Finally, at long last I got to see another country after living in Europe since 2015. To be honest, I had no desire to travel on my own so that’s one of the reasons I never really went anywhere. But I do have a huge bucket list of places to see. My boyfriend took me to England to stay with some of his family in Manchester and it was lovely. It was eye opening to see a country of such a similar landscape (in comparison to Ireland) present such diversity in people, architecture and culture as well. While Manchester doesn’t look like Ireland and I’m more so referring to the countryside, I found it unique that Manchester wasn’t super built up but did have a few taller buildings, including the Hilton, where we went for really nice cocktails at their sky bar, Cloud 23.
Manchester offers an industrial appearance having been primarily an industrial town in it’s day, yet it still seems quite modern. The nightlife was a lot of fun. I think nightlife is always exciting somewhere new, simply because you’ve never experienced it before. My boyfriend’s sister knew some great spots for drinks, nights out and meals. His family loves ethnic foods and I’ve seriously never tried so many different kinds because of them!
People really dress up in England and while I brought too many clothes in my little duffel bag (to which my boyfriend said, “I knew you would”) I still didn’t have any idea of what the fashion would be there. I assumed it would be similar but I was wrong. It’s very glam. I felt a little casual in jeans and a leather jacket. Also, the gals wear a lot of makeup. I wore my minimal look all weekend and by the time I got back to Belfast I said I’d give myself a challenge and not wear any during the day for the week because I started to feel like I had to pile on a lot more.
Another moment of magic was meeting my friend from home’s friend from Manchester! I’ve spent years hearing about her and her adventures in modeling in NYC, taking amazing photography and what an overall lovely person she was. She suggested the Manchester Art Gallery where we grabbed a coffee in the cafe. I just love the artsy and unusual so this was super interesting. She showed me her favorite painting and told me more about her escapades and I probably just sat there looking at her in awe (She’s met Johnny Cash! Like WHAT!). So, so interesting! I get to see her again next week when I head to France and stay with our friend.
I didn’t have a blog idea planned out for Manchester simply because I kinda just wanted to soak it all in. So now I’m here trying to decide how to structure this post but I think I’ll just let it be a stream of consciousness post, as is! I’d never been outside of Ireland or the USA so this was special and being in a new place is overwhelming (in a good way)! I’ll be better able to document France now that I know and I’ll be there a little longer.