I grew up being told I would study abroad in college. There wasn't any choice in the matter. It was going to happen.
Somehow, it was the music of Ireland that called me to that country. I remember watching the VHS tapes of Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance in elementary school. I chose the Chieftains for my seventh grade music class project. My aunt kept buying me tin whistles and such for Christmas.
It made sense, then, to study there in the fall of 2009. After fighting my college for the chance to go (mechanical engineers at Virginia Tech rarely go to Ireland to study), I made it to the National University of Ireland, Galway.
A wonderful four months of learning, friendships, and travel.
Now I go again, invited by one of those friends I made nearly seven years ago.
The first week will be an adventure as a camp counselor, walking through the Parables of Jesus with a large group of middle school-aged youngins. Having spent hardly any time with twelve-year-olds in the past decade, this will be a bit of a jump into some sort of deep end. Bring it. I'll be with Nathan and Jenna again, as well as a whole mess of people that will be my friends in just a few days time.
After that, a photography tour. Hire a car, they say. Find a hostel, find a pub, find the craic, go on lad, get on with it. Yes, cheers, thanks a million. The Ring of Kerry beckons and, should some miracle occur, so do the winding steps of Skellig Michael (book your tour three months in advance, not three weeks, because Star Wars).
A retreat as well. For the busyness here at home can eat up one's soul, even begin to suffocate it without one knowing. Step away and breathe again. Listen to the quiet voice in the wind who has much to say to you, dear child, if you would only pause from your striving and worrying and