“Oh, Ireland… you call me by name. Long have I yearned to know you up close and personal; to uncover your mysteries and step foot on the island which is my ancestral home. I want to settle into an old pub with a pint of cider and breathe in my surroundings… the smells, the sounds of craic, the sights of worn wood revealing old craftsmanship which has known decades, if not centuries, of pub patrons. Indeed, if walls could talk, to relay the highlights of the many conversations which have surely shaped the Irish landscape through politics, religious affairs and family life! Veritably, this is but a part of the Ireland I long to experience.”
The above paragraph was a journal entry I penned before my inaugural trip to Ireland in 2013. Ireland tantalized my travel taste-buds to extraordinary degrees and I ofttimes daydreamed about the day I might actually arrive to see her forty shades of green with my own eyes. The Emerald Isle had long been in my sights and I was bound and determined to one day land in Dublin city. That day came and went… and to my blessing, thrice, in fact. From speechless to storyteller was dead on the mark!
Do you love to travel? Do you find yourself often contemplating your next destination? I certainly do. Surely there exists individuals such as myself who hunger and thirst to see what the world has to offer. For me… the desire, saving, planning and research beforehand… is almost as enthralling as the traveling itself. I was careful to preface that statement with the word “almost.” I find the antecedent of anticipation delivers oodles of appreciation on the back end. The reflection over a trip well executed is beyond rewarding. Not so long ago, I discovered the quote “Travel is the only thing you buy which makes you richer” and I wholeheartedly rubber-stamp my endorsement on whomever first uttered those words of wisdom.
The enrichment gained by travel… whether an impromptu visit to the next town over – that the likes of which you’ve not come to know quite intimately enough.. or the kind which demands a passport; ultimately serves up new experiences in one way or another which add to our cumulative life episodes and provide exposure to new places, scenes, food, people, history and beauty. Beauty can exist in the momentary treasure of a scenic snapshot branded in your mind forever… or simply the breeze through your hair felt on the wind during a perfect stroll. Beauty can nest itself in a fun shaped rock you discover on the beach or it can manifest itself in a dew drop. The journey, no matter short or long, often brings the richness of acquired knowledge, memories created, lessons learned or simply quality time with those whom we care about. Beauty often abounds in the small surprises along the way… those little unexpected happenings which never cease to boggle the mind. The prize of never-ending discoveries keeps us keenly aware of how much lies out there… just waiting for us to find it.
Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world. -Gustav Flaubert
Do you have a place you crave to see? Do you seek introductions to points on the globe through travel? Do you love the words longitude and latitude because they infuse travel wanderlust? Have you ever been bitten by the travel bug? If you cannot answer a resounding “yes” to any one of those questions, I plead with you to give it a go…
Possess that travel bucket list!! …even if it resides in the recesses of your mind for marination into the future. Boot up the Google and find images of those places! Indulge yourself enough to read and learn about the explorations you may one day undertake! That’s the allure of travel; it can be launched by a Google search, a book, a dream or an actual escape which whisks you away to fresh encounters.
…people don’t take trips—trips take people. – John Steinbeck
The encounters are just waiting… some which have rendered me speechless include experiencing a rainbow in Ireland through the lens of the rear view mirror… witnessing the perfect sunset atop the Cliffs of Moher before dusk… paddling among bobbing seals in Prince William Sound, Alaska… beholding the spectacle between the beauty and harsh realities of nature in Denali National Park… the architecture of Edinburgh, Scotland and the overwhelming sadness of religious divide in Northern Ireland.
Trips will, undoubtedly, change your life perspectives. Meeting new people, engaging in meaningful conversations sometimes unexpected, stepping out of your comfort zone, finding yourself venturing down a path not planned, having to communicate outside your native tongue or seeing the way other people live are just a few ways travel makes you richer. These are the times when the trip is taking you and you’re not taking the trip. These are the moments in which you live in the moment… often rendered speechless… returning you home… a storyteller.