Talking with Strangers on the Beara Peninsula

Stealing a Day on the Beara Peninsula, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

At the time I met Noel—on an Irish morning flawless as a perfectly poured pint of Guinness—I had a plan: to spend the morning in glorious solitude. I would depart Kenmare after breakfast, drive west into the tranquil Beara Peninsula stopping to take photographs only if the mood struck fiercely. Two hours …

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Horse Riding and Travel: 5 Reasons to Ride

Horse Riding and Travel: 5 Reasons

Steel horseshoes struck 500-year-old cobblestones, echoing off brick walls of the homes and shops lining Callejón del Aguacate. Astride Frina, I tried out just-learned Spanish commands for horse riding and hoped she understood. I greeted children darting past on their way to school and the man peddling home-made hooch from his bicycle …

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The Art of Eavesdropping: What Happened to Flossie and Other Misadventures

©BGabriel, 2015 stealjustoneday.com

“Flossie died playing cards.” Like any good snoop and all-around Nosy Parker, my ears perked up as the unseen woman in the booth behind me spoke. Eavesdropping doesn’t get much better than this. I heard indistinct mumbling. Damn it, speak up! I silently urged her lunch partner, as my head …

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Make New Friends and Keep the Old Ones in Your Heart

Earlier this summer while traveling in Ireland I met Mickey, an Irish gentleman who came into the pub two floors below my rented room, for his pint. The pub’s owner, Maura, had just pulled my pint of Murphy’s stout, a gift to me as part of my stay. Maura’s pub …

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Whiskey Expert: Have Paper? Have Flask? Will Travel.

There’s a theory (you can look it up and read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers) referred to as the 10,000-hours rule, which basically says that if you practice something for that many hours you will pretty much be an expert at it. But the 10,000-hours rule notwithstanding, here is what makes someone …

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Sometimes a Vague Notion

I had this vague notion about my first trip to Ireland 15 years ago: that I would seek out some connection with an Irish ancestor who had emigrated sometime in the nineteenth century, landed in Minnesota and started procreating. The family had very little information about him. Because my husband …

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7 Airports, 4 Countries, 1 Carry-on bag, and Weather Systems up the Wazoo

I had managed to negotiate another Portland, Oregon winter without pepper-spraying anyone, which makes me a winner in practically anybody’s book. May was sliding cheeks first into June, the sun finally on a first-name basis with the earth and my adopted city was bursting with blooms and allergens and more …

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