In June of 2009, I had the opportunity to go on the trip of a lifetime. At the time, I was working as a nanny, being paid insane amounts of money, and in retail. Since I lived at home and really had no expenses, my entire income became my savings. I guess my idea to travel really stemmed from my boredom at home. In case you haven’t heard, San Diego is the bane of my existence and I was ready to take any opportunity to leave, even if it was only for a few weeks. At the time I really didn’t have any friends and I was fully prepared to travel on my own. I have always been good at being by myself, so this was really no big deal to me. But at the last minute, my Dad decided the expense was worth it and he wanted to come along with me.
On June 7, 2009, we boarded our plane in San Diego and set off for Ireland and Scotland!
I have traveled a lot in my life. I have been incredibly lucky to see places that others will never get the opportunity to see. So why Ireland? And for that matter, why do I feel compelled to write a whole page about it on a food blog?
I will go ahead and begrudgingly admit that I am only slightly Irish. Really, I have no preexisting ties to the country. My reasons for choosing Ireland over all the millions of other places in the world are actually a bit ridiculous: It is green and they speak English. Okay, I guess the English is reasonable, since I originally planned to travel alone, but green? Really Camille? Well, if you have ever seen Southern California, you will know that it is many things, but green is not one of them. I wanted something different, something I had never seen before. So sure, let’s go to Ireland.
I know you are still wondering why I feel the need to write about this random topic on my otherwise theme-abiding blog. Here’s why: I am in love with Ireland. I am in love with the country, with the people, with the language, with everything. One of my biggest life goals is to someday live in the Irish countryside. I have never felt so much at home in any place as I have in Ireland. It fits me and everyday I dream about going back. When money allows, I have big plans to learn how to speak Gaelic and I truly believe it is the most beautiful language in existence (never mind the fact that it is essentially dead). Unfortunately living in another country isn’t as easy as just picking up and moving there (trust me, I have done my research), so for now I am living in the place I like to think of as the “Ireland of the U.S.”, Oregon.
Even though I was only in the country for a week, I will always consider it one of the best weeks of my life. Not only for the amazing things we got to see, but also for the fact that I got to see it all with my Dad. We explored every nook and cranny of Dublin, one of the most energetic and alive cities I have ever been to. We saw the rolling green hills of the countryside, where I plotted to build my future house. We drank ourselves silly on cider and beer. We toured the Guinness factory and decided that Guinness is actually pretty disgusting. My Dad bought his wedding ring which is engraved with Celtic symbols. It was completely perfect. In Ireland, the people are kinder, the land is greener, and everything is more alive.
Until the day when my bank account decides to forget that I am an unemployed student, I don’t think I will be able to go back. But when I do, you should probably say your goodbyes, because the U.S. might never see me again!