Recently I returned from a ten-day trip to Ireland. I had been to Ireland once before this, about seven years ago.  Back in June of 2011, I’d had the most magical journey through eleven-thousand years of historic touring, including a brief whirlwind encounter with a charmingly eloquent Irish lad 😉

When I returned from that trip seven years ago, re-integrating into my unadventurous and magically-bereft life felt uncomfortable and desperately anticlimactic.  Seven years passed and I thought often of Ireland and how alive I felt there.

When a travel opportunity arose in 2018, Ireland came to mind. I researched tours and found a 10-day knitting tour through the West and North of Ireland.   We were to visit sheep and alpaca farms, knitting, weaving and spinning workshops and tour yarn boutiques as well as visit the ruins of a castle on a cliff.

This trip wasn’t so magical.  Two days in, I developed an excruciating sciatic pain. By the third day, the pain exhaustion from getting on and off the bus and touring from site to site had taken over.  I was ready to go home. Instead, I sought medical attention and continued on my journey.  Most painfully.

To top it all off, two days before I was due to go home, I developed an ear infection that forced me to delay my flight by three more days.  With ear infection not fully resolved, I boarded the plane and landed in Toronto one hour before the gale force wind storm of May 4, 2018.  The same wind storm which forced the airport to ground all aircraft and temporarily shut down.  I’d made it just in the nick of time.

I remember hearing in Native mythology that the wind represents change.  I remember how present the pain caused me to be in Ireland.  And how unpresent I had been the past seven years in my life.  I remember thinking how far I was from home and that when I made it back, I would inject more of living, and more of myself into my life.

My brother, who doesn’t see the point of travel, chatted with me before I left about the futility of travelling. I recalled a teaching about the ‘value of the journey’ giving the analogy of the effort of going on vacation only to end up in the same spot when returning home. “Why go?”

I’m sure much has been said on the theme of the experience of “the journey”.  I’ll leave that for another blog. But it must also be said that almost always, coming home is sweeter. The longing to leave has left.

About the Author

Julie is a Sociology and Psychology graduate as well as a student and teacher of piano. In her free time, she is a crochet adventurer and musical muse. In this blog, she'll share some of the thoughts and interests that wander in and sometimes stay a spell for tea