two countries would likely cause problems. However Belfast still has some scars from it’s time in The Troubles. There are “peace walls” in certain parts of the city separating Unionist/Loyalist neighbourhoods and Nationalist/Republican ones. In these divided neighbourhoods are murals to pro Unionist/Loyalist or pro Nationalist/Republican members. And depending on who you ask the people on the murals might be seen as heroes or they might be seen as villains. History, and people are complicated, and there’s no singular truth or easy answer.

There are companies that will offer tours of these murals in Belfast, and that’s why I went back for a day trip. The tour I took was about 90 minutes and we went through several neighbourhoods. I didn’t actually take a lot of photos on the tour (although I was able to get it at most of the places). While you could do a walking tour on your own, I recommend finding one of the cab/car companies that do this tour. You’ll get a perspective on the murals from someone who lives in Belfast and knows the history of the city and Northern Ireland. If I’d walked around on my own I wouldn’t have any context for what I was seeing (plus I’d likely get lost cause that’s how I roll).

One of the peace walls in Belfast.

Mural of Republican activist Bobby Sands, who died from a hunger strike. There’s actually a really interesting documentary about Sands called 66 Days that’s worth checking out if you’re interested in learning more about Northern Ireland and The Troubles. 

There are also murals done by community members calling for peace. 

The legacy of The Troubles is a complicated one. While a peace wall doesn’t make sense to me I also understand that living through something is different than just hearing about it. One thing I came to appreciate about my time in Ireland and Northern Ireland was learning more about the history of these two countries. Belfast is an interesting city, and the energy there is very different from Dublin. It’s only about 2 hours from Dublin to Belfast by train and is a great place to go for a day trip (or even better for a few days). Aside from seeing the murals I also spent some time checking out at market at Belfast City Hall, and wandering around The Cathedral Quarter.

I would like to go back to Belfast and spend some more time there, and see more places in Northern Ireland at some point. However, I am happy I got to go back to Belfast for a day trip and learn more about the political murals there.

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
https://www.takemetotheworld.com/my-2018-trip-belfast/feed/ 0
Musical Theatre Podcast Episode 8 – A Chat About Musicals With Friends https://www.takemetotheworld.com/musical-theatre-podcast-episode-8/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/musical-theatre-podcast-episode-8/#respond Thu, 23 Jan 2020 20:45:09 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=27765 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

On this episode of the Take Me to the World musical theatre podcast my friends and I discuss some of our favourite and least favourite musicals.

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This helps to keep this website running.Thanks for your support.


On episode 8 of the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre Podcast two friends and I have a chat about musicals. Be prepared for a lot of giggling and nerding out about musicals. We discuss our least favourite song from our favourite musical, and our favourite song from our least favourite musical. I may or may not sing in this episode as well.

Where to Listen to Episode 8?

If you haven’t heard it yet you can listen to Episode 8 on Podcasts.com

You can also listen and subscribe to the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre Podcast on your favourite podcast app or website below.

Google Play

iTunes

Spotify

Stitcher

Tune In

Resources – Music

This has links (mostly on Spotify, unless otherwise stated) to the cast recordings/soundtracks that I mentioned in this podcast, as well as to some musical playlists.

It’s Broadway, Bitch – Spotify Playlist. This has over 2000 songs from different musicals I’ve either seen or have listened to obsessively. Most of the playlist is from stage musicals, but I have a few movie musicals and musical TV shows on here as well. Albums are in random order. Some songs contain strong language and subject matter, so listener discretion is advised.

Sounds of Broadway. This is an online radio station with over 4600 songs from 560 different musicals. This is a great way to listen musicals you know and discover some musicals you may have never heard of before. The station also has a great weekly podcast about musicals as well.

Across the Universe (2007 Movie Soundtrack)

Cats (1983 Original Broadway Cast)

The Little Mermaid (1989 Movie Soundtrack)

Mamma Mia (1999 Original Cast)

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993 Movie Soundtrack)

Rent (2005 Movie Soundtrack)

Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008 Movie Soundtrack)

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979 Original Broadway Cast)

The Who’s Tommy (1993 Original Broadway Cast)

Resources – Videos

These are links on Just Watch (unless otherwise noted) for the following movie versions of the musicals I talked about in this episode. Just Watch will have links to where you can watch these movies on various streaming sites.

Across the Universe (2007 Movie)

Cats (1998 Filmed Live Movie) – I won’t torture you with the 2019 version.

The Little Mermaid (1989 Movie)

Mamma Mia (2008 Movie)

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993 Movie)

Rent (2005 Movie)

Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008 Movie)

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007 Movie)

Tommy (1975 Movie)

Resources – Websites and Apps

Cats. This is where you can buy tickets for the North American tour.

Rent. This is where you can buy tickets for the North American tour.

Mamma Mia. This is the website where you can get tickets for various international productions of this musical.

The Who’s Tommy. There is a Broadway production for this musical slated to open sometime next year.

Reddit Musicals and Reddit Musical Theatre. Both of these subreddits are great places to go if you want to talk about musicals, get tips (if you’re a performer), and to get recommendations on shows to check out.

Broadway Musical Home. This is an amazing website for any musical lover. They have an alphabetical list of over 300 musicals, and you can look up musicals by different categories like “based on a book” and “based on real life.” For anyone or any theatre company looking to put on a musicals you can check out the Rights page, where you can find where to get the rights to put on a variety of musicals.

Playbill has listing for shows (musicals and plays) in New York, London and National Tours.

Today Tix is an App for both iOS and Android. You can use the app to buy cheap, same day tickets for shows in cities like New York, London, Toronto, Chicago, and more. I used this app with great success in London and highly recommend it.

Use the Code JGZYL to save £10 (or $10) on your first order with Today Tix.

Check out some more Musical Theatre Podcast Episodes on Take Me to the World

Now what is your favourite song from your least favourite musical? Or your least favourite song from your favourite musical.

Thanks for reading this post from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

]]>
https://www.takemetotheworld.com/musical-theatre-podcast-episode-8/feed/ 0