Visiting the Homeland, On My Terms

I’ve been to Ireland before, as an awkward pre-teen in a hoard of likewise awkward pre-teens, shuttled around on a bus chartered by my Irish dance school, in the company of my sisters, my mom and one of my many ‘other-moms’- my dance master, Terri.

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That’s me- sleep dancing far left, with Corey, Margaret, Terri, Gretchen, Violet and 1/2 of Katie.

It was my first foreign country. We had to pack our dance shoes. And costumes. And sponge curlers.

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This shot is from our annual dance camp- not in Ireland, but an acurate sampling of the early AM public humiliation we endured after spending 8 restless hours sleeping on HARD PLASTIC SPEARS ATTACHED TO OUR HEADS.

It was snowy, angry February when we left NY and Ireland opened her green, lush arms to us in the most welcoming of ways. It sounds like a bunch of hooey, but I remember feeling a surprising sense of homecoming as I stepped off the plane. My gut (influenced heavily by logic) registered this as some incarnation of home, albeit several generations back. My mom had brought little travel journals for everyone on the trip so we could record our memories. I wrote a lot in that journal. Not necessarily about traveling, but it planted a seed. Obviously.

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This time, I return with my own agenda (or lack thereof). I’ve become a very fluid, transient traveler. I arrive, I absorb and I plan from there. General research is done, ‘best coffee in ______’ is Googled, TripAdvisored, LonelyPlaneted, Twittered and Facebooked and I line up a few accommodations to help gain my bearings. The rest is sweet, sweet improv.

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I’m flying into Dublin, hopping up to Belfast for New Year’s, over to Derry/Londonderry for a few winks and then…

Suggestions? Comment here, or hit me up on Twitter: @keeliesheridan

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2 thoughts on “Visiting the Homeland, On My Terms

  1. I’m rather surprised we didn’t get kicked out of the country that trip after I insulted the locals! We’ve gone both ways, organized and disorganized. I loved it both times. Have a wonderful time, my occasional borrowed daughter!

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