Friday, February 11, 2011

So I'll be Coming Home to a New Start...

Time for another Europe update! The days until we leave just keep ticking down, I can't wait!

First things first, I had a meeting regarding my application for unpaid leave. I knew it was a long shot, but it was worth a try to come home to an income, especially with animals to house and a personal loan to pay off. My request to keep my job open has been declined, but I'm not sad about it.

There are always extra shifts to be done at work, answering emails and letters and that sort of thing, so it is very very likely that with an email to my boss and a quick catch up I can pick up a few shifts when I get back, so that I at least have an income. If they have any Team Leader or Training roles open at the time, I will apply, and otherwise I need to view this as an opportunity for a new adventure. An even better job might be around the corner, you never know. So that's that, I now know that I will be leaving my place of work on 9 June, after almost 4 years by then, and that I will be coming home to a whole new experience. Scary, but exciting!

Next, we have booked a few other bits and pieces. The top of Courtney's list is a tour of the Guiness Brewery in Dublin. You can book an open ticket valid for use any day within the next 12 months, the benefits being that you can skip the queue on the day and also get a discount off the ticket price (from 15 Euros per adult to 13.50). The tour is self guided and takes approximately an hour and a half, ending with a free pint. The website promises that it's Dublin's number one tourist attrcation although to be honest the castle and cathedral both look average from what I've seen online so that probably helps.

Of course, to see Guiness in Dublin, we need somewhere to stay and we have booked our hostel for Dublin as well, Mount Eccles Court Hostel. We originally planned on staying at Shining Hostel but HostelBookers promise of 8.45 Euros a night turned out to be for the first night only, and 20-something a night after that. Mount Eccles Court has everything we need - easy location, free breakfast, free wifi and good reviews.

Our next stop after Dublin is London, and we have just booked our flights between the two and our London Hostel as well. We will be flying with RyanAir, leaving Dublin at 10pm and arriving in London an hour and five minutes later. Sure, we won't get to the hostel till midnight, but we will get an extra full day in Dublin, for a total of... two full days in Dublin. It will be worth it!

We booked our flight through SkyScanner, which I cannot recommend more highly. It searches all airlines and then displays every flight available, meaning you can get the cheapest deal possible. Unlike a travel agent website, it displays every single flight going into an airport, rather than just the airlines it has deals with.

When we do eventually get to our hostel we will be staying at Journey's King's Cross Hostel, in, whaddayaknow, King's Cross. Again, this isn't the hostel we originally planned for, hoping to book St Christopher's Inn in Camden, because the area looks awesome. However, HostelBookers didn't have any availability for the cheapest room and thankfully I think we've struck a better deal with Journey's. Not only do we get free wifi, free breakfast and an awesome location, but the beds each have full privacy curtains, individual reading lights and individual power jacks for charging our laptop, phones and camera batteries (hello, technology dependency!).

Everything is coming together, this is awesome! 18 weeks to go!