This story first appeared in Inspired Home Fargo magazine July/August 2018
In May, I took a dream vacation with my husband, son and his girlfriend to Ireland. My husband is Irish, and I mean that in the literal sense, not in the “he enjoys St. Patrick’s Day, and his great-great grandparents came over from there” sense. I mean he has an Irish passport and the accent, and yes, that’s dreamy, too.
But I digress.
We have been together almost 17 years, but I hadn’t been to Ireland with him because his immediate family live in England.
But this year, we finally found the time and good ticket prices to make our way to the Emerald Isle. For two glorious weeks, I was pretty often overcome with the scenery, the history, the beauty and the hospitality of Ireland.
Every bend in the corner of the unfeasibly narrow roads offered a new, breathtaking vista. Each pasture filled with cows and sheep was more idyllic than the last. Every thatched roof, painted door, crumbling building and Irish jig that spilled out of the pubs only further confirmed that, for two weeks, I was living in a movie set.
Except this is real life for approximately 4.8 million people. They wake up every day to the greenest greens you have ever imagined; they enjoy seemingly endless cups of tea and biscuits. They live the charmed life we all imagine the Irish to live every single day.
So while I was reveling in the beauty, I was also aware of how bland home was going to feel. How flat, how colorless, how short on charm and magic. And a part of me was sad to think about going home at all.
But my husband and I took our dog for a very early morning walk the first day we were back (one of the blessings and curses of international travel is the jet lag!), and as the sun came up over the trees down by the river, I was struck by the incredible beauty that is in my own neighborhood. We walked back towards our house, and I saw it with a new set of eyes. It has its own sweet charm, and with the lilacs, iris and peonies in bloom, our little yard has an enchantment that rivals Ireland.
And then let’s not forget that I have my very own Irishman, too!
Travel is good because it opens our eyes to new people and places, but I think it’s also good because it helps us see our every day in a new light. This trip to Ireland will live in my memory as a magical time, but my little life in my pretty little house in my beautiful little neighborhood will live there, too.