Ireland bound

Going to Armagh, flyin in to Dublin with my Guitar and a bag !  Packing is a headache for me. I don’t know what to bring, or not to bring. So I’m going to bring as much as I can fit. Can that. I’m going to make an effort to travel light and then buy things in Ireland. I don’t want to go to the poor house, just sundries and a few tee shirts will be nice.

Weather, hmm 60-65 degrees is a bit chilly compared to weather of 75 to 85/90 degrees this time of year in Maryland. I guess I better get out the jeans and the warmer things. I’ll miss any of the warm days here, as I love Summer. I like rain too, and 65 degree weather, so I’ll enjoy sweaters, jeans and cozy. It’s better to have chilly weather to concentrate and study.

I can’t wait to get time to see  the Emerald of Ireland. I just feel like I’m going to be a bit bogged down with study and work, to do much sight seeing. I’ll have to do as much as possible on 5 hrs a day sleep. I want to go everywhere I’m invited. I get to go to a famous Authors’ home, James Joyce! The current home of Author Liz McManus!! This will be a future post. Would  you be giddy? Blog about that later..I’ll let you in on it.

Castles, Moats, stone circles and everything I can experience of a different culture! I want to absorb it all into my pores! Excited beyond belief. I can’t wait to study the stories in the songs, the rhythms, the music, the dance. It thrills me that this is part of my heritage and I get to experience even a smiggen of it!!!

Lastly, I am a huge, big, rediculous fan of Game of Thrones and the movie is filmed in Northern Ireland. If I get to see the cast, I think I’ll shat meself. Sry for words, so true though. Elle


Packing Help for Armagh Project

Packing Tips

  1. Weight limit for suitcases is 50 lbs.  You can be charged as much as $200 if your bag is overweight or if you choose to check a second bag.  Use a baggage scale (available at any travel store or at Walmart) to check how much your bag weighs.
  2. Don’t pack a suitcase that you can’t lift by yourself. You might have to navigate stairs, cobblestones, or a long walk with your bag so make sure you can manage it.
  3. You are only allowed ONE carry-on item on international flights. This includes your purse.  I usually bring a small back pack that my purse fits inside.
  4. Pack light so that you have room for souvenirs!
  5. You will be able to get many items in Armagh – like toothpaste, shampoo, towels, etc. So consider purchasing these items locally to save space and weight in your baggage. I usually bring travel size items that will get me through a flight delay but then purchase what I need upon arrival.  I’ve indicated those items that you can consider purchasing in italics.
  6. Weather is likely to be mid to upper 60s during the day and low 50s at night. It will rain.

There is a washer and dryer on site, so you can easily do laundry.

Suggested Clothing

1 or 2 pairs of good walking shoes – waterproof would be best
Tennis shoes/sneakers or other “comfy” shoes
(1 pair of rain or hiking boots – I usually wear these on the plane because they are heavy and bulky to pack)
7 pairs of socks – at least
2 or 3 pairs of pants – at least one should not be jeans
7 pairs of underwear – at least
3 or 4 t-shirts or tank tops
1 or 2 long-sleeved shirts (long-sleeve t-shirt, rugby shirt, button up shirt)
1 or 2 light, roomy sweaters (for layers)
1 windbreaker or other waterproof jacket (the kind that fold up small are great)
1 hoody or sweatshirt
1 dress up outfit (could be dress shirt and jacket, skirt or dress)
1 pair of black pants for performance (can be one of your 3 regular pants)
1 black shirt for performance (can be one of your 4 regular t-shirts)
1 pair black, low-heeled shows for performance (can be one of your walking shoes – but no tennis shoes)
pajamas (rooms are shared)
bathrobe (bathrooms are shared)
slippers or flip flops for trips to the kitchen

Personal Items to put in checked baggage

Tooth paste
Body lotion
Bath soap
Hair products
Any liquids that are more than 3 ozs in quantity must be in checked baggage

Other Items to put in checked baggage

–Hair dryer, flat iron and/or curling iron – or consider purchasing an inexpensive one there to save space and weight in your suitcase.
–Rechargeable camera batteries and charger (for your camera, if you are bringing one)–
–Memory cards for cameras – if you are bringing one
–Travel alarm clock – DO NOT RELY ON YOUR CELL PHONE
–Extra eye glasses or contact lens and contact supplies
***Copy of the Information Page of your Passport****
–Journal and pens for class
–Books and plays for class

Other things I usually purchase when I am there

Cloth shopping bags (it’s a short walk to the grocery store)
Large bath towel
Bath mat
Laundry bag
Laundry detergent (we often share this)

Items to bring in your ONE Carry-on (Purses count! Only ONE carry-on per person on international flights!)

