For road trippers, car checks are a vital part of ensuring your vehicle survives the trip. And yet they can often be the one bit of preparation that is forgotten. Eager to get on the road, many are quick to head out without looking under the hood. But if there's one thing I've learned from over five years of solo travel and vanlife, it's to always be prepared. Travel is a learning curve and the best way to become a good traveller is to learn quickly from your mistakes. That means wising up when things go wrong and seeing what you could have done to prevent it.
We've all had our fair share of travel calamities and I've definitely had quite a few when it comes to road trips. But the most important thing is to keep your sense of humour when these things happen. Accept that things can always go wrong and you can only be so prepared. The more you can adapt and pick up skills you can use the next time you travel – the better. So because I know I'm just as guilty of doing this. I wanted to share this post on the simple car checks you can do before a road trip.
Driving Australia's West Coast with a group of travellers, from Perth to Darwin. It was no small road trip with over 4,000km to cover. My friend had taken her car for a service and check-up before the trip to ensure it was safe. But the garage must have forgotten to screw on one of the bolts for the wheel. We were driving along the highway when she noticed something was wrong. Then suddenly the wheel fell off and the whole car was lop-sided. Thankfully they had been pulling over to park at the time so no-one was hurt. But it could have been very dangerous, and it was expensive to get towed and fixed.
An ex-boyfriend was driving up the West Coast to meet me in his van so we could drive the rest of the way together. But spookily, around the same area where the wheel fell off for my friend, his van suddenly broke down. He was stuck on the highway with the engine billowing black smoke. Now only did he have to get towed back to the town. But he ended up having to trade his van for a car! We still finished the road trip and loved that car.
I planned a road trip across Bulgaria with some friends and we had just picked up the hire car, parking it on the street. We went to get a bite to eat and returned five minutes later to see our vehicle was clamped. Luckily the fine wasn't too bad but we did end up wasting a lot of time.
Read: 15 reasons you should road trip across Bulgaria
This one was hilarious but a total pain in the arse. I had just spent a weekend in Brighton with an ex-boyfriend and we were on our way home. It was a hot day, and we had the top down in his convertible as we cruised down the M25. We couldn't hear the noise at first but after a while we noticed the grinding, scraping sound of metal and we had to pull over. When I looked under the car, the entire exhaust had fallen down and was dragging under the car. It was a mess, a long wait for recovery, very expensive and still three hours from home on a bank holiday. Not ideal.
So how can you prevent this from happening on your next road trip? Be smart, be organised and follow this checklist I've created. It features all the things you should check on your vehicle before any long journey. Spend a bit of time doing this before each trip. It could save you hours of standing by a windy motorway waiting for the AA man to show up after his Sunday roast.
Car checks don't all have to be done by you. Get a second opinion if you don't know enough about cars. Schedule regular check-ups for your car or van. Make sure you get any concerns looked at. Don't like the sound of that noise? Have it checked before you go.
Top up the fuel, the oil and even things like brake fluid and window washing liquid. Make sure your brake pads are still okay. Check the tyres have enough tread and if they need topping up.
You'd be amazed how many people are driving on the roads without insurance. So make sure you have a comprehensive insurance that covers you for all situations. This includes third party damage, and if you're doing any off-roading or parking in unusual spots.
Don't leave your lights on! This can run the battery down very quickly so be careful to check the inside lights when loading or unloading the car. If you leave the doors or windows open because of the heat then turn all lights off. Always make sure the engine is fully off and don't let your battery run down.
Check the rubber for any bulges or tears, drive carefully and avoid broken glass. Also, make sure the tread is still within the legal requirement. If you're planning on off-roading, be sure your tyres can handle it! Pack chains if you're driving in the snow.
Always pack for emergencies. On long trips it is smart to pack a torch, first-aid kit, blanket and some basic tools. Plus water and extra snacks in case you get stuck somewhere. Whether you break down, crash or simply get stuck in a mega traffic jam, it's always good to have supplies.
If you're planning a long trip, it can be helpful to have a navigation system. Don't just rely on your phone unless you're sure you'll have coverage everywhere. Garmin are good if you're looking at getting a Sat-Nav. But it does help to keep a back-up map in the car in case of emergencies.
Extra weight of overpacking places extra strain on the vehicle and can use a lot more fuel. Pack smart and find ways to reduce the amount you take. If you're road tripping long-term and have a roof rack full of stuff - arrange it carefully to be as streamlined as possible. Trust me, it makes a HUGE difference to how much fuel you consume.
