Final Ireland Post: Lessons Learned

Final Ireland Post: Lessons Learned

A previous post discussed some of the lessons we’ll take away from this trip to help in planning the Trip Around The World, but I have a few last thoughts.

1) There was some fear about this trip. Especially Yessa and Buster talked about their fears, both about flying and being away from home. I had plenty of fears in my head, although I didn’t share them. I handled mine by planning; sending Gina copies of all documents we might need, and knowing that she has copies of our will from the trip to Costa Rica. (My worry history is long.) Buster and Yessa handled their fears by talking about them and asking for reassurance.

This fear is normal. We’ll feel it again, and that’s okay.

Feel the fear…do it anyway. (Jack Canfield)

2) When we first arrived in Ireland, I thought it was okay. I liked the people, I very much enjoyed the places we visited, but at least once I thought to myself, “I’m not going to like Ireland as much as Italy.”

Boy, was I wrong. Ireland came to feel very much like home. It was the first vacation I can recall where I wasn’t ready to go home. I could easily see living there someday. (When Kelly and Paula are ready to move there with us.)

I suspect this will be an issue with each new country we try. It will feel strange and different, but eventually we’ll find the things we love about each place…

Unless we don’t.

3) It will be okay to change our plans. I follow a family on Facebook who was living in Costa Rica, then they moved to Panama to get a different experience. They didn’t care for Panama. It just didn’t feel right. So, after they gave it their best effort, they moved back to Costa Rica, which had felt very much like home.

The travel we do with the children is all about learning about the world. It’s okay to not love everywhere we go. It is, in fact, okay to really dislike some of the places we will go. We’ll learn something from each of the places. That’s what matters.

4) Finally, everyone in the family must feel heard and respected. We have some strong homebodies, and we have some adventurers. Some of us like a routine, and some of us want to go with the flow. This meant in Ireland we had more “at-home days” then some people would have preferred, but allowed us to ask more on the “outing days” from our at-homers.

When we went, we went hard. When we relaxed, we relllaaaxxxeeeddd.

5) We don’t need much stuff. We each had 4 sets of clothing, counting the clothes we wore, plus a jacket or sweater. The children and I each had one pair of shoes, Buds had two. A kindle or ipad for each of us, filled with books, will serve us very well.

6) We are not big souvenir shoppers. Buds and I got CrossFit Limerick t-shirts for ourselves and one for Tania. At the used bookstore in Cork, we all purchased at least one book, up to 15 books for The Buster. (Hauling books around is not fun, and should not be encouraged.) We bought assorted postcards. Monkey bought a small football with Guinness written on it. And we purchased or picked up some random pencils, a leprechaun, and some necklaces.

There were, of course, the wooden weapons, but best not to speak more of those.

My point, though, is that we probably want to consider a souvenir plan. I don’t foresee us buying many things to bring back for people. That just isn’t how our brains work. Better for each of us to pick one thing that brings us a smile as a memory of the trip.

Not paper books, though…no more books!