I know you wanted me to stay home, find a job here, get married and have kids. All the usual society-approved things. Things parents like to brag about to their neighbours. But I don’t see all this as my path. And almost like a real traveller, I feel some other life is calling me, the one filled with distant lands and happy adventures. The travel life. So I guess you’ll keep quiet now, because at this moment, you have a daughter that’s going away and keeps coming back. No bragging material there.
In my eyes, my hometown has become too small. I know it by heart. And I love it. Old street in the city centre, full of coffee shops and happy people. I see us laying on the blankets in a park. I see my neighbourhood, a meadow behind our house where I walk my dog every morning. Our old neighbour walking each year just a bit slower than the last one. Our park in spring, full of blooming trees. Then a path by the creek leading to Morrison tree, where we sit on the thick bottom branch, looking at the sunset and listening to music. I always plan on bringing my ukulele there but I never do. And we named it by the performer of the first song I learned to play and sing on ukulele. Brown eyed girl.
And I know when I leave, it won’t be easy. It never is. Travel is hard. And I also know, I’ll love to come back. To my town, my neighborhood, my room.
But right now, there’s this restlessness in me, that keeps me going. And I cannot fight against it.
This huge amazing planet of ours is calling me. Ireland is in my mind again. And that mischievous Dublin. I miss it. It was my first bold adventure. A long trip to independence. A vaccine against the fear of the unknown. A desire for the new.
It’s been almost three years since that trip. And I remember it often. I travelled alone. The first day in a new city. I feel like this was in another lifetime. Big queues around streets, people waiting for The Viking’s audition. Sometimes I wonder if these days actually existed or I imagined them.
I recall everything, exciting trips, new friendships. God, it’s so easy to meet new people when you’re out of the comfort of your country. I was in a park and all of a sudden a Korean boy turned around, looked at me and gave me his hand, saying: Hi, I’m Jack. It was that easy. And it was enough to make him one of my best friends there.
It wasn’t all that peachy, but somehow I buried those bad moments deep inside, so that I hardly even think about them. And now when I think of my old life in Ireland, it feels nice.
Nostalgia is a weird thing. It brings you back to days that look better then they actually were. Or maybe it was that good, but I didn’t know how to appreciate them more. Either way, it draws me to some of the old places. It’s telling me to go and relive those days, even though I’m well aware that they will never return.
I know it will be awkward to sleep next to people you don’t know. But it’s okay, they soon become friends.
Maybe someone robs me on the street again. Fine, I’ll stop staring at my phone while I’m out and be more aware of the world around me.
I’ll probably move many times. But that’s how I’ll meet more people and experience more cultures. I’ll probably do jobs that are not cut out for me, but that’s okay too, because I’ll get to experience how it feels to work something else other than being stuck in an office behind a computer. I want to know how it feels to be a farmer, a tourist guide, a waitress, a diver, you name it. That’s how I’ll get to know the world better. And people, too.
I know mom, it’s not all laughs but where is? I want to experience as much as I can in this life we’re given. Or at least try. You only get one. Why not make the best of it?
You know these Christmas lights of old Irish pubs, they are calling me to cross the Ha’penny bridge over to Temple bar and enter one of these wooden places full of merry people and happy liquid, laughter and songs. It’s calling me to hear that Irish music that once got on my nerves because it was playing all day in the shop I used to work at. Now, when I hear it, I feel warmth around my heart.
A train is calling me to jump in it and take another trip. To see that colourful flags dancing around sunny Dalkey. And beautiful Atlantic from the top of Killiney Hill. It’s making me want to walk pass the Bono’s house. Get out of the bus in Howth and feel the salty air from the sea. Sit on the pier and watch the seagulls while the wind roams through my hair. Play frisbee at the top of Bray while the sun is setting.
That mystical Ireland is calling me to come again. To meet new people from all over the world. Ireland, Italy, Russia, France, Spain, Lithuania, Brasil, Korea, India and even my Croatia.
The freedom is calling me, momma. And I cannot fight against it. We are not the same. And this is me. Do you understand now, at least a little bit?
I will write to you and talk about the adventures in my new life. And hide some things from you, of course. Send photos from my trips. From the top of the mountains. And maybe you’ll understand me then. And just maybe brag about me to your neighbours.
Till next time.