November 29, 2012 § 2 Comments
For just shy of two weeks, I finally got the picturesque autumn I had been craving, courtesy of Ireland. It pulled out all the stops, too. I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere so beautiful. The air was the cleanest and crispest I’ve ever had the pleasure to inhale. The food was fresh and local and absolutely delicious. The people were warm and friendly. The scenery was beyond gorgeous. It actually hurts your eyes, it’s so pretty.
We chose to go to Ireland because none of us had been there before, and we thought it would be an adventure. We were right. When we told people our plan, I don’t blame them for scoffing a bit. “Ireland in November, really?” they asked. But it was perfect. No crowds, lines, traffic or hassles. Yes, it was chilly, but that was what I wanted (hello, 80 degree California “Fall”), and other than one rainy day it was sunny a lot of the time (I never would’ve thought I’d regret not packing sunglasses). We started in Dublin, rented a car, and made our way around to the other side along the bottom half of the country, stopping in a new town every two nights to explore it and its environs.
As it turns out, this trip was exactly what the three of us needed; a chance to press the ‘reset’ button. We were busy the whole time, going places and seeing things and meeting new people, but I have been more relaxed since I came home than I’ve been in a long time. Ireland taught me the value of slowing down, of taking the time to absorb and appreciate what’s around me, and finding joy in simple tasks and pleasures. I am grateful for that reminder. And, on another note, I was also given a major confidence boost because – and I can’t believe I’m even able to say this – I drove over 700 miles on the other side of the road and didn’t put one scratch on the rental car. Now that, my friends, is amazing.