While it was a difficult decision to continue on with this trip after Sean died and leave my kids for two weeks it is undoubtedly the best decision I have made for both myself and my family in a long time. I learned silly trivia, local slang and profound life lessons in my two weeks overseas. Without further ado, in no particular order, here are just a few of the many things I learned while traveling through Scotland, England and Ireland:
1. Traveling takes a lot of balls. A two week trek across three foreign countries isn’t for the faint of heart.
2. Guiness tastes 100 times better in Europe than it does in the states
3. “Cheers” does not mean you need to clink your glass and drink everytime someone says it *flashbacks to Dublin* Cheers can be said as a thank you or confirmation (I seriously think I’m still hungover)
4. The Irish are some of the most phenomenal human beings you’ll ever meet. They’re honest to God the most genuine, kind and joyous bunch of people.
5. Even four thousand miles away from the place you call home, it turns out we’re really not that different after all.
6. You can meet and make lifelong friends who were mere strangers scattered around the country in just two weeks.
7. Goodbye is still the hardest part.
8. I’m really good at sleeping on busses.
9. I’m really bad at subterranean modes of transportation.
10. There is an actual science to drinking Whiskey
11. No matter where you go in the world, its comforting to know that there will always be a drunk girl in the bathroom of a McDonald’s.
12. If you didn’t have great legs before, you’ll have thighs of steel after a trip to Scotland #hills4dayz
13.”When in Rome”- You know the saying! Don’t be afraid to try new things or do something out of your comfort zone! Try the Haggis, drink a hot whiskey. Dance in the pub, sing at the top of your lungs. Stay for one more drink, one more song- even though it’s late. Climb the volcano (even though you feel like you’re dying) Stand near the edge of the cliffs overlooking the vast ocean and finally understand why people used to think they’d fall off the edge of the earth.
14. Life is too short and the world is too big a place to only see the part you live in. If you have the opportunity to travel- do it. Your kids and all of your other responsibilities will still be there when you return home. No one on their death bed ever says “Boy, I’m glad I cancelled that vacation and stayed home to work instead!”