The Loss of Technology – A Weekend in Sligo

4 Dec

About a month ago, I had the opportunity and pleasure to spend a getaway weekend in Sligo, which is Northwest of Dublin. This trip was focused on leaving the hustle and bustle of the city center, and exploring a different side of Ireland. Sligo is an agricultural area surrounded by nature and wildlife. I was joined by a small group of students, and we stayed in Gyreum Ecolodge, which did not have any way of connecting to the internet. It was definitely a technology-free weekend, which made for a peaceful and quiet adventure. Although I could not use my cell phone to connect to any social networks or check my fantasy football team, it was a nice change, and provided for me more opportunities to do some self-reflection. Additionally, I must admit that a major advantage of spending the weekend in Sligo was the free food. I enjoyed the break from having to fend for myself. We arrived at Gyreum Ecolodge on a Friday, and spent the night getting acclimated to our new environment, unpacking our bags, and watching a movie with our entire group.

We woke up Saturday morning and performed yoga with a yoga instructor. This was the first time I had ever done yoga, which made for both a humiliating and relaxing learning experience. Next, we had breakfast which consisted of apples, oatmeal, and orange juice. We left Gyreum Ecolodge to begin our exploration of the county, where we hiked up mountains and visited a few cairns including Queen Maeve’s Tomb. After the hike, we prepared for either kayaking or surfing, depending upon each student’s preference. I decided to kayak, which was one of the most peaceful parts of the entire weekend. We were led by an instructor who gave us a short tutorial on the kayak, and then led us down a river for about 2 hours. When this ended, we quickly returned to Gyreum Ecolodge and ate dinner. It consisted of chicken, carrots, potatoes, and salad. This meal was definitely a highlight of the trip, and I helped myself to seconds. Later in the evening, an Irish band played traditional Irish music for us. I thoroughly enjoyed this, as I have always liked Irish folk music. After a long, packed day, we all went to sleep to prepare ourselves for our return to Dublin.

Overall, I found Sligo to be gratifying and peaceful. This excursion was yet another highpoint of the semester. As one who appreciates the outdoors, I did not mind staying in a technology-free zone. I would highly recommend this trip for future Northeastern students who come to Ireland, as it is the perfect way to temporarily leave the city, homework, and technology behind and focus on yourself.

 

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