Even as I write this post, I’m sitting in the airport, tingly fingers moving across the keyboard.
Why am I nervous? I couldn’t tell you.
I’ve traveled before - many times in fact.
But never to my soul mate country.
My friend Amanda termed the phrase, and while I cannot take credit for it, I can understand it completely.
You know, that one place where you feel more at home than anywhere else in the world. And even if you haven’t made it there yet, that one place that you long for, unable to rationally explain the desire to others. It’s that landscape that you’ve dreamt of for years, even without glimpsing with your own eyes.
For some, it’s Chile. For others, it’s South Africa, Italy, or Thailand. For you, it may be New Zealand or Sweden. But for me, it’s Ireland. And it’s always been Ireland.
And it’s Ireland that I’m betting everything on.
Four days ago I said goodbye to a steady salary, a position with promotional promise, the choice of renewing my lease with a roommate I call best friend. All for Ireland.
I booked a flight and gave my three-week notice, determined that a two-week road trip in Ireland would change me. Inspire my being with new experiences, new words, new characters and electrify my writing.
I haven’t the slightest clue what will happen in the upcoming months. I just know that I’m going to come home from Ireland [unwillingly], write until my knuckles ache, and look for any way to make it abroad again.
Because travel does so much for the soul. It reassures a writer that the world is still a beautiful and endless space.
That purpose can still be found out there in the wilds of city streets and spongy moors. That all you have to hear is that clear whisper of vocation in your ear.
“But you must be quite sure, Stephen, that you have a vocation because it would be terrible if you found afterwards that you had none.”
- A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce
So in only a matter of hours, I’ll be landing in Shannon to search out the answers I’ve been waiting so long to hear: that I am a lover of words for a reason.
Ireland must be that place.
Elizabeth Hudson is a writer and blogger at StoryWrought.Wordpress.com currently abroad in her soulmate country of Ireland. She writes about writing, creativity, travel and story. You can catch more of her musings at @wanderinglizzie.
[Photograph by Bethany Suckrow. Taken outside Temple Bar in Dublin, November 2008.]