“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” —L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
My re-telling of the Gurski Grad trip 2014 has gone on for so long that I am actually dreading the end of the tale. Though it is bound to come eventually, and it shall in the next post, I thought I would pause here to reflect on a phenomenon I have experienced on almost every adventure I have had since my teens: Kindred Spirits.
“Yet as he walked up the familiar ways, the streets remembered themselves in his mind.” – Sebastian Faulks, Birdsong
As much as I truly do love travelling alone, every single time I have fallen in love with somewhere on one of my solo trips, I have almost immediately felt an intense desire to share it with not any one person in particular but with every person in my life. This is different from the feeling I have when dreaming up a new trip – usually these visions involve a specific person or set of people (ex: I would love to visit the South of France with my Mom and Sister – Mum was an au pair there at one time). But once I have gone past the dream and really fallen for a place, I just want everyone and their dog to see it, experience it, and (hopefully) love it… as I did.
I could go on and on about the many (and I mean an absurd amount) of places I think everyone should see, and perhaps this blog will get to all those places eventually. But for now, in keeping with the narrative already established, I’ll settle with talking about one little village that has found a distinctly dear place in my heart.
Nestled at the base of the famous (infamous?) Cliffs of Moher on Ireland’s rough western coast is a teeny tiny village called Doolin. And it is one of the most heartwarmingly lovely places I have ever visited.
As I sit in the upper lobby of my bewilderingly large hostel trying to decide whether the neon glow of the Generator’s welcome sign is gaudy or curiously comforting, a lone uilleann pipe begins its beautiful wailing just below me on the other side of the steel railings. As other instruments quickly join in on the melody the scenery transforms from the hostel that remains my sometimes-overcrowded-place-of-residence for the next two weeks into a warm and cozy local inn-like atmosphere where I instantly feel happy and at home. Honestly, I was half waiting for Merry and Pippin to jump on the tables and start stomping their feet to the music. OK, so I might STILL be waiting for that to happen – it’s good to dream right?