Tuesday, October 18, 2011

i'm going to go back there some day

"Come and go with me - it's more fun to share.
We'll both be completely at home in mid air."

Every October 18 I get wistful. Yes, there are other days I get wistful, though they tend to be a bit less scheduled and a bit more in response to some outside factor. Sometimes they're around the BBs' birthdays when I'm struck by some 'they're all grown up now' mixed with looking at pictures of my tow headed boys, and sometimes even watching video of birthday parties past. Not always, but sometimes. Or it's Christmas Eve, and everyone else is in bed, and I'm up with only the lights of the tree shining brightly on the ribbons and paper and wishing my wishes for everyone represented by a box or bag below.

October 18 is a double-whammy, really. It's the day after BB1's birthday, and it's the day I landed in Shannon, Ireland - the culmination of 6 months of planning, 3 years of saving, and a life time of dreaming.

Many people love to travel. And many people have life-changing trips. I'd already had one myself - prior to Ireland - when I was 17 and my parents took DJ & I to southern Africa, where I learned how blessed we all are, and how common the human experience is, and that we are all so different and so alike. Africa was and is amazing. And, my parents took me. They worked hard to make it happen. They planned. They communicated despite distance and time zones with our family there to make sure everything worked out.

Ireland was just me.

And, that's a lie. Friends encouraged me. Supported me in saving my money. Glassboat lent me money when my savings weren't released on schedule. My parents lent me more money when my new Mastercard didn't arrive on time (yes, I traveled internationally without a credit card - it can be done). The BBs supported me, encouraged me, promised they wouldn't resent my going alone and wouldn't burn the house down while I was gone.

But behind it all, making it happen, planning the itinerary, booking the cottage and planning what to see and do was all me. I allowed myself to dream, and I made it happen. I asked for support (something I HATE to do), and I never gave up. I stopped believing that being a single mom meant going without. And when I got there, for the first time travelling without my sons or colleagues or friends or family, I wept.

Yes, I'd been up for almost 36 hours, aside from whatever sleep one can get on an airplane. And yet I strained my eyes at the sea of green below us as the plane banked over Galway, circled wide over the heart of Ireland, and curved down over Limerick. And then we landed at Shannon International Airport. And my name was coincidentally in lights 20 feet high, and I wept, quietly. And with a huge grin on my face.

I talk a big game about what I can and should and want to do. But more often than not I fail to follow through. Ireland was a follow-through of the highest magnitude.

I'm going to go back there someday. To share Ireland with STG, and to create new memories. And we'll go other places as well - Rome, and Paris, and spots closer to home. Tropical oases, and mountain biking meccas.

And still, on October 18th I'll smile, and think of Ireland, and hum to myself ... 'I'm going to go back there some day."

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