Giving Thanks in Ireland

For someone who has a blog about traveling, it turns out I’m sometimes really bad at it. When I first got my position working in London for the fall, I was super stoked, imagining all the cool places I could travel. Things fall through, but one of the plans that stuck? Ireland. My entire reason for going there? I had become pretty good friends with the person I secretly (or not-so-secretly) call the Me in Ireland – the person with my job at the Ireland site – and I would have a free place to stay.

So what did I get up to in Ireland?

*insert list of all the fun things I saw*

*insert moving, life-altering photos to make everyone else jealous*

*conclude with some moving thing about how travel expands the mind and heart*

Ummm.. MY BAD. I didn’t do any of that. This is literally how my weekend went:

Saturday afternoon: Arrived in Dublin, met up with Rachel. Immediately return to her flat, chatting about life, work, the future, blah blah blah.

At some point we realize we should proooobably leave and do something, you know, Irelandy. So we take a walk outside, continuing to talk, and manage to just meander without any meaningful sightseeing. Eventually that melds into…

Saturday night: Well HEEY I don’t know about you but I’ve had a busy day of sightseeing! Better pull up at a pub and grab a pint. Or three. That’s all I have to say about that. Just kidding. I’m not NEARLY that interesting. After tucking in to a super late dinner, we got immediately tuckered out, returned to hers, watched ten minutes of Love Actually, and fell asleep. Wah waaaah.

Sunday morning… into the afternoon: Continue watching Love Actually, you say? While eating cake for breakfast? OKAY! Oh, but we’re still talking the whole time. SERIOUSLY. WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING DUBLINY. We walk to the nearest museum (the National Museum of Ireland or something). Spend half an hour or so there, realize we’re STILL just spending the entire time talking, and return to hers again.

Sunday evening: That’s a wrap! Back to London!

So there you go. The entire sum of my time in a whole other country was spent catching up with a friend and eating cake. I didn’t even take a single picture – heck, I didn’t even turn my camera on. This is the only photo I have of us – taken over the summer because all the student staff thought we were sisters. YEAH YEAH?

I could beat myself up for paying $$$ for a flight and then spending the weekend basically on a 10th grade sleepover, but you know what? Travel and life aren’t just about expanding your mind and heart. The biggest thing I felt upon leaving Dublin was not disappointment with myself for not “taking advantage ” but gratitude (in this month of thanks giving, how appropriate!).

I am grateful that I still have “friend soulmates” out there. I am grateful that the time for making new friends isn’t over after grade school, and that instead of only having a finite number of people in my life to love I can keep expanding it out further. I am grateful knowing that I have people in my life – new and old – who care about me and about whom I care in return.

Basically, I am grateful to you (especially if you read this far). I’m nervous as anything about what comes next, but it’s a genuine blessing to have you lot in my life.

(Oh, and I’m also thankful for this little nugget of love)