Embrace your E-Notions

Hanging out in Sedona, Arizona, USA

I was delighted to be asked to write a post for The Rose of Tralee International Festival Blog. I can honestly say that applying to become a Rose Escort back in 2016 was one of the best decisions of my life! Applications for the 2019 Rose Escorts are now closed, but you can still apply to be a Rose by clicking here. The Rose of Tralee Blog is really good! It has loads of interesting posts from former and current Roses and Rose Escorts. Click here to have a look! I would The Rose of Tralee International Festival for asking me to write this piece. I am incredibly flattered!

I was a Rose Escort for both the 2016 and 2017 Festivals. I was generously sponsored by Fortune’s Pharmacy, Wexford on both occasions. During my time in Tralee, I was a Rose Escort for Roses from Philadelphia, Yorkshire (both years) and Abu Dhabi..

In Tralee, Ireland with fellow Rose Escorts, (L-R): Dylan Walsh, Andrew Mac Guinness, Barry O’Fiachain, Damien Boylan

How I Did it

Why did I decide to set up Notions on Tour? Being a pharmacist, I sometimes find I need a focus for my creative side. Let’s face it, the world of pharmacy isn’t known for its in-built creativity! I knew little or nothing about the technological side of setting up a website and I was eager to learn this new skill.

Chilling (literally!) in a Glacial Cave on Fox Glacier, New Zealand

Plus I was getting loads of comments from friends and family about how much they enjoyed following my travels on social media. They asked questions about the places I visited, everything from what I’d recommend, to what I’d do again. A few even asked me to plan out things for them to do when they visited the same place.

When I was building the initial content I was worried that I would run out of things to write about, especially because up to this point I hadn’t been going away with a view to reviewing everything. Thankfully, the more I wrote, the more I thought of!

With my 2017 Abu Dhabi Rose Niamh Kelly, backstage in the Rose of Tralee Festival Dome, Tralee, Ireland

Why I Did It

When I applied to be a Rose Escort in 2016, I wasn’t enjoying good mental health. I filled in the application and sent it off hoping for the best. A few short months later I was successful at interview and the rest is history! I made so many new friends over the two years and my mental health changed for the better. It was was literally a life changing experience.

My time at the Rose of Tralee Festival taught me the benefits of not planning everything out. I was invited by so many of my friends from both of my Rose Classes to visit them. As a result I spent three weeks exploring the USA in the run up to the 2017 Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in New York.

Sky-Diving in Abel Tasman, New Zealand

In Chicago, there was a gang of us in a bar the evening before we took part in first parade. The New Zealand Rose, Hannah Greally, was sitting across from me and she asked me to go visit her. Until then, I had no aspirations to travel to New Zealand. When I joined the Rose Family, I decided that I would approach all Tralee related events with the attitude that if I were presented with an opportunity I would take it. So naturally I said I’d love to go visit!

The trip to New Zealand became a trip to Australia because, when you’re that far you might as well! After I was paired with 2017 Abu Dhabi Rose Niamh Kelly, I decided I’d take the time to visit her on my way home. So this, along with my time spent exploring the USA, showed me I had a taste for this travel thing.

Taking in the Majesty of the Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

Notions on Tour Mapped Out

My original motivation for travelling was to visit my friends and to get a few nice photos to put up in my house. Now, I travel in order to do all of these and to hopefully help others to make the most of their holidays.

I find I’m really embracing my unique style of travelling the world. I focus on finding a destination that has a rich and interesting history, coupled with iconic experiences and a generous sprinkling of luxury. For example, I’ve just returned from Vienna, which has all of these and more.

In time, I hope to get to work with various organisations to review, publicise and experience what they have to offer. Everything from tourist attractions, experiences and accommodation, to delicious food!

Doing the blog has increased my self-confidence significantly and has brought further balance to my life. Even if I am doing all of this, as well as working full time and constantly rehearsing for the next musical theatre show. Maybe two seasons at the Rose of Tralee Festival have helped with stamina too. So, come on, embrace your inner notions and take a tour!

Trying to Get my Head Around the Scale of The Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

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