I just had a “moment.” I just experienced a feeling that is quite possibly the oddest case of Ireland Sickness I have ever experienced. It’s a bit like getting overwhelmed with homesickness but all at once.
I’ve been away from Ireland for over two months as of now and at the moment I am reeling from the emotional effects from it. I’ve been back home in Sydney for only ten days and today, just out of nowhere, became overwhelmed with emotion.
I keep thinking back to all the adventures Ireland took me on. It was the most epic experience of my life. This experience restored my faith in humanity; it showed me that the people of Ireland are some of the best and kindest people on the planet. I mean that.
Every morning when I wake up, my eyes open to a map of Ireland – This is the same map hung in the same spot – all before I knew what I was getting myself into with #AroundIrelandOnAPushie. This map now hangs as a reminder and a celebration of all the love that Ireland is ready to give to the visitors it doesn’t even know yet. We can learn a lot from the people of Ireland.
Ireland looked after me every single day; Ireland had my back. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but it didn’t really matter. Every person I met became a friend. Every person I met cared – a lot. They took the time to have a chat and showed me what they loved about their country. Wow. How man times can you say that’s happened to you? Not many, I bet.
Ireland’s landscape is beautiful – I can tell you that once you see the colours of the emerald green landscape, it will forever be with you. You will never forget that colour; you’ll crave that colour and when you do see it, the memories of what you experienced will come flooding back.
When I walk into my local Aussie pub, I feel like I’ve lost a family member. The pub’s here are so quiet. I miss the music of the local trads. I haven’t been able to find a replica of the sounds anywhere but in my memories. To be honest, I don’t think I could unless I went back to Ireland.
I feel like I’m mourning the loss of my true first love. Ireland and I made so many memories together. It’s like we left each other on good terms however, due to distance we had no choice – we parted ways. Right now, all I want to do is the right thing: to show how remarkable and magical this little island in the middle of the Atlantic really is.
It’s one of those feelings where you don’t think you can really do it any justice by explaining but I really want to give it a shot. I truly believe I owe so much to Ireland. It’s true. Ireland has taught me so much about life.
It first started as only a little idea for an adventure that evolved into something quite spectacular: At first, I was someone who just wanted to feel something again. Then, after a long time, I discovered that it was never about the bike, it was about a girl trying to find my place in the world.
A few months on, I wanted Ireland to give me the answer I was looking for – whatever it was… after all, that’s why I was here. Ireland didn’t. Ireland was very tight lipped; it was like this little island wanted me to figure it out for myself. Instead, I discovered that there was no magical bullet. Ireland has no magic bullet – Ireland didn’t care who I was, it wasn’t going to give me the answers I wanted and why would it? This was something I needed to figure out on my own…
Then, I left. I walked around the streets of New York, played with rockets at NASA – I was in a bit of a daze. Ireland was still with me, but I was just going though the motions… then, “life happened.” …and you know what… this entire time, Ireland did have all the answers but I just needed to discover the answers myself.
I learnt that we are all capable of so much. That we can do ANYTHING – that we are our biggest critics and limits… and we are our biggest cheerleaders. That the world we live in truly is a magical place – just like I thought Ireland was. I just needed to embrace it.
This is where I am at right now. I feel forever indebted to the little green rock in the middle of the ocean – to the people of that island that I now call true friends and to the strangers that smiled and waved to me along the way. You are the magic that makes that gorgeous green Island smile. You should be so proud.
A girl gone walkabout in the great big world!