Be smart about your travel times. Avoid hitting traffic or rush hour and you could save a lot of fuel and wasted time. Travelling late at night or early in the morning is great, open roads and not a soul in sight.
Here’s the deal if your car isn’t up to par then you’re either going to have to get it fixed up (which can potentially cost a lot of money) or you should sell it and upgrade to something better. IF you happen to take the route of selling your car one option to consider is Junk That Car, they state that they typically pay $500 or more in cash for junk cars. So, if you are thinking of selling it could be a smart choice.
Most importantly, once all the checks are done. Relax and really enjoy every second of your trip! Make it the trip of a lifetime. Even if things do go wrong, it isn't the end of the world. It just means another funny story to tell afterwards. The most important thing you can pack when things do go wrong is perspective. Take a deep breath, take care of it and then sit back until you're on your way again.
What was your worst road trip experience? Can you think of any other important car checks before a road trip? What was the best road trip you ever did?
On Sunday, I had a chance to live out all the dreams of five-year-old me. I was helping out a friend by working an event she had organised in the town where I live - Fairytales and Legends was right up my street, a day filled with Disney princesses, superheroes and dragons. First of all, serious kudos goes to my friend Abbie Panks who organised an absolutely amazing event that filled the town with families and countless excited children in fancy dress and face paints. It was an amazing feat, especially if you know quite how many other responsibilities she has that take up huge amounts of her time. I was so excited to be a part of the event - let's be honest, anything that gives me an excuse to wear a pink crown and lots of glitter is automatically awesome - but this was such a fun day.I was dispatched straight away on important glass slipper and treasure placement, followed by princess liaison duties - yes I will be updating my CV accordingly. And then was sent off as an escort for Batman, Captain America and Spiderman for the day. Essentially I was a bodyguard for Batman, I was mistaken for Captain America's girlfriend and spent the afternoon preventing Spiderman from being rugby tackled by kids high on e-numbers and groped by some rather forward grandmothers. It was absolutely hilarious. Later in the afternoon I also managed to sneak some photos with the princesses and hung out with Olaf and the girls from Frozen, plus had a lovely chat with the Fairy Godmother. A pretty good day in all! I won't chat on any longer - instead enjoy some of my pics from the day.
Did you go to the Fairytales & Legends event - what did you think? Which is your favourite Disney princess?
On Friday, I sat back at my old desk, in my old office, back doing the job I was doing before my whole adventure began. For a split second I could have easily been fooled into thinking the last 18 months never actually happened, that it was just my overactive imagination daydreaming about abseiling down waterfalls, sunset romances and sandy beaches. I wasn't sure whether it was a good idea for me to return to my old job when I headed back to the UK - sure it was convenient and in my actual industry. But it could also have been so easy to slide back into the rut I was in before I left - that painful, stressful and lonely place I was in. It wasn't all down to the job, but a lot had changed in my office and combined with the break-up of my nine-year relationship, life became pretty miserable. I found myself at my lowest point, but even when I was frantically climbing the walls in an attempt to stop from being buried under the remnants of my old life, I still couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. It was only when I hit breaking point that I could finally see a way out, losing so much so quick helped make things seem incredibly clear - it was time to go.
So after such an abrupt decision to leave in such a rocky state of mind, you can imagine how strange it felt to be back among the stacks of newspapers after two years away. But sitting back at that computer, I couldn't have felt any more different to how I did two years ago, it was like my whole perspective had shifted. Back then I was a workaholic who was driving herself into the ground working five jobs and stressing about giving 110% to each, now I've realised how that goes and it doesn't end well. This time I'm in control of the situation, I'm working the hours that I want to work and working freelance means not taking on a ridiculous workload that will leave me overwhelmed. I'm not going to lie, I'm still a workaholic and get called that all the time by friends and family, but I like to think I've learnt my limits. It was so refreshing to be able to work in the office and feel happy, to truly enjoy journalism and the construction of a story instead of worrying about covering 100 stories at once. Just like it was refreshing to come back to this town without stressing over a relationship that had run its course. I'm back to basics now, just focusing on me and doing the job I loved - just the way it should be.Travelling is incredible in so many ways, but what is really invaluable is what it leaves you with days, months or even years after you have stepped off the plane. Perspective, knowledge and an understanding of the way you want to live your life - not the way anyone else thinks you should be living it. I came back with all three of these and it made me determined that I would not get caught up in work while I was back, it is important for me to earn money for my trip around Europe and my return to Australia, but it is more important for me to enjoy my time here and to make the most of the opportunity to see all the people I have missed so much over the last 18 months. It can be so hard to come home after travelling - I had read about it so many times and spoken to friends just after their return, but you never understand unless you experience it. I now understand the struggle, the heartbreak that comes with leaving so many memories and amazing people behind you, the pangs when you've left a piece of your heart on the other side of the planet. The difficulty in adjusting to the life you left behind, to the friends, the family who have moved on and yet stay entirely the same, unchanged. That moment when you step back into your time capsule of a bedroom to be met by the unblinking eyes of the past staring down at you from the photos on your wall.
