There is one problem with traveling
for long times abroad. It’s how to
tell of a love affair you had with a
ccountry to the people you know
back home. How does one put a
synopsis onto an experience made
whole by a plethora of small loose ends
that are almost impossible to tie up?
Before even returning home from Ireland I had begun to ponder to myself how I was even to begin to tell people of the experiences I’d had over seas. When someone you haven’t seen for three months asks you how Europe was how does one wrap up such a trip into a casual brief conversation?
It still frustrates me to no end because I still can’t do it properly. I feel as if I’ve wronged my trip and memories in some fashion. But then I think about it and realize it’s not that simple of a thing. It’s almost like trying to tell someone how you first fell in love. Before you ever even fall in love you have a preconceived idea about how it might be, what it’ll be made up of. You think of all the big moments; the first kiss, nervously holding each others hand, first valentines day, or prom or whatever. Yet after you fall in love you realize that the big moments play a part, sure, but it’s really all the little small stuff that seem almost insignificant when taken out of the bigger picture. It’s those little memories that you cherish above all others. For those little things are the foundation of your love. It’s what the grand picture is built upon, be it in the form of the girl, or the adventure.
So when someone asks me how my trip was I tend to tell them of Paris and London more than I do of Ireland because being a tourist is easier to sum up. As a tourist you go and see the places and things that make up a city or town. The towers, monuments, squares, rivers, churches, and the list goes on. You try the local cuisine, drink the local beer, and dance the local clubs. You get what you pay for. And I don’t mean to bash being a tourist at all, for I’m one myself and loved Paris and London for all they had to offer and can’t wait to return to their splendor and beauty one day.
The reason I don’t talk about Ireland as much is because I’ve fallen into a deep love affair with the island, and I truly believe that’s the way to travel. As a lover, not a tourist. Sure big things made up Ireland as well; some fun night in the pub, ventures to Cork City, hosting the pony camps, the list goes on. That’s not what made the experience as memorable though.
It was the small things.
- The riding the bus and seeing an old Irish gentleman sweet talking an elderly woman, the sweet banter back and forth.
- Listening to two dear friend attempt to explain to me their hatred of the gypsies over a few pints of stout.
- The sitting around the table in the living room, smelling dinner cook, and just shooting the shit after a long day of work.
- Talking as we performed our daily tasks, learning about one another, the culture we were living in, and sharing our lives with one another.
Not the most exciting things in the world, but without them Ireland would have just become another mistress, rather than the sweetheart she became.
Not to mention there is no way to put sheer awe-inspiring beauty into words. You can’t tell of how the clouds would roll in over the mountains and engulf a valley, leaving a tension in the air, but filling the soul with wonder. Or how the rocky craggy countryside keeps your eyes fixed to it for hours on end. Even the coastline that goes on for miles, but each mile different and more beautiful than the one before it. Pictures can hardly even do it justice.
I still don’t do my trip justice in my writing, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to unless I were to write an account of it all from start to finish. The devil, or rather, the love is in the details. If I learned one thing though it’s for the rest of my life I want to travel as a lover. To soak up as much of the little things as I can. To marinate in them so later I can truly love where I am, and gain something more from my trips than just pictures and stories. To taste briefly another slice of the world.