Three weeks ago today I was flying somewhere over Canada on my way to Ireland, my dream trip, a 48 year dream. I have met some amazing people and I have done a lot of “firsts” I have crossed things off my bucket list and been awed by the landscape of this country and amazed at the people I have met, but there is one thing I never really betted on, and that is being homesick. I knew I would miss home, but to actually feel homesick is a bit of a surprise.

I don’t ever remember being homesick before, or I should say “felt” homesick before. I my have been homesick in the past, but being so disconnected from my emotions, I never felt them. so yes, at the ripe age of 58, for the 1st time in my life, I am feeling homesick, and it has hit me like a ton of bricks, but I am told this shall pass.

I have tried to write different blogs here, but I realized today that until I write the truth of where I am, nothing else is going to come forward. I also realize that I have to be authentic in my writing, and traveling solo is not all smiles that I have posted on Facebook.

I have read a bit in travel books about missing home, but none have really gone into what it feels like to be homesick. That may also be because these folks had normal upbringings and went through this when they were kids, and got through it.

Homesickness is not a nice feeling, its more then longing and missing things you are use to, like your own shower or bed. your regular walks, coffee shops etc. Its more then missing the scenery and friends, family and those you love. Of course there is the emotional side, but there is also the physical part of it. For 3 mornings in a row I have woken up shaky, nauseous and can not swallow more then tea and toast in the morning. My neck hurts, my shoulders are stressed and I have not been sleeping great. I have been awake for the last 3 mornings between 2:00 am- 5:00 am and having broken sleep. I have been feeling anxiety and panic, and of course as you all know me, this brings up past stuff, issues, fears etc. Nope, they don’t write about this in the travel books.

But, as hard as this has been for me, and believe me it has. There have been moments I have had to just focus on my breathing and telling myself I will get through it, and yes I have cried , and cried hard. But there is an up side to this. I am “feeling homesick” , the operative word is “feeling”. For so many,many years I was numb and felt nothing, or afraid of emotions, so pushed them aside. So the fact that I am feeling what I am feeling is a good thing. This has also taught me that I am more connected to so many people and places in my life then I realized. And in a way, allowing myself to feel like shit, or as they say here “shite” it shows me how far I have come, how much I am loved, and how much I love others.

They say travel changes a person, funny how I had to travel through 8 time zones, and over 7000 km to find out how much I really am connected to home.

To help myself get through this I will stay connected to my family and friends, I have been in email contact with my therapist, and I need to make self care the #1 priority, which for me, means rest, walk, write, and write some more.

Thanks for joining me on this journey, and lets see what the next discovery is


Those that travel with me…

I’m sitting here in my room, at the Newgrange Lodge in Ireland. It has been an amazing 2 days and today I got to go see Newgrange and Knowth. I was on the 9:15 tour- I booked tickets on line a couple months ago. There were only 40 of us- I heard in the afternoons it can be hundreds,- it was lovely, and I could have stayed there all day.

I did get to go into the Newgrange chamber, and even though it was for only a few minutes, it was amazing. Looking around and up, and to the top of the cap stone, which weighs 7 tons if I’m not mistaken, in a chamber of a passage tomb,that is 5000 years old, and bone dry was amazing. To touch the stone and be in awe of this very sacred place- well to me anyway. What a gift.

The tour then went to Knowth, and it was special and spectacular also. I walked around, on my own, talking to no one, being mindful of where I was stepping, touching the carvings and once again in awe of such a sacred place. The view on top of the mound was beyond spectacular. I found it moving. As my son wrote “how could you not feel the impact in walking in a place that was built before, well guess before pretty much anything we deal with today” and he is right. This place was important to so many peoples.

Yes, I seem to be touching stone a lot on this trip, its like it speaks to me.

After the tour I mindfully walked back, and back again over the Boyne River, listened to the bird song, the river singing, noticed the scents wafting through the air, – there is one that I have come across a few times, it smells like sweetgrass, but a bit sweeter.

This place speaks to my soul in ways I can not explain. Its like a parched plant whose fibers are finally able to pull up life saving water, and nutrients.

