Hey, I’m Niamh; I’m 24 years old and in April 2022, I went on my first holiday without my parents. No, that wasn’t a typo. TWENTY FOUR.
Let me take you back to where it all began.
It’s just a normal day at work when my best friends come back from their annual family getaway to Cornwall. Suddenly, it hits me: BAM! There’s a new addition to my friend’s hand: a sparkly ring. To say I was over the moon for them both would be an understatement – I had to stop myself from crying on the shop floor.
What can I say? I’m a sucker for happiness and love.
Fast forward a couple of months and I’ve been asked to be their bridesmaid, which I accepted, obviously. I was (and still am) so happy to be part of the big day. Next came the planning of the hen party. The only instruction we were given by the bride-to-be was pure ‘crackheadery’, meaning something crazy and out of our comfort zones needed to be included.
We decided on a weekend away in Edinburgh with, of course, the crackheadery activities.
Oh boy, did we have some surprises up our sleeves.
The moment I set foot on the train, I felt instantly relaxed. No work, no worrying about what time it was in order to get back home; it was bliss. I felt like I could be my true self. Even since returning home, my friends have said I seem a lot less tense (thanks?).
Day one in Edinburgh included a lush dinner at Paradise Palms – try it if you haven’t been before – and a karaoke bar. I have some ace videos of us all screeching the words to Waka Waka and Wuthering Heights, but I’ll save those for another time. Day two was when I really came out of my shell and comfort zone. We had a walk around the Edinburgh Dungeons, where all of us were singled out at some point in the tour, and we even attempted an escape room. Attempted being the keyword there, haha!
During the evening of day two, we attended Dreamboys. Now, for those of you who were like me and had no clue what this was until we were researching ‘crackheadery’ activities, it’s a male strip show. Yep. I was bricking it a little bit – I get a bit awkward in situations like these. Not that I’ve ever been to a strip show before, but I didn’t want to be picked. Thankfully, I wasn’t picked to get up and be danced on and it was a great event, the bride was picked multiple times to participate in some dancing sessions and we were branded the loudest and most enthusiastic hen party there!
After Dreamboys, we went for a wander to a bar downtown to continue our drinking session; it was a hen party after all. I managed to find a club literally next door to the bar and got us in for free with a free bottle of prosecco because we were part of a bridal party. It was called Club Tropicana and the first song played was Wham!
Safe to say I was in my element.
Whilst actually stumbling to the next destination, we made a pit stop to rest our feet because apparently Edinburgh is ALL UP HILL. My feet actually ached for days after we came back home. But anyway…we managed to make friends with another stag party and got chatting to them for a good hour and a bit. We didn’t realise we had chatted for that long until the next day, but they were lovely and, if you’re reading this, it was so lovely meeting you!
The third day was a tad bittersweet as I didn’t want to come back home in all honesty. I really liked who I was in Edinburgh and didn’t want to resort back to boring old Niamh. I really do feel like it’s changed me for the better, I’m a lot less worried or fragile about the little things these days. I feel miles more relaxed about going out for drinks or doing something out of my comfort zone.
I adore Edinburgh. It will always have a special place in my heart.
P.S: the wedding was amazing, I want to do it every weekend!