It was 1999 and we were in love. He said, yeah, my treat from my tax return, lets got to Kim’s wedding in Oxford, England and then travel for a week in Ireland. I said OK. And off we went for a whirlwind 10-day UK trip during which I knew I could probably marry him. He took care of the reservations and check ins, and I had the money and the maps. Plus, when I looked out over that landscape, I knew this was a home within me.
It’s 24 years later and I am accompanying my son to Ireland, his requested destination for his graduation trip gift. Although this all sounds awesome and swell but has some traumatic backstory I’d like to share on this day, March 10th, 2023, when our plane will be setting down in Ireland to begin our trip.
There are a few reasons why I have been an anxiety ball since beginning to plan this trip.
There was me screwing up the booking of the tickets online so badly that I ended up crying for many days in a row. Read about that here.
The Universe miraculously saved me from that one, but I have still been held back from outright looking forward to the trip and these are the reasons why.
· First, The Money. When you grow up with not a lot of money, trips aren’t affordable. Incurring this sort of expense to travel would be crazy talk. You’d put yourself into a debt you couldn’t come out from under for a while if ever. And at the present time, we are having some major work done on the front porch which has had me saving for a year and super nervous about the cost.
· Me being the one who has to be the one responsible and in charge for both me and Eamon. When Mark and I went in 1999, he’d just come off the road traveling with the World Tour for Michael Jackson’s History album. He was very well versed in all annoyances and things having to do with travel. I have not nor have been a world traveler. And I have my son to take care of along with myself.
· Leaving my daughter. Fiona is very much a Mama’s girl. And this will be a tough time for her. I also know that it will help her separate and grow in ways she needs to. But I am equally aware that things will be different when I return. A better different for us both.
· And having my castle and cats in the care of my husband and daughter who can’t remember to give them fresh water every day but still gets allowance. Yeah, it’s a big ole “Good luck with that” scenario.
But, as I was out walking with a friend admitting all this, I also stopped and said out loud, “I need and deserve this vacation”. I work damn hard to take care of all of it every day and I can use this so much. In a greedy kind of Mine kinda way. I wrote “Leaving in 2 weeks” in my schedule book. That seemed to make it even more real.
Almost 23 years that have passed since I was in Ireland last. And I can tell you, it will never get old. The landscape is breathtaking, the skies are huge. The people are kind and funny. And you can’t really get lost there. Everywhere leads to everywhere. And there’s no rush because, sheep.
I am so looking forward to having the opportunity to have some do-overs there. I regretted not seeing more of Cork city. Not having heard real live traditional Irish music. I had wanted to wander around a village with thatched roofed houses. I missed seeing both the Book of Kells and Yeats’ tower, although we did stop there to pee. And added bonus? We get to spend Saint Paddy’s Day there! Too cool.
To be able to both relive a wonderful memory and create new ones with my son? That is priceless. And no matter how anxious I am, there’s booze on the plane and copious amounts of reading time!
I’ll do my best to keep you in the loop via social media on Instagram and Facebook concurrently. But don’t expect a blog post next Friday because I’ll be recovering from my St. Paddy’s Day in Gallway! Slainté !
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