Its like every fiber of my being is being rejuvenated, or maybe its that they are finally being welcomed home. With this comes a lightness and dare I say it, a strength of my ancestors, as they help guide me on this journey.

I may be in a spot where I can now feel my ancestors on this journey, but I have had many, many, other people who have helped me get to this point during my many other past journeys. They have all added to the richness of my life, and I believe that I am now able to feel the richness of this journey because of it.

I want to write more, but just cant find the words, I guess I am processing.

Tomorrow I am on the move again , but will write more about that later. For now I need to process and feel what was brought tome today.

Thanks for following, and coming along with me.

Lifes Tapestry …

It has been an amazin­g 4 days here in Cros­smaglen, it is beauti­ful country here

I h­ave woken up and watc­hed as the early morn­ing mist rolls in and­ blankets the hills a­nd valleys, dancing ­to a tune only it hea­rs. Placed my finger­s on medieval chisel ­marks wondering who m­ade them and were th­ey my relatives? I ha­ve watched as the eve­ry changing skies hav­e ebbed and flowed, e­ntertaining me for h­ours.

I have walked the str­eets of Belfast, lear­ned of its history an­d it’s people. Had my­ first Guinness in Ir­eland- yes it does ta­ste better here, had ­my 1st “Tayto” Crisp­s- cheese and onionf­lavor- Yum, and met s­ome amazing people. a­nd seen some stunning­ landscape. This trul­y is a magical land ­in so many ways.

As I mentioned in my ­last post I am stayin­g with a member of “W­omen Welcome Women World­ Wide” and my Host Ro­isin has been amazing­. And it’s people­ like Roisin and othe­rs that I have­ ­learned­ so much and ­gained­ a richness that I k­now I will take home ­with me that will add­ to the richness of m­y own tapestry­ of life. This ­truly­ is a gift. ­

Before leaving the Co­mox Valley, I went down­ to the Spit, did a s­mudge and picked up s­ome pebbles. I had no­ idea where these peb­bles were going to go­, I just knew that I ­would leave them arou­nd Ireland. Today was­ one of those days. I­ have been carrying a­ pebble around in my ­pocket for the last f­ew days, waiting for ­the right moment.

Today I was in Carrli­ngford. A medieval­ town with ruins. Aft­er I stopped­ in the Tourist infor­mation I was going to ­go look at the ruins,­ but there was a pull­ for me to go across t­he road to the Carlin­gford Lough. I cant e­xplain it, it just wa­s. I walked out to the end of the ­pier, which is below ­­what was King John’s ­Castle, and pulled th­e pebble out of my po­cket.

As I tossed it ­into the water, it wa­s like I was returnin­g my ancestors­ home. Along with tha­t came a lightness ab­out me, as if I had r­eleased past burdens-­my own, and my ancestors­, and maybe that is w­hat this trip is all ­about.

Tomorrow I am off and­ will end up at Newgr­ange. I will be sad t­o leave my new friend­, but looking forward­ to my next adventure­. I have felt that th­e universe and the pe­ople have held me loveingly ­ in their arms, allow­ing me to grow and fi­nd my most authentic ­self. It is something­ I will treasure­. ­

Come along with me and let’s see where this path goes .

Through the Next Door…

It has been a very busy few weeks. Especially last week..I was in Vancouver receiving the Coast Mental Health ” Courage to Come Back” award. It is given to people who have come through tough times and give back to others. I won the Mental Health category. It was an amazing evening, I met some amazing folks and gave my speech to to 1800 people. I loved it. I will put links here once I get my computer to hook I to cyber space, as I’m writing this on my phone right now.

After the exciting 2 days, and very,very little was back on the ferry and arrived home, Friday afternoon. I then was at the airport at 4,:30 am to start my Epic Irish Adventure

After a 17 hour flight I have arrived safe and soud in Ireland. I made it through immigration no problem, but you should have seen the look on their faces when I told them I was here for 10 weeks. I was just grinning from ear to ear. After the long joirney I was picked up in Dublin by a lovely lady named Roisin. We are both members of an amazing organization called Women Welcome Women World Wide. It is for women who travel solo, or sometimes with partners. Rosin lives in Crossmaglen and drove down to Dublin to pi k ne up from my early arrival. Then drove back up an hour north to her house. I am staying at Roisin’s house until Thursday. Today I am just resting and recovering from going through 8 time zones.

