When I wrote this first dispatch, I sat in Hard Rock Café in Dublin, waiting for my chicken and mojito. It was delicious, although the Mojito could have been stronger. It was six hours after I stepped out of my front door to begin my Dublin holiday.
The trip to Manchester Airport was uneventful. My Dad drove my car (he complained about how untidy it was) and dropped me off at Terminal 3. The journey took an hour, down the M6 and onto the M56. The drop off was quick, the farewell was short, and I walked into the terminal.
I took a small suitcase and messenger back, allowing me to walk through security without worrying about checking in a large suitcase. Security was less than 10 minutes and the long wait to board the plane began.
There is little to do in the departure lounge but eat and shop and that becomes apparent when you fly alone. I ordered a Costa Hot Chocolate and wondered around. The hot chocolate was an error. I assume I got the dregs because it was foul. Not the usual standard of hot chocolate I’m used to with Costa.
The other thing I noticed about Terminal 3 is that seating is atrocious. I never settled for too long because getting a comfortable seat was nigh impossible.
Around 11:20 AM, the attendant called my flight for Gate 51, and I’d book priority boarding. I was fourth to step on board. My only advice for Ryanair is to take one row of seats out, space the rows out more and give a little extra legroom. Ironically, it would be my row of 33 that would be removed, so I wouldn’t feel squished because I wouldn’t be on the flight.
Flying from Manchester to Dublin took less than an hour. The bus journey from the airport to the hostel took less than thirty minutes. I reached Abigail Hostel at 14:20 PM, five hours after I left my house.
Arriving into anxiety
Arriving is when the anxiety tried to fuck with me. I knew this solo trip would challenge me but didn’t expect it to be this soon.
The hostel changed the three person room I’d booked into an eight person room. Because of my anxiety, I’d booked a three person room because I believed I’d be able to handle that small number of folks. The thought of an eight person room terrified my mind into paranoid action. I tried to get them to find another room or hoped they’d offer me a private room. Unfortunately for my anxiety, they couldn’t, but they were apologetic and refunded me half, which satisfied me.
I climbed the stairs to the second floor and entered room 28. Four guys were lying on the lower bunks of the four sets of beds. I took a top bunk, but couldn’t remain long. My mind screamed at me to exit the room. I half-put the mattress sheet on, put the pillow inside the pillow case and abandoned the duvet coat, pulled my leather jacket on with my messenger bag on my shoulder and exited the room. I left my suitcase behind.
Not a single word has been spoken, and I was in the room for less than 2 minutes. The anxiety attack didn’t stop there, which is how I ended up in the Hard Rock Café around the corner.
Search for the towel
I forget to take a towel every time I go on holiday and this time was no exception. When leaving Hard Rock Café, it smacked me in the face that I didn’t have a towel. I wondered the streets of Dublin for two hours, walking in and out of shops, hunting for a towel. Eventually, after much time, I purchased a Jaspar Conran towel from Debenhams. It was on sale.
I returned to the room and found it empty, giving me alone time to relax and regain control. I hadn’t stopped sweating since I entered the airport and my return to the room was seven hours after that. My t-shirt was sodden and my leather jacket smelt strangely metallic. I intended to change when I first arrived, but the anxiety attack prevented that.
I finished making my bed and changed into a fresh set of clothes and took a nap. While I walked the streets of Dublin, my anxiety told me to find a way home early, told me I wouldn’t survive the five days. This strong attack resulted in a battle of several hours. Safe to say I was exhausted as a consequence of the travel and the attack.
I napped for another two hours, allowing me to recover. It was the only anxiety attack I had that week. It may have been strong, but I won out against it. When I woke, I briefly planned the rest of the week (nothing went to plan) and prepped to explore.