A writer, blogger and ex-expat, Niamh Griffins of Irish Wanderings once called Thailand home (among other places) – a former Girl in Asia! Now back in Ireland, she’s rediscovering her homeland, and makes me realise that returning home need not mean the adventures are over. Read on for more on Niamh…
Where do you live/where are you now?
I moved back to Ireland 14 months ago after a few (cough) expat adventures. Falling in love again with soft days, mountains and learning to tolerate the rain.
What are you currently…
The Lovers by John Connolly and no, it’s not as soppy as you’re thinking. It starts as a cop thriller but soon draws in ghosts and demons. This is where I take a break from reality while pretending to be gritty.
Pages from Julie Feeney. I discovered her browsing around YouTube and then realized she’s Irish and brilliant! Songs that stick in your head for all the right reasons and her videos are really creative.
I finally worked out why everyone loves Mad Men and am now addicted. I find myself wondering what I’d look like in gloves and a twinset but not sure if they’d go with the battered Converse.
My version of Thai food – I lived there for 9 years and my tastebuds just can’t handle food without chilli and coriander! I shop at the ‘Asian Market’ which looks like someone hovered up food from supermarkets in every country in Asia and spat it all out on a Dublin sidestreet.
Fake Uggs, jeans with long-john thermals underneath and a woolly jumper – with sunnies because it’s trying to be spring here in Dublin.
To take over the wor…Oh, sorry, must keep that a secret! Seriously, this is the summer of getting to know Ireland. Shamefully there are still counties (states) I haven’t been to so lots of picnics, hikes and cold-water swims are on the agenda.
Dan Carter from New Zealand. Even if he played golf I’d love him. But as he plays rugby well, let’s just say the obsession grows. From a distance mind, I’m not dangerous!
Thai, Thai and Thai. I especially love Isan food from the North-east – heaps of chillies and sticky rice. There’s a vegetarian place in Bangkok called Mai Kaidee and it is the best food in the world. So there. But Mexican is a close favourite – there’s nothing like steaming refried beans with rice on a winter’s day.
Favourite travel destinations?
I love the buzz in Delhi, Sydney, New York … and Bangkok of course. And then I’m a big nature lover – hiking and trying to do water-sports so Himalayas, the West of Ireland and well, anywhere that’s clean and you can scream and splash water about!
If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where and why?
I’ve been getting a craving to live in India lately. It keeps popping up in conversations and appearing out of the side of my eye. And even though I lived in Sydney for two years, I never made it to New Zealand and that would be a great adventure for a year. The people are so lovely, I’ve great friends there, it’s beautiful and they love sport, yay!
Who/what inspires you?
I’m always inspired by women who’ve taken their lives, shaken it up and made a difference to people around them. Someone like social entrepreneur Caroline Casey who’s changing the way we see differently abled people. But also my Mum who grew up in a very sexist time in Ireland, traveled the world anyway and tries her best to make my siblings and I into nice people.
3 of your must-read blogs?
Aagh, what a choice! Obviously I love this one! But for traveling and dreaming I read:
Paddy in BA for photos and news from a wandering expat
Peregrine by Nature for beautiful photos that always make me stop and think
Shantiwallah for little insights that make me realize it is possible to stay in one place and be happy!