Today is the 28th of June, which means that five years ago, I landed in Rosslare! This followed: saying goodbye to family and friends; an epic drive through France with my car packed with clothes, houseware, and some food essentials; tearful goodbye to my parents at the harbour in Cherbourg; a sixteen-hour journey on the ferry; I still can feel the sea breeze on my face while I was standing on the decks watching Europe mainland disappear in the horizon. The image of the sea waves and foam created by the ferry will remain in my mind forever. A rollercoaster of emotions and feelings embraced my travel. Excitement, worries, happiness, fears, thrill, tears. I was brave and bold. Despite the craziness of my decision, I knew I was doing the right thing for me. I woke up the following morning, grabbed a coffee and went up to the decks, and Ireland was just in front of me.
I am so glad I followed my dream and bought one way ticket on the ferry to Ireland. No regrets, just the fact that If I had not done it, I would have regrated it the rest of my life. It is not easy to go ahead and do what you want to do if you listen to what others says, or if you worry about what others may think, or if you focus on what will happen if everything goes wrong. I was in my forties, I had no job lined up, savings to keep me going for a few months, no accommodation sorted, just the will to give it a go. Ireland had caught both my soul and my heart a long time ago. I owed this to myself!
These five years have been an amazing journey, with plenty of ups and downs: with many great experiences and unforgettable memories made; with a never-ending list of places discovered, pictures taken, and miles driven; with lots of stories to remember, people met, and cups of tea shared. And at the same time, moments of loneliness, solitude, hard work, struggles, tears. Moments of not knowing what to do, where to go, how to deal with things. Moments of despair, confusion, helplessness. I can only say that relocating to Ireland has all been well worth it!
I have gained a place called home, where I can be just me, where my creativeness can flourish, where my soul has finally found peace. I have regained my life, so I can fearlessly follow the less travelled roads, so I can embrace the good vibes around me, so I can become a better me. I have achieved an outstanding milestone with these five years, which has allowed me to be proud of myself, which has entitled me to be able to choose, which has given me the chance of a new start. At the same time there have been some losses, I guess it is the price one must pay when moving to another country. Contact with friends has become scarcer, not being there leads to growing apart, nobody’s fault though, they are still part of my being somehow. The mourning period for family has come to an end, they are now living their lives without me there. What used to be home is now a place to go and stay. Things have changed, relationships have evolved, nothing can remain the same. I have changed.
My last five blogs have been a humble homage to the Emerald Isle. This one is a homage to myself for having made my dream come true, having been up for such an amazing challenge, for having achieved such an impressive goal. To celebrate and highlight this achievement, I have indulged myself with some nice presents: a fantastic trip to Inis Oírr, we were gifted with a smashing sunny day while we could see the rain passing us by and heading to mainland; a new claddagh ring together with a trinity knot one; a crocheted green sheep by a local crafter ( we now call her Sheepy); a pendant with a message in old Irish – Ogham – (my heart is in Ireland) made by a very special lady; a tweed hat by Triona in Donegal to keep my head warm; a handknitted green woolly scarf from the Aran Islands and a poster I found at the market in Bloom with the perfect message: born to be Wild on the Atlantic Way.
This blog is also a homage to those whose paths have crossed with mine and shared their stories with me, without them I would not have been able to write my last five blogs. To those who have helped me along the way, without them it would have been more difficult to settle down. To those who have believed in me, without them I would not be where I am today. To my partner, who has joined me in this amazing adventure. Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir!
A new stage of my journey is now ahead of me, exciting times again! The opportunity of another five years in the Emerald Isle, plenty of more stories to come, plenty of more memories to make, plenty of more challenges to face. I still have two more dreams to come true, who knows, may be in five years’ time I will have had a book published, or will be living in a cottage near the sea somewhere on the west of Ireland, or both. Dreams come true, you just need to be brave and bold to go for them. Emerald, the colour of hope!
Jay Cee Moon ©