It's not easy to fit into a life that has moved on without you and yet stays strangely, and even irritatingly, familiar. But we do it because deep down, this is home. It doesn't matter how far we travel or how many amazing things we see, a part of us is always here in this funny little town filled with charity shops and old age pensioners. I didn't have to come back, I came back because I wanted to and because I missed my family, my friends and my home. So many can mistake travellers coming home and finding it difficult to readjust for them not actually not wanting to be here, that's not it at all, it's just a culture shock and we need time to adjust. That first intense burst of excitement of seeing everyone can soon fade as reality hits and between job-hunting and bad weather it can soon feel like a bit of an anti-climax to be here. For me, I feel like I never even had a chance to really enjoy that first moment of seeing everyone again because I was ill for the first two weeks of being home and couldn't really make the most of it, only now am I starting to feel a bit more settled.But what needs to be understood by the traveller returning home is that it is okay not to feel at home in the place that you once couldn't imagine a life outside of. It's okay to always feel a sense that you shouldn't be here, that you no longer belong here. It's called growth, it means you've changed and grown as a person in your time away and it just means that you take up a little bit more space in the world, perhaps this town you once called home can no longer contain the person you have become. Likewise, what needs to be understood by those welcoming home the traveller is that this is no longer the person you waved off at the airport - they still look the same and share all those amazing memories with you. But something deeper has shifted, something stronger than personality or opinion, their very core has been shaken by all that they have seen and experienced. So don't put it down to them being a wanky traveller who can't stop talking about their gap year, perhaps it's more than that. Perhaps it's more that their whole world has changed and if that's not something to talk about and share with the people who mean the most to you, I don't know what is.
How did you find returning home from travelling? How did travelling affect you? Did you struggle to settle back in at home?
I wrote this while I was floating high among the clouds somewhere between Australia and Malaysia, feeling like my life was some strange version of limbo caught halfway between two worlds - reality and the incredible life I’ve been living for the past 18 months. After quitting my job and deciding to travel the world solo, I set out on the adventure of a lifetime planning to return within a year and settle back into normal life. Well, that’s what I told everyone, even then I was planning to be gone much longer so it was never really a surprise to those closest to me when I skipped my flights and decided to follow my heart, instead exploring more of Australia than I ever dreamed I would and making plans for the future. I can’t even begin to put into words the effect the last 18 months has had on every aspect of my life - meeting such amazing people at every turn and seeing such incredible sights has really set my heart on fire and has opened me up to a whole new world that I could only fantasise about before now. But you see, the thing is, I felt totally unprepared for returning home. Yes that’s right, after the last 18 months of pure happiness I was finally headed back to the UK. It kind of snuck up on me, despite knowing for months my time in Melbourne would be ending and at some points really looking forward to my return simply to see my family and friends again after so long away. But when it finally came down to it, I just wasn’t ready.I thought I could handle it, I thought I would be okay. I said my final goodbyes to the very closest of friends and refused to shed tears as I knew it was really just “see you later”, but later would sit in the bath and cry at the thought of leaving this amazing family I’ve found in Melbourne. It really has been home - a place I finally felt settled in and loved my lifestyle, with fantastic friends and regular haunts, a career I could build into something greater than I ever imagined in such a short space of time. A chance to really make something of myself. Melbourne really was the city of opportunity for me and I will never forget the final months I spent here, they were more than I ever hoped they could be. But the one thing that really made it special, was the fact that this was where I was when I realised I was totally healed. I left the UK with a broken heart but returned the happiest I've ever been - travel was the best possible thing that could have happened to me. It truly is the greatest healer for a broken heart and I tell you why, it’s because it makes you focus entirely on yourself and what makes you happy, it forces you to be self-reliant and to fall back in love with yourself as a person, to truly learn to be alone and to enjoy it. I learnt so much by travelling solo and it has honestly been the best and most valuable experience of my entire