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    • leahk4

      Last year I was invited to a big company event at our office in Saint Petersburg, Russia. I decided to parlay the free airfare into a solo European adventure. First stop: Dublin, Ireland. I spent Day 1 on a walking tour, followed by a Guiness Connoisseur experience: 90 minutes in a small group with a skilled bartender tasting the finest Guniess beers. I met a father and son from Dublin who had never been to the Storehouse. They were so amazed that I was traveling alone, as a woman, at the age of just 25. I was too! I’ve never even gone to the movies by myself! Day 2 I did a day tour of the Wicklow mountains, spending a lot of time by myself. It’s the closest thing I’ve ever had to a spiritual experience.
      The rest of the trip was a series of first. First time sitting a table drinking Vodka with Russians. First time sitting at a bar drinking Vodka with Australians! I walked around Saint Petersburg appreciating the beauty of the city. I even went to Amsterdam and enjoyed the coffee houses :) But nothing will come close to my experiences in Dublin, where I realized I have the strength to be alone.

    • leahk4

      Last year I was sitting at home watching House of Cards (diehard fans know it premiered on VDay), when I heard 2 loud bangs on my door, and someone screaming “Josh!” I open my door and look to see another neighbor looking around as well. Then… The fire alarm. I walk over to my neighbor and he said someone kicked his door open then that maniac pulled the fire alarm. Long story short, I come to find out my neighbor’s BF got drunk, threw her against the wall, hit her across the face, and broke her coffee table, before throwing a soda at my door and kicking in my neighbors door. He also stole my neighbors keys and told her he was going to wrap her car around a tree. Luckily the police caught him outside the building. I spent the rest of my night with the girl in my apartment talking to the police and sitting with her until a family member came to get her. I’m a final twist, I realized I remembered his name because I was drinking a bottle of “Joshua” wine. Now I can’t drink that wine. Not the most tragic part of the story though. I saw her moving out with him a few weeks later. I will never judge her for staying with him, but I just hope others have the strength to leave. Happy VDay to all the healthy, honest lovers out there.

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