Working abroad in Europe: a priceless experience

Living and working abroad is one of the greatest experiences available in life. Europe in particular is rich in complex culture, history and culinary delights. This is a shortlist of what I’ve achieved and experienced in the past 7 months, while working full-time in Ireland and making the most of the travel opportunities.  I hope this inspires you for your working abroad journey.

Winter to Summer 2016: mid-year recap

  • A picturesque 2 day (40km) mountain hike through Wicklow Way
  • Dining at the exquisitely upmarket Ritz Restaurant and touring the London Tower Bridge
  • Marveling at Copenhagen’s architecture and beautiful canals
  • Summiting Slieve Donard and Slieve Croob in Northern Ireland (tallest and second tallest mountains, all in one weekend)
  • Feeding my inner pyromaniac with searing flames during the Mons summer fire festival, Southern Belgium
  • Learning to fly a drone, taking footage of photogenic lakes, forests and fields
  • Volunteered at Coder Dojo’s Coolest Projects
  • Enjoying the view from the London Eye, exploring Southbank and learning about modern Mudlarks along the Thames
  • Brunching in complete darkness at cTaste, Amsterdam, followed by sampling of fine Dutch cheeses
  • Understanding only half of the jokes in local Irish theatre (we saw the hilarious Ross O’Carroll-Kelly)
  • Immersing in the Netherlands springtime, filled with blooming Japanese cherry blossoms and endless tulip fields
  • Laughing it up with weekly free Dublin comedy and Retro Gaming nights
  • Road tripping around western Ireland – gazing at the incredible Cliffs of Moher in twilight, clapping along to traditional Irish music and navigating single-lane seaside roads
  • Gasping at the wealth splashed around in Monaco while enjoying the best value pizza in the world (50cm for €15 – I’m sorry to say that I couldn’t finish it)
  • Bathing in sunlight and hillwalking by the extraordinary coastal waters of Nice, Southern France
  • Discovering one of the last living medieval cities, Carcassonne, France
  • Endless coastal road trips – Bray, Dun Laoghaire and the Copper Coast drive are top mentions
  • Navigating snowy roads and unique small towns in Southern Belgium
  • Dublin and Wicklow mountain hikes such as the beautiful Glendalough lakes, stopping for dinner at the famous Johnnie Fox’s
  • Tours of local Dublin attractions and its history; Dublin Castle, Guinness storehouse and Kilmainham Gaol
  • Gorgeous scenic train rides through the Black Forest, followed by hot springs in Baden Baden
  • Seeing the fairytale castle Neuschwanstein and new year fireworks in Feussen
  • Climbing Zugspitze, Germany’s tallest peak, with incredible alpine views
  • Munich’s beer hall festivities and strolling through its beautiful inner city gardens
  • Learning about Warsaw and Poland; the interactive Chopin museum, charming Old Town and merry Christmas Markets

So what’s next for 2016?

These months have gone by astonishingly quickly.  Yet there’s still much to see and do; in fact, the journey has hardly begun. Here’s what’s on the table for the next 6 months:

  • Weekend trips to Milan, Paris, Madrid and Barcelona
  • A week-long hiking trip through the famous Mont Blanc alpine route (Tour du Mont Blanc)
  • Star-gazing with the northern lights in Northern Sweden/Norway
  • Experiencing volcanoes, geysirs, ice caves and hot springs in Iceland

Stay tuned for more exciting adventures and guidance on how to work abroad and make the most of your travels. Be sure to let me know if you have a must-do suggestion!