Wanna Grab a Drink?
Drinking abroad can be a tricky thing to master. When you’re young and dumb, it probably doesn’t seem very challenging. Someone says, “Let’s go to the pub!” Then, you walk to the pub and pay for your beverage. Mission accomplished. I think the real dangers start making their way to your consciousness as you get older or are traveling solo. You start to think of all the things that could go wrong. The situation forces you to be responsible. I’ve been fortunate enough to see both sides of this coin. You could say I have had my share fun. According to my wife, I have had a little too much fun. However, it doesn’t mean I always made the best choice. Good thing I’m Irish because I’ve been lucky enough to stay out of trouble.
It’s not all doom and gloom. Drinking is abroad is really fun! Each spot you visit seems to be unique in its own way. Some have lively entertainment with lots of people while others are very cozy and intimate. Personally, my main thing is the view. For a guy living in central California, rarely do I visit a bar or restaurant and comment on the outside. Take Europe for example. It has cobble stone streets, amazing architecture, lustrous country sides, and a ton of history. To top it off, some of the places you visit are exceedingly well known for alcohol. You have Guinness in Ireland, Chianti in Italy, Scotch in Scotland, German beer in Bavaria, Vodka in Russia, etc. There’s something special about drinking an alcoholic beverage in its birthplace. It’s like entering a dreamland. I include some of my favorites places along with how to drink responsibly below.
The Dangers of Drinking Abroad
This may be one of the more serious sections I’ve ever written. Although knowing me, I’ll probably still crack a joke or two. It’s par for the course. If anything, intoxication is one of the leading causes of international injury. I’m talking about physical danger and legal trouble people. Drinking too much can have you ending up in jail, the hospital, or the morgue. Hopefully, it’s never that last one. However, I’ve heard and/or seen some of my friends challenge cars, trains, and planes. My friend, Danielle, forgot which way to look when she crossed the street. It’s a bit tricky as an American visiting the U.K., but the British write the direction on the street. My favorite jail story of all time is about a couple of guys from Cardiff who stole a penguin for Sea World in Australia. It’s both hilarious and eye opening at the same time.
The next thing to look out for is predators, especially for all you single ladies out there. Sometimes a seemingly nice guy is really an evil guy. If you’re not careful, he could be handing you a vodka tonic with a splash of roofies. A quick tip for the wise, do not drink anything you didn’t see it being made. Also, why do they call them roofies? Floories would be more accurate since you end up on the floor and not the roof. On top of that, you need to know where you are going. Try to avoid all dark alleys and sketchy neighborhoods. Most importantly though, you should try to not drink more than you can handle. Once you go to that dark place, bad decisions are bound to ensue.
Our Favorite Spots
Disabling “dad mode” now. I finally get to talk about some of my favorite spots to go drinking abroad. However, I’m only going to give you a taste of what I experienced. I can’t share all of my secrets and stories at once. Besides, it’s more material for me to write about. The first place I want to talk about is the Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse. You get to drink a few pints of the black stuff while taking in a 360-degree view of Dublin and the surrounding area. Upon entering the facility, you get a ticket for one free pint. What kind of gracious hosts would Guinness be if they didn’t? My second favorite place is the Hofbrau in Munich. You can read more on that one here.
Next, I like a little pub called The Volunteer near Regent’s University in London, England. My friends and I made a lot of memories there. It’s not as grand as the Gravity Bar, but I will definitely visit it again someday. Also, there are a couple of places on the island of Oahu I really enjoyed. Thanks to my friends Jason and Pono, I don’t remember where or what they are called. Finally, I would say I like drinking anywhere in the Red-Light District area of Amsterdam. There are so many small interesting pubs. Besides, it’s like a party there every night. I cannot wait for my next trip. I know there will be some great stories, experiences, food, and drinks of course.