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Tales from the Intern

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Similar to my past urges to go skydiving and bungee jumping, I have wanted to hitchhike ever since I discovered that ignoring good sense was fun. Going to W.B. Yeats’ grave was the entire basis of “’Round Ireland with an English Major,” so a trip to Sligo was crucial. Anne and I headed out from Galway and arrived with little money, a map of the city and a thirst for poetic sites (yes, I know that this is the opposite of normal).

The first stop was Drumcliffe, the church where Yeats was laid to rest. We thought that the idea of hitching to literary locales was generally hilarious, so we trekked down the road towards the church, and then stuck our thumbs out.

Three teenage boys pulled over almost immediately and with an alarming lack of hesitation, we hopped in the back of their blue compact car. We told them that we wanted to go to Yeats’ grave and dramatically added that we had come all the way from America to see it. I think that they thought we were both charming and odd.  So we made conversation about rap and the Yankees (grr), then got out of the car at Drumcliffe, wondering why we had waited until now to start hitchhiking- by far the cheapest and most entertaining form of transportation!

We approached the church, then spotted the tombstone, at which point Anne and I began to run. We ooed and awwed over the famous inscription, took dozens of soulful looking pictures to send to our college advisor (Dr. God), and then said our goodbyes.

The next stop was Lough Gill, a beautiful lake and the subject of several enchanting poems. We hitched twice more to get there, once with an awkwardly silent (but kind) family and once with a man whose multiple tattoos mainly concerned Jesus. We found ourselves about six miles out of town on a rarely traveled road and therefore had to walk all the way back. Despite a history of botched navigation, we followed our instincts and I made it to the bus in time to travel back to Galway, then Dublin, then the US.  Eight cities, seven bus rides, six days, five moments of pure insanity, four tired feet, three hitchhiking trips, two silly girls and one marriage proposal.


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