As much as I loved London and Scotland, it was Ireland that really took my breath away.
Not that we didn’t have to work for it. There were forests with paths that disappeared into the brush to wander through, and piles of rocky cliff remnants at the edge of the ocean to clamber over while the waves thrashed and threatened to hide the way through. Cliff paths took us dangerously close to edges that dropped off for hundreds of feet before meeting pebble + boulder beaches and clear blue waters, the depths of which were surely frigid if not studded with rigid reefs of rocks. Wind wound its way above the cliffs, not light summer breezes but a force like a weight, resisting, pushing, pulling, threatening to topple us over the precipices. And the natural world wasn’t the only force to be reckoned with; parts of the way were guarded by security to keep interested eyes away from movie and tv sets filming in the area.
And yet, there is no place I’ve ever been that was this worth fighting to see.
As we walked along deserted beaches and delightful paths high above the Atlantic Ocean, passing almost no one the entire way, it occurred to me that this is the first time I’ve planned a trip solely on a whim of where I wanted to go, picked a place we’d never really heard of in the scope of a broader land that is well-known. It wasn’t inspired by seeing someone else’s trip, or photos of something amazing from a certain place. It honestly wasn’t a trip that I was even expecting to be very me by way of style or colors or mood. We decided we wanted to walk this place, and that, simply, was our motivation to make this trip happen.
So here’s what my heart tells me to share: go somewhere for you, not because everyone else is going there or because you’ve seen amazing pictures of it. Pick a place because it calls to you, because you want to see what it’s like and nothing more. These are the places that will teach you things about yourself – teach you that you are strong, that you are small, that you play a bit part in this wide, wonderful world, but that you can do anything and your part is yours for the taking.
Ireland, I love you.
All photos taken with a Fujifilm X-Pro1, 18mm and 35mm Fuji lenses. See more photos and daily adventures on Instagram.