Travel Writing by Cory Hanson

Posts in category Blog

Irish Thanksgiving Memories


Now that we’re back in the land of freedom and frappuccinos and the kind of football that requires a helmet and a 400-page manual detailing the finer points of what constitutes catching a ball, we can again celebrate one of my favorite American holidays with friends and family. But in preparing for a day of […]


Cycling the Aran Island of Inishmore

Cliffs on Inishmore County Galway Aran Islands Ireland

“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” Without waiting to hear the quick sales from the row of brochure-waving pitchpeople on the gangplank, I’m smiling and grabbing every one — boat rides, bike rentals, restaurants, snorkeling adventures — doing my best impression of Will Ferrell in Elf as young, naive Buddy builds his own impressive collection of ad […]


Five Suitcases on the Blog Awards Ireland 2016 Longlist

Cory in the Snow Dublin Mountains Fairy Castle

Thanks to the cool folks over at Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards for including Five Suitcases in the 2016 Longlist in the Travel Blog category! Every year, I find new and interesting blogs and bloggers thanks to the tireless work of the volunteer judges and curators of Blog Awards Ireland, and I’m grateful to be considered among the […]


Hiking Red Rock Canyon Open Space: East

The lake The quarry Red Rock Canyon open space colorado springs

The longer I live in Colorado Springs — just over a month, as of this writing — the more I understand its irresistible appeal, not just to tourists, but to lifelong adventurers like me. Even though I fell into the city’s lap by lucky happenstance — just as I did in Dublin — I’m feeling […]


How to Make Your NES Work Like New Again


  We all have one: that old, dusty Nintendo Entertainment System sitting in a box somewhere, unplayed, unloved. Sure, we opened it for a holiday or a birthday circa 1989 in the classic Action Set box—complete with the red (not gray) Zapper light gun, two controllers, and a copy of Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt. Top that, modern systems! […]


A New Home

Cory and Sara at the top of the Manitou Incline Colorado Springs Colorado

  I’ve been changing my online identity today—almost a month late. One at a time, my social profiles are being updated from “US expat in Dublin” to “Iowa via Dublin via Colorado” or some other such attempts to be funny in 160 characters or less. It’s about time, as it’s been three weeks since we went […]


Ireland’s American Spirit Cities – Part 2

Queen Victoria statue, Belfast City Hall

  Portlaoise: Florence, Colorado Where do the Americans put their most dastardly criminals? Somewhere deep in the heart of the continent, where any escapees would be surrounded by untold miles of hostile desolation if they were to get past the razor wire and guard towers. America puts these dangerous characters in the federal supermax prison […]


Review – Killarney Brewing Company

Taps at Killarney Brewing Kerry Ireland

  “It’s all about the process,” my new friend Padraig tells us. He lets a handful of roasted grains run through his fingers and passes the jar along for all of us to have a sniff. I do as instructed, and pick up the dark-caramel-bordering-on-chocolate characteristic of grains of this roast. It’s nice. Padraig continues, […]


Ireland’s American Spirit Cities – Part 1

The Kilkenny Cat

  As we prepare to take our leave from Ireland — for a while, at least — we’ve been reminiscing about all the colorful Irish places we’ve visited. Despite being a relatively small, homogenous country, Ireland’s towns and cities are surprisingly unique; each has its own special character — and cast of characters — just like the […]


Irish Lasts

Baily Lighthouse

  I remember many of my Irish firsts. Even without looking back to the July/August archive of the Old Blog, I can picture myself stumbling around the city, naively looking for street signs, supermarkets, and more than one electrical outlet in a room. I remember seeing my first magpie; my first Irish slug; my first […]


Follow Five Suitcases