We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
― Anais Nin
Note: I started writing this post in Belfast, Ireland and ended it back in Texas.
Greetings from Ireland, y’all!
I’m currently writing from the quaintest of cottages in Belfast, where I have turned a pool table into a makeshift desk. Rain is gently pelting the roof and I’m typing with a glass of wine by my side.
I arrived early Friday morning to meet my cousins at the Dublin airport, and already so much has happened. This was my first time to fly to Europe solo, and it was just as magical as I’d hoped it’d be. I made two new friends along the way. One on my seven hour layover in New York, who was a dog whisperer of sorts and on her way to England to attend an animal communication course. On the plane ride to Dublin, I met an aspiring rapper from Seattle who was catching a connecting flight to backpack Europe. One of my favorite things about exploring the world has always been the friendly and intriguing souls I meet on my way.
My cousins and I road-tripped from Dublin all the way to Belfast. This meant we changed countries, currencies and politics all whilst remaining on the same island. Road-tripping Ireland was like a dream. The rolling country sides, the stops for a pint of Guinness, the beaches and the bakeries and the cliffs and even the perfectly spotted cows? It all seemed too beautiful to be real.
Even getting lost in Cork and driving around in circles for an hour seems like a mesmerizing mishap in hindsight.
On our day spent at the Cliffs of Moher, we eventually found our way to the riskier parts of the cliffs. This area is traced with warning signs, and there is no one to whistle you back to the safety zones. I may or may not have been whistled back to said safety zones at other points of the day, so these whistle-free zones were my favorite. I sat down and scooted as close to the edge as I still felt safe. I thought to myself, “I would fall if I moved just this much closer.”, and that was both terrifying and exhilarating to know. Shannon joined me, (Janna had peaced out right before noting that she saw our lives flashing before her eyes) and we sat there and talked as the wind blew through our hair, just trying to take in the astounding beauty all around us. A few minutes passed before a few young guys appeared, one plopping down inches in front of me. Not to be outdone, (which could quite literally be the death of me), I scooted a few inches forward as well. “Whoa.” the dude said, reaching out his arm as if to protect me. I laughed. “You did it first.”
This is what traveling feels like to me. It feels like the wind blowing through my hair and life rushing through my veins. Like scooting just a little too close to a cliff’s edge while arguing with a complete stranger as if he is my kindergarten crush.
And what a feeling that is.