life.Even though I know my journey is not at an end - I already have travel plans for the next few months across Europe before returning to Australia after the summer - I know that it is the end of an era. When I begin my travels again, I will no longer be a first-time solo traveller, I will know what I'm doing, I won't a mess of butterflies figuring it out and hoping for the best. I'm proud of that because it shows how much I have learnt since travelling solo, but it also means starting afresh in a whole new way of travelling. I really feel the last 18 months are the best reason to celebrate that I could ever think of - much as we celebrate when we graduate university or marry, we should all celebrate the fact that not only did we survive travelling, we smashed it! I learnt more in the last 18 months than I did from three years at university or a nine year relationship. I am so grateful for every single person who has been with me, whether it was the very first group of friends I made in Bangkok, or the amazing group of Pioneers I found on the Thai islands, whether it was the Darwin Dingos - the greatest travelling family I have ever known, or the crazy beautiful people I found in Melbourne. You're all so special in so many ways and you all brought such laughter and happiness into my life, you made my travelling experience.Now that I am half a world away from everything I have known for the past 18 months, I find myself reminiscing over every forgotten moment, every tiny detail and loving every part of the experience for what it was. I can't believe some of the things I have seen and done, and while a good rest was well-needed after working flat-out for so long, it just gets me even more excited for the next stage of travelling. So what am I doing back here? Well my plan is to be back for a few months, a couple spent working back at the newspaper before heading off to Europe to holiday with family and to visit friends before returning to Australia in September for Part II of my travelling adventure. I still have so many blog posts about Melbourne to share with you, plus any parts of Australia and Asia I may have forgotten to share with you all. Plus I have some exciting collaborations coming up and as always I'll be keeping you up-to-date with my adventures in the UK - it's been great having you guys along with me for every step of this adventure and I can't wait to share the next part with you all!
How did you find returning home after travelling? What travel plans have you got for the summer?
I made a new friend in Melbourne this week, he’s a local guy and we were talking about all the places I’d travelled within Australia and Asia. He was astonished to find out how much of the country I had already seen in just nine months, while he has spent his whole life here and barely seen beyond the Southern coast. But as I quickly reminded him, although I have seen so much of the other side of the globe, there is still so much of what lies right on my doorstep at home that I have not yet seen. It seems ridiculous to me to think that I have flown to the other side of the world, to travel extensively through Asia and yet I haven’t even been to Scotland. There are still huge parts of Ireland, Wales and England that I have yet to see, and I haven’t even seen half of Europe. My family have always had a preference for the exotic - for white, sandy beaches, tropical sun and spicy foods - and I think that has passed on to me. I can't help but dream of long-haul flights to destinations I thought I could only dream of, to imagine sipping cocktails while lying in a hammock that sways in the gentle breeze. But the longer I am away, the more I find myself longing to explore more of my own country - I want to see the counties and beautiful spots I have only heard about before now. I dream of surfing on Cornwall’s stunning beaches, of losing myself in the beauty of the Scottish moors and exploring bustling cities like York and Leeds.
We’re always very cynical of what lies right in front of our eyes - just like we always scoff at the place we come from because how could it possibly compare to these faraway lands? It’s because it’s all we know and whether you’ve travelled the UK or not it’s easy to assume it’s all very alike, especially when you have travel brochures advertising gorgeous Mexican beaches, once-in-a-lifetime safaris on the Serengeti or American road trips. But home can offer an experience you won’t find anywhere else - a chance to be a tourist in your own town. I often do this - coming from the Norfolk coast it’s easy to see the real beauty of the area and growing up I spent pretty much every weekend at the beaches building sandcastles and eating ice cream, or walking in the woodlands near my home. It was a perfect way to grow up and really made me appreciate how lucky I was to live somewhere so natural instead of the concrete surroundings of London. There's a reason great writers like Shakespeare, Austen and Brontë spend pages and pages describing the beautiful, wild, natural landscape of the UK. It's time we started to view our homeland through the eyes of these greats, to see the poetry in every rolling field or sky-scraper spotted skyline.