Yesterday I met some of Roisin’,s family. I was at a restaurant with Rosin and her mom_ Mary, joined us. There was then a conversation that started up with the folks at the table next to us. They were friends and they had a visitor . This visitor lives in Dublin but had family here. It amazes me as I listened to Mary as she is telling this fellow from Dublin about his family connections etc. It was lovely to be immersed in this, and the stories and Craic, it was lovely. I loved it.

I also know if I had been on a tour this likely would not of happened. This is what I love about staying with local people, the authenticity of the folks I meet, and being g pulled into their fold. It was amazing a d magical for me. I will remember this.

Today I am taking it easy. I got 12 hours sleep last night and had a 1.5 hour nap at noon. I have drank some tea, sat outside on the steps and listened to the birds an gazed at the view, which is the picture above. It’s a bit cloudy today but still stunning.

So, as I sit here looking g out, I know I am stepping through the doorway into another chapter of my life. I a. Not sure where it will lead, but for now, step through this doorway with me as I step I to my Epic Irish Odyssey


PS..I know..the photo is not there..I will get it up as soon as I figure out how to do it on my phone

My Soul is Whispering…

Dreams are whispers of your soulIn 14 days, I will be flying over the Atlantic ocean on my way to Ireland. Needless to say Ireland has been on my mind!

A couple nights ago I dreamt that I was in a small town in Ireland. I was at a small house, with a guide and we walked though the house and out back onto a somewhat large flat rock, that curved down over the edges, it was about 10 feet by 6 feet. The guide told me to look at the rock, I did so, and didn’t see anything but rock. He then poured a bucket of water on the rock, and that was when the imprints of foot marks showed up on the rock.

As I gazed at them the guide said …” This is where your ancestors stepped, this is where they walked” I remember a feeling of peace coming over me and I thought to myself “”This is home.”

It’s going to be an interesting journey back to a place I have never been. Come join me as my Soul whispers and discovers.




Believe in Your Dreams…..

It has been a very busy few weeks here, for many reasons, some of  which I will reveal in the next blog. But, needless to say I have had circumstances that have got me thinking about how far I have come, and reason to celebrate. I have also had moments when life has reminded me what really matters, and to thank my blessings, no matter how “small ” others may feel they are.

And then, there has been a pleasant, unexpected  surprise. Folks have been giving me money to put towards my Epic Irish Odyssey- this has been totally unexpected, and never asked for. This has resonated with me on at least 2 levels. On one level, it shows me once again, especially in these troubling times, that the world can be a pretty amazing place, and people are kind. On another level it shows me to believe in my dreams, and if I believe in my dreams, others will also and support it in whatever way they can. This really surprised me, and still does.

As I said, my budget for this trip is like the “Peanut butter and Jam” budget, but now There will be a few days where there will be cheese sandwich’s also- and I am so very grateful for this. These folks, as well as many others will be mentioned in my book I write about this trip…maybe they will be in the chapter titled ” The Cheese”

Stay tuned as this journey unfolds 🙂


The Book That Reignited The Spark….

the red haired girl from the bog

Sometimes in life, something is presented to you at the exact moment it’s needed.  This was one of those times.

My family Dr. is Irish, and I had mentioned to him, that I had  wanted to go to Ireland since I was a child. My family never spoke of the connection, and it was not until decades later that I learned there was indeed one. And, being my curious self, I wondered why I had such a strong pull to a place I have never been. It was shortly after that discussion,   he loaned me his copy of The Red Haired Girl From The Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit. by Patricia Monaghan.

I was hooked by the end of the the 1st page.

The opening line is  ” I remember the exact moment I knew I would go to Ireland”

It was not as clear for me, but by the end of the 1st chapter my soul started to resonate with Patricia’s words, especially the lines….” How could I know myself if I did not know where I was from…the places where my ancestors walked, where my body understood the way time unfolded its seasons on the land, were people still spoke a language whose rhythms echoed in my own? Where history had been made by people with my family names? Where the unrecorded history of ordinary loves and losses had been made by people with features like mine?”

