“A journey is best measured in friends rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill
One of my favorite aspects of our trip so far is the people we have met. I love and miss my friends at home, but I really enjoy the freedom of meeting new people on the road I otherwise would not have known, and the excitement of getting to know them and their stories. Making a new friend in whatever country you’re in is so interesting because you immediately have a major trait in common: a love for traveling.
During our time in Donegal, Ireland, we stayed in a town called Glencolmcille, on the western coast of Ireland. Population: 200. Our neighbors for the three days we were there: ample sheep, gangs of cows, and two donkeys named Jack and Jill.
We loved experiencing this rural, friendly Irish town, but because of its remoteness, we weren’t expecting to meet anyone; in fact, I didn’t think there would be other guests at our hostel, especially this early in the summer.
I was wrong about all of the above. When we arrived at the hostel there was a huge family staying in almost every room at the place. The next morning at breakfast, somehow among the chaos of the family’s 20 kids playing tag around the tables, I met a girl from Canada named Meesh. She was incredibly easy to talk to and be around; we chatted about Ireland, where we’ve both been so far on our trips, and where we were going. She had been to Ireland before and always wanted to come back because she loved the country so much. Rachel came down a few minutes later and we all decided to go to a beach near our hostel called the Silver Strand, even though it was pouring rain outside. Our hostel owner Paul was nice enough to drive us there.
Even in the torrential downpour, the Silver Strand beach was amazing. The three of us climbed down a huge set of stairs that ran down the side of a cliff surrounding the beach, creating a cove. Despite the winds whipping around us we were all laughing and taking photos, joking about the “beautiful” beach weather. It was low tide, so rocks near the ocean were uncovered. We climbed onto them and looked out at the ocean.
“I wonder if there is a word to describe when you see a landscape so pretty that you can’t think of how to tell anyone else about it, because what you say could never do it justice,” Meesh said while we stood on the rocks looking at the cliffs and beach. If was a word for that, I realized it would be exactly how I’ve felt about all of Ireland.
On our walk back to the hostel, Meesh told us her goal while traveling was to see at least one breathtaking sight every day. Rachel and I loved her ability to find inspiration in everything, even a rainy beach day. Meeting people with this kind of optimism and insight gives you a new appreciation for the traveling you’re doing and the different experiences you’re having.
I’m sure we will carry Meesh’s love for travel and for life with us throughout the rest of this trip, and I hope we will be lucky enough to meet others like her.
Thanks for following along,
26 year-old Anna Idler lives in Montgomery County, PA and is a freelance writer for Montco Happening. To learn more about her travels, check out her website Outlaw Summer.
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