Britain holds so much natural beauty and so much diversity for such a small area of land - trust me when you’ve travelled countries like Australia you realise how tiny England really is. And yet we have such an incredible variety of people, of accents and dialects, personalities and landscapes. Seeing the surprise of other travellers from across the world really highlights the huge differences between the cultures of the north and south of England, let alone the rest of the UK. England has so much to offer in the way of quirky personality that you can really understand why just like all the youth of Britain travel thousands of miles across the world to explore Australia, youths from other nations are keen to head over to the UK to explore, work and live. It’s about time all us natives took the time to really enjoy our country and to see as much of it as possible. Not only is it cheaper than a plane ticket to Thailand, but you’ll get a chance to learn about and experience the different cultures that make up your own country. So many of us, myself included, know so little about our own heritage and history, and have seen so little of our most famous monuments, but now is the time to change all of that. One in particular that I have always wanted to see for myself, is Stonehenge. I feel like it must be such a magical place, surrounded by such mystery, and to witness it for yourself would be an amazing experience particularly at dusk or dawn, which to me are always the most special times of day.
Fancy visiting this incredible prehistoric location? British Tours offer a range of great tours to Stonehenge and several other destinations in the UK and beyond. For those looking to explore the magic of this particular location, there are day tours as well as special access tours that will give you the opportunity to witness this marvel as the sun dances on the horizon at dusk or dawn. The purpose and the construction of this awe-inspiring monument is one of the world's most enduring mysteries. Why did our ancestors build the circle - as a temple, a burial site, a place of healing, or a calendar? And how did they transport the massive stones weighing up to 50 tonnes from so far away? Arthurian legend has it that the circle was built by Merlin, assisted by giants. Stonehenge tours can be customised to include many other interesting locations like Bath, Salisbury, Winchester, Oxford, Windsor and the Avebury stone circle. Visit the megalithic stone circle surrounding the village of Avebury - lesser known than Stonehenge, this fascinating site's first stones predate those at Stonehenge by at least 200 years and form the largest stone circle in the world. All of their tours are privately guided by expert London tour guides who will collect you by car or minibus from your London hotel, with all tours available in all foreign languages. Whether you're on holiday or just want to see the real magic of the UK - check out these tours to see the country from a whole new perspective!
Have you been to Stonehenge - what was your experience like? Where are your favourite UK destinations to visit? What's your hometown like?
*This was a collaboration with British Tours but all views are my own
Being a seasoned backpacker not only opens your eyes to all the wonders certain regions of the world has to offer but also helps you know where to look for cost effective experiences. The ability to save money in certain areas can help you prolong your travel and get the most out of all the experiences along the way. Not everyone has an eye for detail when it comes to saving money but with the explosion of travel blogs, it has made it easier for us to look for useful resources online to aid us in saving that extra bit of money.
Many have blogged over the years about how London has ruthlessly depleted their budget through its expensive amenities, but if you seek cost effective travel and visit budget-friendly events, then you can experience a lot of culturally astounding places for a minimal cost. So, without further ado, here are a few tips for people visiting London to help them experience a lot for as little money as possible through the eyes of a seasoned backpacker:
Stay at a Hostel, Not a Hotel
There are many useful websites that you can source respected hostels to stay at while in London. Back up your research by going on Trip Advisor to look at the reviews of the respective hostels you are considering staying at, and you cannot go wrong.
Take Advantage of Public Transport
Using the tube or the buses in and around London will save you a considerable amount of money in the long run. It can be time consuming sometimes to use the night buses however it’s better than incurring huge taxi fares, as so many have fallen victim to over the years.
Visit the Free Museums and Galleries
There are a plethora of free museums that you can visit in London such as the National History Museum and the British Museum. There are also many galleries that allow you to view their exhibitions for free. London online zine Time Out regularly post all the free gallery listings for London, and is definitely worth checking out before you visit London.
Eat at Buffet Restaurants
Places like China Town in London is revered for its all you can eat buffets that are extremely affordable. In most of the establishments you can also take your own alcohol – an altogether more affordable way of dining out.
Incorporate Out-of-London Travel in Your Budget
Travelling to our capital wouldn’t be complete without trying to sample the surrounding areas of London. Something that most backpackers try and do is set aside some money for vehicle hire at some point during their trip.
