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Black Don’t Craic Series: Part 1, Vacation Hair

I’m two days away from spending a month in Ireland and I’m terribly anxious about a very minor thing. It’s very minor to my white husband, considering he’s still teaching himself Irish (which is a HUGE deal to him). I’m worried about Vacation Hair.

Vacation Hair for many black women is a big deal. Sure, there’s planning the essentials like power adapters, passport renewal, and bringing copious amounts of underwear. But when you’re abroad, in countries that might not have the products you’re accustomed to, what’s your plan? No really, what’s your plan? I’m two days away from this trip and I’m still panicking.

The last time I left the country, I was wearing Marley Twists. This was acceptable because I was only going to be in Finland and Estonia for two weeks. While the twists made moving our luggage and clearing our hotel rooms much easier, they became a little uncomfortable and itchy towards the end of our stay.

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Marley Twists in Helsinki, Finland

I have my heart set on packing lighter, carrying only the clothes and electronics that we need. As for as toiletries, just the basics please: deodorant, soaps, toothpaste, etc. I can’t afford to take the bulk of my hair products or a flat-iron (that was the mistake I made when I went to hot, humid Thailand). I don’t want to go full-fro (that was what I eventually needed to do in hot, humid Thailand).

Also, I still want to look cute. . .

So I’m taking a couple of stand-by wigs. I don’t like the idea of storing them in a suitcase, but it could free me up to carry fewer hair care products. I’ll just take my conditioner and my wide tooth comb. Am I being ambitious? Perhaps. The point is, I still haven’t gotten the hang of Vacation Hair. Every trip I take, here or abroad, I think I’ve perfected the problem only to buy the Wal-Mart comb that I accidentally left at home.

I’m taking a short simple number and a curly one:

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I will let you guys know how it works out. I have found a good article about traveling with wigs. I’m hoping that helps keep me properly on the move. If you have any Vacation Hair tips, please leave them in the comments section. Remember, I’ll also have Ireland Vlogs on my Motley News YouTube Channel. I want you to see the sights and hear the sounds (of the sheep) as well!


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Hitting the Road: Emerald Isle

The Motley News is taking this show on the road. . . internationally.

I’m headed to Ireland for my university’s study abroad program. While my husband is teaching and guiding students from our institution, I’ll be free to discover the country-side (I’m not teaching this summer, lol)

Two weeks will be spent with the students in a small town called Tullycross, a literal “one-horse town.” When we checked it out on on Google Earth, it was a fairly short tour. Students and faculty will stay in thatched-roof cottages with kitchens and peat-burning fireplaces. Sigh. . . it sounds positively bucolic.

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You are entering  Tullycross

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The church is in the center of town

After the students have their study abroad experience, they will return home from Shannon Airport while hubby and I continue onward to Ireland’s fifth largest city, Galway, where we will spend five nights near the famous Eyre Square. I’m especially excited to see the college town of Galway, with its young hipsters, packed busy pubs, and international cuisine.

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City-center shopping

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Cliffs of Moher

Our next stop, which might be hellish to get to, will be the coastal town of Dingle. Funny name, but it sounds like a lovely place. We’re going to be there for five nights, seeing the fishing boats, palm trees, and dolphins. You heard right, this West Ireland town, “featured” in the romantic comedy Leap Year, has dolphins. Specifically, a famous dolphin named Fungie. I don’t know if I’ll meet him (that would require me to get in a boat and find him).

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There’s Fungie

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View of the coast

Our last five days will be spent in Limerick, the “Cultural Capital” of Ireland! It was informally known as the “Stab Capital” of Ireland. In his Ireland guidebook, even super-intrepid Rick Steves said to watch your wallet in Limerick. I’m looking forward to being in another vibrant university town with young folks. Not to mention, there’s the beautiful King John’s Castle:

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So, that’s the trip! I’ll be in Ireland for a FULL MONTH. This is a great opportunity for me to flex my travel writing skills again. Trust me, posts after this will be a lot more specific to location, detailed, and (hopefully) wittier. Also, check out The Motley News YouTube Channel for on location videos.