“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
Rachel and I are officially over one week into our trip! We’re in our fourth city in Ireland out of our six, and can’t believe how fast the trip has been going. It’s crazy: we have been abroad for such a short amount of time in the grand scheme of our trip, but feel like we’ve been living this kind of lifestyle for so much longer than just eight days.
It is truly a unique way to live: continuously on the go, figuring out each city’s public transit system, walking constantly, taking numerous sights in at one time, checking in with each other to make sure we’re both feeling good and ready for the next activity.
I feel really present and able to be completely in the moment, more than I have in a while. We are forced to only think about where we are right now, and then where we are going next. Your mind doesn’t have time to overthink and let small stressors get to you. The best way I can describe this traveling mindset is refreshing, and freeing.
We are currently in Galway, staying in a little town just a mile or so outside the city center called Salthill. From our bed and breakfast you can see the ocean; I’ve been so happy that Rach and I have been near the sea so many times during this trip.
Today during our tour of Connemara, I reached into my bag to grab chapstick and as I was searching for it, felt pieces of sea glass I’d completely forgotten I collected in Howth during a day trip we took a couple days ago.
Anyone from in and around the Philadelphia area is no stranger to the phrase “going to the shore.” I grew up living and working in Stone Harbor and Avalon, New Jersey for many summers with my family and friends. Recently, my parents bought a home in Cape May Point, the southernmost point of the shore.
I used to poke fun at my parents and call CMP their “retirement village,” because they would birdwatch, browse antique shops, and walk the beach collecting sea glass, rejoicing when they found a piece that wasn’t the typical brown or clear. I found though the more I went down with them to CMP, the more I fell in love with it: the beautiful beaches, delicious restaurants and friendly, amazing people. I began to understand exactly why my parents grew to love this town and the calm, easygoing way of life there.
Before I left for this trip, I went down to CMP for a few days with my parents and had just as much fun in finding sea glass as they always had. And now, so far from CMP and from my family, I am still searching for those satisfying pieces of sea glass.
When traveling long-term I think you’re bound to experience completely new perspectives, and that is so necessary. But I also think it is vital to keep up little routines here and there that you would at home, to keep you grounded and appreciative of where you came from. I can’t wait to add bits of Ireland to our Jersey Shore sea glass jar when I get home.
Thanks for following along,
26 year-old Anna Idler lives in Montgomery County, PA and is a freelance writer for Monto Happening. To learn more about her travels, check out her website Outlaw Summer.