At busy aviation hubs such as London Stansted, they have Mid stay and valet parking services, that allow travellers to pick up hire cares from the airport terminal car parks. Many use the process, because it is extremely easy and efficient. Within an hour or so, you can be on your way, taking in the sights away from London and its surrounding boroughs en route to your final destination. Additionally, valet services mean you can return the cars to the departure terminals, too and the hire companies will pick them up for you. Which means there’s no lugging your bags on the Tube or buses before saying good bye to London and travelling home.
Hopefully, some of the tips to save money when visiting London will inspire some other cost efficient ideas for when you’re planning your travels. Feel free to leave any other money saving ideas In the the comments sections directly below this article to aid your fellow travel enthusiasts.
How else can you save money while visiting or travelling through London? What tips can you apply to any cities?
Image credit: www.ontheluce.com
As you read this, I'm packing and getting ready to go to the airport for a wedding in Ireland with the boyfriend's family. I'm so unbelievably excited about this wedding, there has been one every autumn for the last few years, but this is the last one for a while and it's a very special one. This wedding is taking us to a tiny island in the centre of Waterford, where the wedding will take place in a castle! I visited the castle last September and it was just beautiful, like something out of a fairytale, and covered in trailing red flowers. Looking at it, I half expected Rapunzel to lean out of the turrets and pour down her golden hair. We're actually staying on the island in lodges as well so we won't have far to stumble back to bed after the wedding, but in true Irish style, the celebrations will continue for three days of partying, drinking, eating and being very merry. So, this post is all about celebrating the 10 things I love the most about Ireland, and what has kept me going back every autumn for the last few years.
Everyone I have met in Ireland has been friendly, welcoming and has gone out of their way to make you feel at home. I wouldn't want to generalise but if you walk down the street in England, you will be met with more frowns and grumpy faces than you can cope with, but in Ireland, everyone has always been happy to see me and chat. Everyone I have ever met on my visits has been warm and kind, plus quick to help if you are lots of need a recommendation. Plus, THAT accent gets me every time.
Ireland is a beautiful country with everything to offer, inland there are rolling hills and lush green fields full of cows and sheep. On the coast there are stunning beaches, cute seaside towns and choppy waves. So many towns look like time forgot them and they still hold that quaint appeal in the tiny churches and hole-in-the-wall pubs with warm fires and great music.THE FOOD
You guys know by now, I love my food and anywhere that can promise me a good meal is going high up in my estimations. Well Ireland certainly delivers, and particularly at last year's wedding where we had some amazing freshly caught seafood in the coastal town where we were staying, and had the gorgeous prime Irish beef as the main wedding meal. Yum. Looking forward to seeing what food we'll get this time!
Every single time we go to an Irish wedding it is a pretty legendary night - the last one saw us partying with the bride to an epic soundtrack she had picked herself and downing beers until the sun came up - the bride and groom actually carried on and yet still beat us to breakfast! Another one we went to was pretty manic and ended up with me locked out of the hotel room and having to bunk in with some cousins! These events always involve a lot of booze, dancing and fun so I'm sure I'll have some tales to tell after this one! THE FAMILY
I really love getting to spend time with the boyfriend's extended family - my family, although big, are spread across the globe and we don't often see each other. When we do, we are not particularly close, so it is lovely to spend time with a family who make such an effort to get together and to celebrate even the tiniest occasions. It is a lovely thing to be a part of and they do make me a big part of it. At this wedding, a member of the family will be travelling from South Africa to ordain the ceremony, and there are lots of others travelling from America.
As you guys know, I've been working constantly for a long time now and have been saving hard for backpacking in a few months, I haven't really had a proper break because all my holiday time has been spent at festivals which are just as crazy! So this will be a nice relaxing break as well, a chance to regroup and get away from work for a bit. I have long needed a break - that's for sure! Ireland is the perfect place for a break because although you feel a million miles away from home, it is super convenient to get to.THE ACTIVITIES
Every time I've visited Ireland, we've had no end of fun things to do, see and try. Previously we've had big family meals, gone walking around the coast, watched family take part in a 10k run, taken the kids to the funfair, visited a monastery and family graves, and even gone to the races! This time, there is a big golfing game to join in and, obviously the wedding, but we also have a huge family do the day after at a well-known pub, which will give us lots of time to spend together. There's so much to do!
Have you been to Ireland? What did you think of the country and what has made it a special place for you?