Tomorrow is another travel day, I will be making my way to Cape Clear Island.
Yesterday I walked 15 minutes down the road to a short ferry crossing, crossed over and walked into Cobh. It took me 30-45 minutes to get there. It was cloudy, windy and it did eventually rain later in the afternoon.
Cobh has an amazing history, the buildings are colorful and the scenery can be stunning, even on a wet day. I walked around, took pictures, eventually walked up to the St. Colman’s Cathedral. It is stunning, inside and out. I could have spent hours in there looking at the carvings, tile work, stained glass etc. Wondering who were the craftsman, did they have families, what were they thinking, etc. As I walked along the tiled floor I wondered who had walked here before me and for how long.
I eventually made my way down to grab something for lunch and wander some more. The rain stared to come and did not stop so I decided I would grab a cab back to the ferry landing instead of walking for 30-45 minutes in the rain. I then did the 15 minute walk back and relaxed for the rest of the day.
Today, in the home where I’m staying, is one of the housemates birthdays . Last night he made an amazing dinner for us all- he used to be a chef- and it was a 5 Star dinner. And I was included in this event, it was lovely.
Here I was, in a home, and a country I do not live, but was included as part of the group. I looked around the table and thought..” how very fortunate am I to be here at this time.” Here around the table were 3 Irish folks, 1 from Spain, 1 from Latvia and her adorable 3 year old, and myself. Here, at this table was a richness of humanity, and genuine authenticity. It was a delightful evening and certainly not something I would get if I was staying in a hotel.
This is why I am staying with airb&b, and Homestay.com I didn’t want a “antiseptic” experience of Ireland, meaning hotels …which I couldn’t afford, where you are in and out, and don’t get to know the folks who are serving you, or the area you are staying. Traveling solo has its challenges, and connections with others helps keep me in the present. Yes, I am doing a lot of thinking, writing etc while on this trip, but human connection is really important. It also helps me grow, push myself out of my own comfort zone, and become more confident in myself and what I can do.
That being said, I still have, and imagine I will, continue to have blips and bumps, along the way. I had one last night in the wee hours of the night. It was very windy and raining and I woke in a panic with the thought..” what happens if the ferry sailing to Cape Clear Island is cancelled because of a storm? As I said before, I know my past and present will be bumping against each other and this was one of those moments. I am getting better at recognizing and picking up on these moments. I am also getting better at recognizing that I tend to go into “survival mode” 24- 36 hours before I move onto my next location. I have decided to call this “Locked, Loaded and Ready” meaning its like I’m preparing for battle, but these battles are from my past.
Very often, more then I care to remember, I would come home from school and everything would be packed as we were going to move that evening, or other times, I was woken in the middle of the night as there was great commotion and we would once again be moving. These would happen with no warning and was often a result of my parents not having any rent money, owed rent money etc. Put this onto of all the other crap that was going on and you would see one very frightened, little kid. There was no warning, no goodbye to friends etc.
No wonder I have these moments while on this trip, but the good news is I know whats going on, and am able to do what I need to do to take care of myself during these times. And I am getting better at it, and realize where these emotions and anxiety are coming from. And I am able to be pro active.
This morning I contacted Cape Clear Island Ferries and asked about local accommodation in case of ferry cancellations, and they informed me its all good sailing today and tomorrow 🙂 In the past, I would not have been able to do this, I would have been in “Locked, Loaded and Ready” mode and stayed there for a week or so, if not longer in the beginning of my journey. This once again shows me how far I have come.
In the past, I would also not have been able to accept and partake in the invitation to the amazing dinner last night, sit around chat and laugh with the folks and felt blessed and fortunate for the experience.
I have noticed on this trip that while the buildings and city’s are nice, its the land and experiences with folks, like last night, that speak to me and have enriched me in ways I could never imagine, and will continue to enrich my tapestry of life, long after I get home..
Thanks for continuing to come along this journey with me.
PS- here is a link to the stature I took a picture of and wanted to include at the begging of this post, but cant figure out how to do it