When I was younger, I loved reading Choose Your Own Adventure books. Control or curiosity, for better or for worse, I would always read through every possible story until I knew all the endings. I suppose one could argue that it’s a waste of time, but I often like to play out in my head the possibilities of paths not taken (I imagine most people do). For me at least, I think it helps me figure out the path that I did, in fact, take. Where would I be if I had chosen to travel abroad the hundred other times I had talked about it? How glad I am that I didn’t stay with the Italian guy in Dublin, and met a girl who could possibly be my Asian twin when I stayed with the old Irish man instead. Or for example, I keep wondering (and have often wondered before) what my life would be like if I weren’t such things as a girl, or young, or white, or American, or relatively approachable looking. Things that haven’t even been a choice, just cards.
Butterfly Effect, Multiverse, Choose Your Own Adventure. Whatever you want to call it, I think my curiosity is in hyperdrive.
I realize that I am far, far from the first person to think so, but Ireland is pretty magical. Today I rode around in a bus for over ten hours, and I think I could safely estimate that 80% of what I saw was tumbling hillside and organic coast. How is there still a place left in the 21st century this beautiful, this uninterrupted save for fundamentals and modesty? Will such prime wholesomeness last? And that’s to say nothing of the complete and magical affability of the people who live in it.
Those of you who know me best will find this unsurprising, but I think I could die for the dairy here. The milk, the butter, I could stick straws in it all. I’ve had ice cream twice today. So far.
Also, in recent months I’ve discovered that I have a pretty alarmingly awesome sense of smell. And, I happen to love it. Some people travel the world in pursuit of food or vistas, but I think I could just sniff my way around the globe.
It’s fascinating to me how often the topic of God has come up in my conversations with complete strangers, without any prompting on my part, even if I am always curious. Do Americans just avoid the subject (probably), or is there a reason for it (probably)? Belief or not, cynics seem to rule the world. However, it counts for nothing against my idealism except to make me say, “How interesting!”
- I keep being told that I don’t have a strong accent, whatever that means.
- I keep being told that I’ve packed extremely light for a trip with no definite end.
- I keep being asked if I am traveling solo, and when I say yes, I keep being told I am “brave.” I wonder what this means to each person who uses that word.
- People don’t seem to know much about America. But then again, I don’t feel like I do either.
- A fact of constant wonderment: it doesn’t get dark here until at least ten thirty at night.
- I forgot to tell you: all the Asians working in Paris at the Asian food take out places speak perfect French.
- I wish I was more political.
- Cork is much better than Dublin.
- And, my metabolism has skyrocketed.
Okay, I know I said boys are fun, but I really did mean it about girls and conversation. I’ve been hanging with a girl, previously mentioned, and we talk and talk. We joke and laugh and give insights. It’s gahr-geous, as the Irish would say. This is what I live for. Besides, boys are terribly predictable. Most of them have little windows in their foreheads. I like that traveling gives me the excuse to be talkative, to reach out boldly for friends or company (or forces me to, really). When you’re doing something you’ve never done before, you can kind of access a part of you that you’ve never been before.
Last night I went to a pub with fireplaces on the first floor, and a homemade cinema on the second floor. I had a stout and watched Game of Thrones and we ordered a pizza to the pub. Oh and, when I was there, a guy walked in that I had met at a pub all the way in Dublin. We had only talked for a half hour maybe, but seeing him there, both foreigners, we greeted each other like old friends. Like we belonged to something, somehow.
One of the best things about experiencing all this is that I know I’ll be able to come here and tell you about it afterwards. Doing and seeing, solely for me, that would be okay, but somewhat hollow, I think. I am spurred by the thought of knowing you’ll be there to hear about it. If experience was dough, sharing with you would be the yeast that makes it rise. You turn something simply beneficial into something really full.