Sunday, October 4, 2015

First Impressions: Ireland

The past 24 hours have been "good fun" as my new Irish friends would say. I'm not really sure how long I've been up at this point, but before I try to sleep, I wanted to note my first impressions.

Steering wheel on the right, shifting with the left hand. Eek!
We were "collected" from the Dublin airport about "half of six", or six thirty this morning by Michael. He worked with my classmate, Clayton this summer and will be guiding our team through the process of documenting Startup Ireland on social media during the week. I'll introduce you to everyone I'm working with as the week progresses. The Irish I've met are very nice and remind me of the people back home in the Midwest. They are hard working, welcoming and know how to make stressful work fun.

At the airport we learned more of the Startup Ireland story and made a game plan for the rest of the day. Once a cozy little cafe was open, Michael took us out for a solid breakfast. 

My egg and spinach dish hit the spot!
Before coming to Ireland, I knew drivers sit on the opposite side of the car and drive in the opposite lane on the road in Europe, but it really threw me for a loop when I got in. The Go Car we have as part of the event is a little Ford Focus, very similar to my car at home... except it's a manual and everything is flopped to the right. 

As we rode the short bit to the cafe, Rachel and I giggled in the back seat as we mistook passengers napping or putting on make up for distracted drivers. It seems like a simple change, but it's such an adjustment to look over and see a steering wheel in what seems should be the passenger seat after experiencing something so different for 21 years.

Our hotel, Waterloo Lodge. I just love the bright red door!
After a delicious egg brunch and more social media overview, we got notice that our hotel rooms were ready. Michael took us to the hotel to freshen up and drop off our bags while he prepared a few last minute conference details. Like everything so far in Europe our hotel is small, but nice. From the outside, it is not at all what I was expecting in a hotel, but really is beautiful inside and out.

A short time later, he returned to take us to Dublin forum venue. This is the location where several prominent speakers will gather tomorrow morning. Here we explored and met the rest of the people who have worked so hard to put this event together. I wish I could tell you more about it and show you pictures, but you'll have to check back tomorrow for that. We want our event guests to see for the first time right when they walk in.

Once "the three Americans" did all we could at the venue to help out with last minute arrangements, we set out to find burgers and "pints." Now after a full hot meal and a relaxing warm shower, I better sign off before I fall asleep. I'll do my best to get a short post up tomorrow, but in the mean time, follow the hashtag #startupIRL to see what I'm doing. Thanks for reading!

Good night! Time to catch some sleep!


  1. Loved hearing about your first day! What an adventure you will have!

    1. Thanks! I'll try to keep you updated about each day!