Exactly 10 years ago today, I left Ireland after a wonderful first trip to Europe. That solo trip was a graduation present to myself, and the couple of weeks I spent traveling around Ireland left me with amazing experiences, and a deep love for travel that has never gone away.
Now exactly 10 years later, I’m sitting at the gate in Philadelphia, wearing the same brown Sketchers that saw me through the first time, and ready to return to the exact place I left from. There’s a mixture of nervous anticipation, giddy excitement, and plain old fatigue coursing through me right now, and I suppose that’s only natural.
Wendell Berry wrote, “Always in the big woods when you leave familiar ground and step off alone into a new place there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is the ancient fear of the Unknown, and it it is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into.”
I think those wildernesses come to all of us in life, in various forms. Some are smaller and some are bigger, but the challenge is learning to enjoy the journey, and embrace the lessons it offers, even when the wilderness seems a bit daunting.
Well, dear readers, we’ll be boarding in about 30 minutes, and I still need to get some dinner. Hunger is also a feeling that’s coursing through me right now! My next post will be from the Emerald Isle!