Friday, 1 July 2016

Home-bird turned explorer...

When I was about 10 years old I was on a Cub Scouts camping trip in Killybegs, well by camping I mean sleeping bags on the floor of a parish hall. This is one of the few Cub excursions I remember because of the knock on affect it had on me and adventuring away from home. Shortly after we arrived at the ‘campsite’ I overheard the leaders talking (eavesdropping was one of my favourite pastimes!) and I heard them talking about the hall being broken into several months beforehand. For some reason that freaked me out entirely and for the rest of the evening I felt very anxious and sick to my stomach at the thought of having to stay in that hall. At about midnight, after an underage disco in the local club I decided I could not stay the night in the hall, despite the fact I had my older sister with me I just wanted to be at home with my mammy. 

The phone call was made and my daddy made the long trek to Killybegs to collect me. On our way back we got a flat tyre, just to add to the adventure! From that night on I couldn’t go away from home for anything, school trips and even a family break to Sligo. I felt scared and sick to my stomach. I still can’t quite figure out why I got so scared at the prospect of being away from home but in later years the thought of having to leave home to go to college scared me.

In transition year the opportunity presented itself for me to go to St.Louis Missouri for three weeks with five other people from my class at school. This was something I really wanted to do, but the prospect of being away from home made me feel nervous before I’d even stepped foot on the plane. My daddy drove me to Dublin airport on the morning of the flight. I remember talking to him nonstop for the three-hour journey, despite the fact it was 5am! However, as soon as we drove into the airport car park, I immediately began to feel anxious and worried about the trip. I kept having to reminding myself how much fun I would have on the trip and that everything would be ok. I had a wonderful time on this trip but I did feel quite homesick and talking to my family on Skype made me quite upset.

I had certainly conquered my fear and now I had been bitten by the travel bug! The following summer I worked in Switzerland for six weeks in a summer camp. This time, I didn’t feel as anxious leaving my family and I was more excited than nervous about travelling. I seemed to be too busy to feel homesick, which I was glad about, because six weeks of feeling homesick would have been awful!

Going to Dublin for college had excited me for months before I finally left home in September last year. The closer my move out of home date came the more nervous I felt and I was worried I would feel homesick as I tried to settle into college. Luckily I was too busy making friends and enjoying Fresher’s Week to feel homesick. The ease with which I settled into life away from home definitely encouraged me to spread my wings and be adventurous.

On my 20th birthday I decided I wanted to be spontaneous this year, to go outside of my ultra-planned comfort zone and live life to the fullest. In the midst of my end of year exams I decided to book a trip to England to stay with family friends. It was such a fun trip as I didn’t plan anything or make lists I just went! 

This summer has been full of adventure, starting this blog has been a big adventure for me, I’ve been very open and honest about my life on this very public platform but I think people respond well to honesty like this. This summer I haven’t had the job I have had for the past few summers but I was confident something would come up, and it has. In June I was a reader for the Junior Certificate for two weeks and next Wednesday I’m off to Brussels, Belgium to work as an Au Pair, helping a 3-year-old with his Irish! Another adventure that I cannot wait for! I have also persuaded my mammy to book a little trip with me and my younger sister to go and visit family and family friends in England at the end of August. It has been a summer jam packed with adventure and me venturing out side of my pre-planned comfort zone.

I no longer feel anxious being away from home because my desire to explore new places and cultures overrides any worry or feeling of homesick I used to experience and I feel alive and free!


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