Facebook ‘on this day’ kindly reminded me that this time last year I was in NYC having a fucking ball.
This year I was on a train at 6:20am. That got me all nostalgic for adventures before and excited for travels to come.
One thing I realised as I was scrolling through was that I travel differently now, that the reasons I visit places has changed. When I was in my early twenties I travelled because I could, I travelled to places so that I could see what was out there and maybe find my place in the world. I would never have dreamed about going back to the same place twice, why would you? There is so much world to see, I was always worried that it would never live up to my previous experiences. That view worked for a while, until it didn’t.
I’ve become a much more nostalgic traveller, I long to visit all of the places I’ve been to before BECAUSE I know they will rarely live up to my previous experiences; normally they surpass them.
When you first visit somewhere you’re a little bit blind to what to do, where to go, what is a must see vs what is a tourist trap. The second visit is a much truer version of the place – you know where you are, you know the things that you want to do rather than the things you feel you need to do because of the numerous ‘things to do in….’ lists in travel guides and on websites.
Travel has always given me a new perspective on things, there is something about being in a new place where you don’t know anyone that makes me reevaluate my life. The anonymity and no expectations of anyone that you meet or see (except those you’re with, but even those relationships feel different) give you a sense of freedom; or at least they do for me.
I have travelled a decent amount, not a much as some but definitely more than others. I’m so grateful to have those experiences and those friends that have come with me.
Here are a few of my favourites.
Valencia – The One That Changed It All
There is no way I could start this list with anything else. This temporary move to another country in 2010 with 3 girls I didn’t know is the one that changed it all and makes my heart smile the most.
I met my best friend in this city, realised that the Spanish really make everything better, fell in love and left a part of my heart behind.
Derry – The One With The Hangover
This city is a home from home now as my Irish brother and mama live here, anywhere they are is home for me. The trip to celebrate St Patrick’s day way back in 2012 reminded me why I don’t drink much and that the Irish can party like no other. Highlights of this trip include me dancing by myself in a club with the flag wrapped around me and having to sit down in the shower the next morning because I felt like death.
Barcelona – The One Where I Remembered How Much I loved Spain
When I got back from VLC after a week everyone, in the most passive aggressive ways possible, told me to shut up talking about it. When I went to Barcelona in 2011 with Momma Sophs, Jade and Wilf I remembered that all the reasons I kept harping on about Spain and the Spanish were valid and real. IT IS THE ONE OF THE BEST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD AND YOU WILL NEVER CHANGE MY MIND ON THAT OK.
The American summer – The One That I Needed.
June 19th – Sept 10th in the USA with some of my favourite people. This trip was the one I needed. The break from life we all crave sometimes I was lucky enough to have. I realised a lot about myself, what I wanted, my limits and it gave me time to reflect on things that had happened and let go of things that were never meant to be. The house of Rincon Ave became my safe place that summer. We saw so much that summer it is hard to pick just one thing that makes it stand out. Without a doubt the best trip I’ve ever taken. Just wow.
Paris 2015 – The One With Disney.
That’s all you need to know really. 2 of my best friends. Disney. 5 days. It was perfect, I laughed so much, rediscovered my inner child (which is never really far from the surface) and met Peter Pan. Life was perfect at that moment.
Cape Cod 2014 – The One Where I Realised Family Really Is Everything.
The best part about this is that I wasn’t even with my family. Mark and I hijacked my American fam’s vaca and it was the best. They are such a big family, and their love for each other is bigger. I love being surrounded by them, hearing their in jokes, laughing at each other and being let in to their homes and making memories with them. They remind me that family is what really matters, the world may be chaotic but so long as you have that little hub to come back to it’s all ok. I just need to remind myself of that when my family piss me off!
There are so many more trips that I could list but unfortunately I am running out of time as I gots places to be. I’m off to make memories with my family in the best country of all, the one I call home.
Happy Easter, pals