Road Tripping Ireland & 14 Nights Car Camping
Yesterday marked the final day of our road trip across Ireland. It’s been an amazing experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better final shooting location than the Cliffs Of Moher. They are truly breathtaking at sunset, that is, if you’re lucky enough to see the sun.
Throughout this amazing 16 day experience, we laughed, we cried, and we slept 14 out of those 16 nights in the front seats of our rental car.
So why the [email protected] would we do that you ask?! — Well, aside from a healthy portion of artistic insanity, there are actually a few other good reasons.
1. We’re very frugal
The number one question I get about our 100% location independent lifestyle is, “How do you afford it?” The simplest answer is that we live as simple and economical as possible and anytime we have a chance to cut expenses, within reason, we do it.
To give you an idea… In Ireland, for 2 adults, the median cost of a Bed and Breakfast has been €70-80 per night, a private Hostel room €35-50 per night, and a campground €20 per night. Now, multiply any of those numbers by 16 nights and tell me which total you’d prefer. 😉
In addition, while it is possible to travel around Ireland with a combination of train and bus travel, it’s not the most ideal method for travel photography. The cost of rental cars in Ireland with the mandatory insurance (plus the optional coverage, which we opted to take) is a bit high, so that expense also had a big impact on our car camping decision.
2. It’s pretty damn cozy
I have to admit that I was initially a little apprehensive about the comfort factor but after a few nights of finding the right seat adjustments, I started to like it. In fact, I think it’s more comfortable than many of the hotel beds I have slept in. We also had the added bonus of sleeping outside under the stars. Well, at least the few times it wasn’t raining.
It’s also worth noting that (most of the) campgrounds in Ireland are very clean and comfortable. Some are even much closer to the scenic areas than the hotels and B&Bs you’ll find in “town”. This gave us the ability to quickly access our favorite shooting locations with a little less travel time.
3. I love being able to drive my house around!
Being able to drive your house around is pretty damn sweet, I must say. It’s also a perfect place for an afternoon nap! Just pull up to a beautiful scenic overlook and catch a quick 15 minutes of Zs. It’s awesome. 🙂
The Biggest Challenges We Faced
1. Internet Connectivity and Daily Posts
I knew that I wouldn’t be able to keep up my Social Media posting schedule while I was on the road. I also knew that photo editing in the car was unrealistic. This forced me to plan ahead a little bit.
Before I left Dublin, I edited a few photos and pre-built a few posts. I also purchased a USB Internet key from Vodafone as well as a prepaid data SIM for my iPad. In the more rural areas there was no 3G, but we found that most of the larger towns had full service. So if our campground didn’t have WiFi, or if we couldn’t find a Pub to hang out and work in, we caught up on posts and emails anywhere we found a 3G signal.
In general, I was able to keep up on posts and such without too many issues. Since I couldn’t edit photos, I had to rely on some clever and on the fly content creation. Having really interesting behind the scenes moments to share along the way really helped.
2. Theft & Not leaving valuables in the car
Essentially we knew that no valuables could be safely left in the car, period. Not only was this a huge pain in the ass, but it was also a pain in the neck, back, arms, legs, shoulders, and well shit… the entire body. Everywhere we went, we had to carry most of our gear with us. The rest of our stuff was carefully placed in the trunk so that there was nothing visible in the front seats.
We also rotated visits to the grocery store. One of us would go shop while the other hung out in the car playing Angry Birds Space. If we both needed to go in, we hauled our camera gear with us.
To Ireland we say Thank You “Go raibh maith agaibh”
All-in-all, we have had an amazing time exploring Ireland. It is, simply put, an amazing country, but the weather is, well… not so much. Thankfully though, it never rains in a pub! It also seems that all the rain and fog tend to give you a newfound appreciation for the sun. But despite the lack of sun, the Irish people are some of the warmest we’ve found anywhere in the world. The country is rich in history, alive with music and tradition, and has unparalleled natural beauty.
And now that my life is back to some (moderate) normality, I should be able get some photo editing done. Hopefully I’ll have some photos of this amazing place to share really soon. In the meantime, here’s a map showing our stops along the way and
and a collection of some of our favorite behind the scenes moments. 🙂