There’s something beautiful about waking up before anyone else does. And after the crazy itinerary that this trip has held, I find the silence addictive.
Right now we are in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. A little town with a big reputation for being the starting point for one of the greatest playwrights of all time – William Shakespeare. Last night we got in and, on the train, I realized how much I’ve been running around during this trip, resulting in feeling completely drained, spread thin and emotionally exhausted.
Our itinerary so far has included Edinburgh, Scotland (where I spent a day) and Dublin, Ireland where I spent, per usual , not enough time. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say that I’ve spent “enough” time in Ireland. Which is probably why I never write blog posts when I’m there. How can I spend time writing on the blog when there are so many other things to do!? Ireland is the only place where my mind is clear. And as a result, I’ve been terrible about keeping you all in touch with what’s been happening.
While I was in Dublin I took a couple trips out of the city, which were both new to me and really lovely. The first one was to Malahide Castle, near Dublin, and the other was up to the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland. I honestly can’t wait to get home, so I can add some pictures from the trips, because they both had absolutely breathtaking shots. Cliffs and causeways and castles are all things that just need to be shown in higher than phone photo quality, but if you’re curious before I put them up, you’re welcome to stalk my Instagram.
I do wish I had been able to spend more time in Ireland, though. Someday, I might learn, that planning multiple trips with Ireland as a stop never works – I think about it nonstop beforehand and never want to leave once I’m there.
This time is different, though, because I’m travelling with two friends and our bookings are all conjoined, meaning staying extra time in the city was not as easily accomplished. So, instead, I wept my way through Dublin Airport, and boarded a plane for England. As a side note, I would like to apologize for my snot nosed interactions with the Dublin Airport staff. Especially the lady in Security who started talking about the patches on my backpack, only to be met by uncontrollable sobbing.
To be fair, I don’t normally cry through airports, but for some reason leaving this time was so much harder. I think part of the reason why is that before, when I visited while living in France, I had the mental goal to get back home to Seattle. But now that I’ve been living in Seattle for 6 months, Dublin was the first time I realized how unhappy I’ve been there. Don’t get me wrong, I love Seattle, but I’ve felt so out of place in American life and culture, after living in Europe. I guess you don’t really realize how much a place has changed you, sometimes, until you go back. So maybe those airport tears were partially for that: realizing that going home felt like leaving home.
There have been some really great aspects to this trip, though. We’ve met some awesome people and seen some beautiful sights. Today we’ll do little more exploring and then we’ll be off on a train to London. Tomorrow is the return journey home, and I can’t believe how fast all of this has gone. That being said, it will be nice to finally have down time and some recharge time (#introvert) after being surrounded for so long.
This trip has been completely different from any other travel experience, and so much more difficult in so many ways. I honestly probably wouldn’t do it again, but I think it has, in a lot of ways, opened my eyes to aspects of my life that NEED to be changed, and given me the drive to pursue them.
Setting out on another path with directive vision is absolutely terrifying. Last time this happened I ended up in France and the amount of work it took (physical, mental and emotional) was absolutely insane. I remember how much struggle that was, and the idea of doing something that big, again, seems like madness.
But I don’t know that I’ve ever felt called to live a tame life. And I’m not sure how much of a sane one I’d be inclined to enjoy, either. I think I’ve always been called to be the girl slightly out of place – a feeling that constantly pushes me forward into the unknown. Normal and ordinary have never been the paths I’ve taken, or even been drawn to, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t terrifying to be trailblazer.
But I know that my purpose and calling is so much larger that my fear. And there is beauty in the broken stumbling footsteps you make while traveling off the path. Here’s to daring greatly. It’s funny how brave you become when you feel like you have nothing to lose.