***Driver’s License**
Copy of your passport stored in separate location from your passport
Document pouch with printouts of important info, including tickets and boarding passes
Tooth brush and travel sized toothpaste
Change of clothes (in case your bags are delayed)
Sun glasses
Prescription Medicine – in original bottles, with pharmacy labels
Motion-sickness medicine
Anti-nausea medicine
Pain-reliever (like advil, Tylenol, aspirin)
Ipod/tablet and headphones (I bring at least two pairs because I’m good at losing them)
Camera – if you are bringing one
Cell phone – if you have one that will work overseas
Power cords for all devices
UK adapters for your power cords
Something to read or do on the plane (if you knit, metal knitting needles and scissors are not allowed)



Who I am and Why I wanted to go to Armagh

My name is Montèz Jennings. I am currently a senior at University of Baltimore. I am creative soul. I am skilled in two things- candle making and writing. I like to call myself a writer or better yet a voice. I am a storyteller in many aspects. That is what I was created to do. Currently, I am the managing editor of the university’s newspaper (the UB Post) and continue to write short stories and witty observations of life. I used to write songs, poetry, and plays- even minoring in Drama/ Theater before coming to University of Baltimore.

I aspire to be a journalist as well as an author of fiction and non-fiction (memoir or collection of essays). Furthermore, I would like to be a professor. Within each of those fields, I am telling a story in a different way. It may sound like a lot but I know I am capable. I believe everyday is a chapter in a book that has yet to be  written. While in Ireland, I plan to add a chapter to the book known as my life. As cliché as that sounds, going to Armagh is the perfect opportunity for me to embrace culture- I love learning about culture (my own as well as others) and to develop my passion- creating vivid stories for others to share and learn from. To be quite honest, this is going to be my first time on a plane and the first time I have left the country. I would also like to learn from other people’s story and share their talents with them. I enjoy travel, meeting new people,  and writing. Armagh will allow me to do all three.

I am a kid from Baltimore with semi-big dreams and very humble beginnings. For me, going to Armagh to develop my stories and share them with other people is a very big step for me and people like me. I am looking forward to seeing Ireland for the very first time and working with fellow writers and storytellers.

This blog will help me organize my thoughts because, as you can probably tell, I am a little long winded.  But I want to reflect on my thoughts no matter how long winded they are. I am a little nervous and overjoyed to have this opportunity and to work with other people who are creative and have a passion for what they love.

About Me and My Blog

Well , where shall I begin? I am a Junior now at University of Baltimore. I have lived in Maryland all my life and though I am not sick of it here… I am ready and more than willing to travel. I have a pretty mixed family… mainly Russian, Irish, and German. All of which I wish to embrace in myself. I spent four years learning german in high school and now I am off to fulfill a connection to my Irish heritage. But, what really ended up pushing me to take this particular class was the timing. I happened upon the flyer for Armagh a week after my uncle passed away from cancer… an uncle that wanted to travel to Ireland as much as I did. We had already decided we would go together, but once he started his chemo he wasn’t well enough to travel. So my first thought was that this was the opportunity for me to go for the both of us. But after actually reading what the class entailed I was more determined to go. Since I entered UB I have come to realize how much I need to work on my presenting skills. I visibly shake and stutter a lot when giving presentations and I am really hoping this class will help me get over that public speaking issue.

Besides all of that melancholy stuff, I also saw this as a chance to improve and develop my writing skills specifically in the poetry department. I have a weird goal of wanting to write and bind my own poetry book from start to finish. I think spending some time in Ireland and developing the skills for better poems will be beneficial to this goal.  I have repeatedly been told that studying abroad will be good for me and I believe that to be true. I will be using this blog to hopefully create and expand on the ideas I have. It will be nice to refer back to these thoughts and formulate a structure to the possible book I will make. See you soon in Ireland!


My Bio and Why I’m off to Ireland to write!

I cannot believe I have this opportunity. I never thought in a million years I’d be able to study abroad. As a returning (much older) student, finishing her Undergrad at University of Baltimore and hopefully my Master either UB or Goucher (it depends). I’m beyond excited. I don’t take any of this for granted. I appreciate the scholarship opportunities I’ve received and hope to earn more.

I’ve always loved the Arts: Art, Dance, Music, Figure Skating; hence I’ve been a Performing Artist most of my life. In High School and College, I majored in Music, Minored in Dance and took Art classes. I performed live music from an early age in Baltimore bands; which took me to Vegas in my 20’s. I figure skated in Competitions 1994 to 2004 placed 1st, Artist & Freestyle, in several Adult Competitions. Since 2005, I now tap dance for my sport. I occasionally skate, by myself in the early morning. I play guitar, piano and write music. I like Movies, but don’t have time for TV; unless I’m stream blasting a series.

I am studying poetry, to help with my song writing. Favorite Poem, “Hold Fast to your Dreams” Langston Hughes  I will listen to music at night and study it for my Independent Study course. By day, I’m taking Nessa’s Poetry writing course ( my Irish professor). I am counting down my days til I leave. My nervous excitement has my  heart racing most days.  I’m so ready, I just need to pack.Thank you so much!