When I read those lines,  my soul  breathed a sigh of relief. These words were to it like a long awaited drink to quench a life long thirst. Little did I know the profound affect this book would have on me.

Once I finished reading the book I gave it back to my Dr, and ordered my own copy.  I am happy to say it is a much loved book, and it’s cover is somewhat ragged and dogeared. I have read it many times, and each time, I find something new, or more like something else resonates within me.

The more I read this book, the more I started thinking that maybe, yes maybe, I will actually get to Ireland “One Day” As this thought peculated through me, the Soul spoke louder and louder, till I actually started saying out loud that “I was going to go to Ireland one day” This was huge for me.

As a person who has had a very traumatic childhood, I learned at a very early age to never dream, never think I was going to be anyone or make anything of myself. I also learned if I had anything like a dream…never to tell anyone, because it would be taking away from me. So, as I said in my last post, this dream and the pull to go to Ireland was hidden so deep down inside that no matter what happened to me, no one could damage that dream or take it away.

And when the time was right, it started whispering to me once again. And that was when this book was placed in my hands.

To say I have worked exceptionally hard to deal with and overcome my childhood, and how it affected my adult life is an understatement. I have never worked so hard at anything in my life before. But it has been worth it.

This healing journey of mine is all about returning home to my authentic self, finding out who I really am, not what or who they “told” me I was.

My  Epic Irish Odyssey is also about returning home and finding my authentic self. It is about thanking ,and honoring, my ancestors, whose genes I carry, that gave me the tenacity to survive such horrific and overwhelming circumstances. It is about walking on, feeling and smelling  the land of my ancestors. It is about feeding my Soul and Spirit. It is about Gratitude.

This will not be you typical travel blog. The fact that I started writing it before I am even packed should be a sign. But, it has been a Hell of a journey to get where I am able to take this next journey, and they will be intertwined through my whole trip. My past will be bumping up with my present and I’m sure I will find many surprises and treasures along the way. I also know, there will be times of trial and challenges.

I have saved for 10 years to be able to take this Epic Irish Odyssey. I will not be staying in 5 star hotels, or eating in 5 star restaurants. I do not have a champagne budget, let alone a beer budget. Mine is more like a peanut butter and jam budget. But what I lack in monetary value, I know I will discover a richness in myself,  the people I meet, and the land that calls.

Like any good adventure, I have no idea how this will play out, what the next page let alone the next chapter is. But I do know, its going to be a real page turner. Come, turn the pages, and discovery along with me.



The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

The idea of this journey started way back, during another life time when I was 10 years old. I don’t know what sparked it. It could have been a subject in grade five, a book I read,  but  it’s  more likely I heard the gentle whispering in my soul, and I listened. As I listened I could feel a gentle tug, pulling me back to a land I had never been to, an ancestral place that was never spoken about or acknowledged, but a place I could feel in my bones was calling me.

I decided at a very young age that one day I was going to visit this mystic land that called. This was my dream. As I grew up, life became complex and complicated, and it was hard for me to hear the whisper, but I could always feel the pull.

Life was, and continued to be hard, and survival was in the forefront, so my dream took a back, back, way back seat. But, I am happy to say that because it was placed so far back, it was also kept safe.

Fast forward 40 years, and life was safer and calmer  and I started to once again hear that whisper, and feel that pull. The universe placed people in my path who had either lived or been to Ireland. As we spoke I was more intrigued and the whispering and pulling increased with strength. I was loaned a book, – I will speak of that in my next post- I read it and thought “I can do that, I can visit Ireland, and see what has been calling me all these years.

This blog, like any good adventure , has a vague road map. Like my writing it will have twists, turns, and go down side alleys I never knew existed. Come along and join me on this journey, this Epic Irish Odyssey, discover along with me whats down those side roads, over the bridges and along the paths as I walk this inner and outer journey. Lets Discover together the treasures within our Self, and within Ireland.

Welcome aboard!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton