Courtesy of Devon Gallagher
When you post pictures of your vacation on the internet, how many people will see them? Maybe a few hundred? Even a few thousand? (And those are just your jealous exes wondering what you’re up to, am I right?!) When 23-year-old Philadelphian Devon Gallagher uploaded her vacation photos online, they were viewed over 1.1 million times. And no, Gallagher’s not a YouTube star or an Instagram model you’ve never heard of -- she’s just a recent college graduate who traveled Europe for a few and drank some beer.
Oh, and she has a chalkboard leg.
Gallagher was born with a congenital bone disease that required the amputation of her right leg when she was four years old. Nearly two decades later, she posed with a unique prosthetic leg in different cities around the continent, and posted her vacation photos to Reddit. Reddit, in turn, basically lost its collective mind. And because we’re all about drinking beer in European cities, we had a bunch of questions about her boozy journey around the world.
Here’s what the world-traveling, beer-drinking viral sensation had to say about her trip when we recently spoke to her:
TBN: How’d the idea for the chalkboard leg come about?
Gallagher: There wasn't any real big epiphany. I was in the market for a new leg (which I get about every two years), and I had no idea what I wanted to get on it. Usually prosthetics are designed with fabric -- even just a t-shirt works -- that's laminated onto the carbon fiber, but there wasn't any fabric design that I wanted. The idea of a chalkboard came to mind. I consulted with a few friends and my prosthetist, and they all thought it was cool, so I went for it. I just bought a can of spray paint and painted over the carbon fiber socket.
Did you have any difficulties getting around Europe?
Not really. We were averaging about 17 miles a day of walking, which was pretty rough on my leg, but it was still manageable.
credits:"Courtesy of Devon Gallagher" width:800 align:center
What was your favorite city to visit?
I don't think I can pick just one! I liked Prague, Budapest, Paris, and Amsterdam. Prague and Budapest had a similar feel. Both are lively cities that have two different sides separated by a river. They were just really cool to explore overall. Paris was beautiful and had a lot of rich history. The food was great too. And Amsterdam was so unique. I’ve never been anywhere like the Red Light District before. Even though I'm not a smoker, I appreciate how progressive and liberal the city is. It seemed to be very accepting.
Which city did you love to eat in?
Probably Paris. The crepes, croissants, and pastries were amazing. One night we went to a restaurant known for its Aligot, which is basically equal parts cheese and mashed potato. They served it with duck and it was just such a delicious meal. I tried escargot that night too, which was surprisingly good. Ten out of ten, would eat again.
Where was your favorite city to drink beer?
Munich! Hands down. The beer was delicious and came in large quantities. I particularly liked their wheat beers and Radlers.
credits:"Courtesy of Devon Gallagher"
Did you visit any breweries?
We visited the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, the Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam, and the Hofbräuhaus in Munich. All were very cool, very different experiences. Guinness focused a lot more on brewing and the history behind the beer. Heineken [revealed] how it's made and the history, but seemed to be more focused on offering a fun tour and being super interactive. And we didn't tour the Hofbräuhaus, we just got pretzels and drank lots of beer.
What was your favorite beer you had on the whole entire trip?
Any of the house wheat beers in Munich, because you can't (or at least I can't) find things like that in America. They were a little sweet, not hoppy, and tasted like bread. Can't drink a ton of them though, because they make you quite full.
Where to next?
Honestly, I'm just trying to get settled into a new apartment and starting adulthood. I'd love to get to Africa at some point. I've always wanted to go on safari and visit its animal reserves. Probably Cape Town, too! But who knows when that will happen... Definitely eventually!
credits:"Courtesy of Devon Gallagher"
Note: Shock Top is a member of The High End, owned by Anheuser-Busch.