I hadn’t taken a “real” vacation for a few years. I’ve used the same excuses as everyone else … not enough time, not enough money, work concerns, etc. etc. Sure, I’d taken a day off here and there, but not checking my email or social media for 2 weeks???? Could I (would I) do it? Oh yeah!
The planning was simple … a 2 week trip to Ireland to celebrate our wedding anniversary and dig deeper into my husband’s ancestry. We finally decided on a bus coach tour to see all the sites starting in Dublin before traveling south along the east coast, southwest along the south coast, north along the west coast and then inland to Ennis, where we spent our remaining days on our own tour of discovery.
Dublin was …. well, Dublin. A fast-moving, busy city that was very similar to other large cities in the world … traffic, construction, crime and tourists! But then traveling through the small villages of Ireland is where it all changed. The scenery, the homes, the agriculture … simply beautiful. I was slowly beginning to relax. No ringing cell phones, no one with their nose to a tablet or laptop. People were actually talking to each other at restaurants, shops and pubs … even on the streets! Television at the hotels was very basic and mostly limited to politics in the U.S.!
We didn’t bring a cell phone, tablet or laptop. There wasn’t even a public computer in the hotels. We had to talk and listen to people … and absolutely loved it! I had forgotten what it was to like to really talk to people; to hear a voice instead of receiving a text, etc. We found information we needed by talking to local residents, not by a Google search or Mapquest app! By hiring a driver for the day, we were able to explore very small towns in the middle of nowhere. Churches, cemeteries, castles … all just waiting to be enjoyed. My husband was able to see and set foot on property owned by long gone relatives.
In this fast-moving world, we all need to slow down and enjoy what’s out there. We all keep saying tomorrow or next week or next month. Or we’ll do it after this project is complete, after the kids graduate, when we have more money or when we retire. Do it now!
Remember the quote that “no one on his deathbed ever said he wished he had spent more time on his career and less time on himself”? Well… I have to agree. My house was still standing, my job was still there, the money in the bank will slowly return. What had I been waiting for?? This was definitely a once in a lifetime vacation and one I’ll never forget. I’m recharged and regrouped … but already planning my next getaway!
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Cliffs of Moher
Also published on Medium.