Lauren's Dream Trip to Ireland

I WON!!!  Yep, I accidently won a complimentary flight on Aer Lingus from San Francisco to Dublin, Ireland! Oh my Goddess, who ever would have thought it would be me?! The ticket has to be used within one year and because of my class schedule I need to go this September, 2014. That gives me less than FIVE MONTHS to save up enough money for rail and bus travel, lodging, and food.

I believe that Universe has heard my desire to reconnect with my ancestral roots and I'm supposed to be I'm going. Somehow.  

I'm going to be saving every cent I can between now and then, but I really need some help to make this happen. Other travel I'd planned this year has been cancelled, party plans for my 40th birthday have been cancelled, and one trip I'd already made a deposit for has been cut quite short. I'm cutting my food budget, clothes and manicures, entertainment, and well....really anything that can be cut is being cut to save as much as I can. 

Let me explain why I could use a little help from you. I'm partially disabled but I still work four days a week. A healthy person might try to pick up extra shifts to save money, but this isn't an option for me. My health status limits how many hours per week I can work. My boss says I have the vacation time coming to me (whew), but it's all unpaid vacation. I don't get benefits at my position so taking a trip like this means lost wages. I'm also putting myself through college and because I'm nearly at the loan limit, I'm paying for it myself, in cash. Medical expenses are high with four auto immune diseases, and so are costs for food since I'm on a medically restricted diet. 

Those same health restrictions make travel very challenging. I can't walk very far, or for very long. That means relying sometimes on cabs instead of walking, or car rental instead of trains or buses. I only have a certain number of hours each day where I can be active so staying in student/youth hostels may be unreasonable for me. If I become ill from travel I need a safe, quiet place to rest and sleep no matter what time of day it is. My food restrictions mean meals will be harder to find and will cost more. I won't be able to subsist on basic pub fare. 

My health is sometimes stable and sometimes much worse. I may not have another chance like this. Ever. Last year at this time I wouldn't have been able to consider taking a trip of this magnitude. This year I'm SO GRATEFUL that I CAN. And I will. Watch me. 

Won't you please help me to make my dream trip come true? I haven't been out of the country (except for a quick over the border to Toronto, CA) in 24 years! I don't even have a passport! (Yes, that's the first thing on my to-do list)  

Here's the rough budget so far:
13 nights in B&Bs avg 70/night- $900
14 days of food- $500
Rail/bus travel- $400
Prepaid mobile/wifi fees- $50-100
Passport $145
Flight taxes/fees $140

I know, that's only $2300 so far, but I haven't added in a pet sitter, parking, BART, safe food to take with me, souvenirs, a camera besides my iPhone, a warm coat (it's COLD there and I'm a California girl now), new clothes or walking shoes for the trip, or admission to tours, castles, national parks, or the like. Nor have I added in those lost wages I mentioned which is about $1300. Please help by giving ONLY what you can. Consider matching what you give me and putting it towards your own dream vacation. Use this as an opportunity to manifest YOUR dreams too. :-) I'm so very grateful for your love and support. Bless you.
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Lauren Ide 
Berkeley, CA

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