The highlight of this month has been that my lovely friend, Manna Sakon, a Hope alumni who is now a middle school ELS teacher, came to visit me in Ireland during her spring break. We took a short weekend trip to Barcelona, Spain, and two takeaways from this trip were: 1. show up to the airport early and 2. do research to keep traveling costs low.

  • Day 1

Our ambitious plan to get the most out of Barcelona by arriving there by 10 am failed miserably because we were still waiting at the security when the gate closed. Our flight was supposed to depart at about 6 am, so we showed up at Dublin Airport at 4 am ignoring the email warning us to get there at least 4 hours early. We thought to ourselves, “who actually shows up that early?” Well, smart ones did, I guess. Thanks to the considerate Ryanair staff, we managed to get on the next flight at 9:30 am for free but we did have to sit on a bus for 1hr 30min to get to Barcelona city center from Reus Airport, which was a different airport than what our 6 am flight was supposed to land in.

Missing the flight worked out well because we got to see other parts of Spain and we also got a chance to plan our itinerary.

Manna Sakon

Traveling can be exhausting and stressful but with Manna, such concern ceases to exist. Perhaps you can get a sense from her comment above but she is so optimistic it helped me see the good in bad situations. But still, pay attention to the warnings from airlines! Lessons learned 🙂

  • Day 2

As broke young adults, we were on a tight budget. Manna and I cleverly came up with ways to enjoy sightseeing while being frugal. To save a penny, we did everything from walking everywhere to finding free admission days for museums to attending mass to enter the cathedrals (neither of us is Catholic but it was truly a cool way to appreciate the architecture as well as the power of faith that brings people together from all kinds of backgrounds). I’m usually a person who loves being spontaneous and flexible but this trip has taught me that a little research can take you very far. Like Manna said, maybe it was good that we missed our flight because we ended up saving tons of money thanks to the couple of hours we had at Dublin Airport waiting for the next plane!

Published by yuki.kojima

Class of 2022 Business and Psychology Double Major IES Dublin, Ireland

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