Photo Essay: Looking Down in Ireland

Despite how much I loved my time in Ireland last fall, I’ve written only rather little about my experiences yet. So the other day, I was going through my photos from the greater Dublin area and a few days in rural Tipperary and noticed that I apparently took quite a lot of photos with a recurrent motif: My feet.

Exploring Dublin, Ireland Taking a break in the sunny courtyards of Trinity College, Dublin

When traveling by yourself, it is kind of tricky to get photo proof that you actually were somewhere, meaning photo proof with your face combined with something recognizable of the destination you’re visiting. Most of the time, I’m too shy to ask someone to take my picture, sometimes I even just forget.

But when you want to show photos to your friends and family, they usually don’t care much about picturesque buildings in various angles — but they would like to see an image of your face and a famous sight. But asking people to take a photo and handing your camera to complete strangers are scary things to do. This is why I started to take photos of my feet whenever I travel or sightsee by myself.

Dublin, Ireland Signs of fall in Dublin

On my first epic trip by myself — two months in the American South when I had just turned 18 — I got frustrated with how little photos I had of myself in the States, and I couldn’t waste to many shots on that either, because I only had a little analogous pocket camera with me, and my films were filling up quickly. So I figured that I had to combine photo proof of me being somewhere with scenic shots. I came home with a bunch of photos of weird looking knees on Hilton Head Island and tanned feet at a pool next to Lake Norman, NC.

In Ireland last year, it seemed like I fell back into my old photo habits: Although I met fantastic people during BlogHouse in Bansha and TBEX travel media conference, I did all sightseeing in and around Dublin by myself. And as I didn’t have the guts to ask people to take my picture, I searched for motifs I could photograph my feet with. I know it’s a bit strange (especially since I’m wearing the same jeans and sneakers in every photo, but in my defense: I had to pack for nine days in a carry-on!), but I really like this different, literally grounded perspective on Ireland. Despite my feet, my looking down photos show fall foliage, the floors of churches and museums, and so many other little details that are significant for my perception of Ireland.

Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland Strolling around the grounds of Dublin’s famous Trinity College  

National Library, Dublin, Ireland Beautiful mosaic floor inside the National Library of Ireland

Look left, Dublin, Ireland Learning to look left first

Monasterboice, Ireland Among the historic ruins of Monasterboice in Boyne Valley

Sightseeing in Dublin, Ireland Navigating myself through autumnal Dublin

Bram Stoker's office, Dublin, Ireland In front of Bram Stoker’s former office

St. Peter's Church of Ireland, Drogheda, Ireland Inside beautiful St. Peter’s Church in Drogheda

Hill of Tara, Ireland Essentially Irish: Green grass and sheep poop at the Hill of Tara

Malahide Castle, Ireland In the gardens of Malahide Castle

National Gallery, Dublin, Ireland When the words “National Gallery of Ireland” were too long to be squeezed into one frame

Grafton Street, Dublin, Ireland Finding literary history on the grounds of Dublin’s famous Grafton Street

Inside Saint Patrick's Cathedral , Dublin, Ireland Beautiful tiles on the floor of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin

Have you taken photos of your feet when traveling (by yourself)?
Or did you even come up with a better way of “I was there” photos?