Yum Creative

Yum Wrap – Irregular musings on film, art and media

Republic of Ireland September 19th 2023 – Come Home Journal #28

A reckoning of the journey (turas) to tour Dancing Shadows in Ireland, a retrospective of my film works as part of the Come Home project.

Talking with my sister, the adventurous outdoorsey one, about solo travel. She’s not enamoured of it. I never ever thought I would do it. It wasn’t meant to be like this. But circumstances often dictate things that you would never have though of.

In the year leading up to my journey I faced waved after wave of issues and problems that I had no control over. I learned a lot. Cried a lot. Forgave a little. Forgot some. Made a little. I read some famous fabulous woman artist once said “Forgive a little, forget a little and make a lot.” No amount of searching gives me her name. I resolve to simply do better next time, put my art at the front of what is happening to me, not at the back. Initially the travel was arranged with my kids but someone needed to get home to help and the other needed to stay home to help. I am grateful to them both for the kick in the pants. “YOU’RE GOING!” And go I did. But on my own.

Before this I could never see the point of travelling without someone to share the experience with. Wow. Happy to admit I was so incredibly wrong. I am older now, been through a lot and I understand that it’s not brave at all. It’s not self indulgent. It’s not even selfish. And even if it was those things? Well thats grand. I’m worth it.

I’m so grateful that the kids could stay with Mick, my partner, and care for him in a way that works for everyone. He has it toughest, recovering from something that was so close to killing him we felt death breathing down our necks that night. Whether he is well enough to ever travel again we don’t know. What we do know is that life has changed forever and we are grateful every day for each other and whatever future we might have.

But its lonely making all teh decisions. In any case I decide to go. Its taken a year to set up and revolves around me so I must. On my own everything is cheaper. Things happen quickly. There is so much I want to do. There is no discussion to waste, there are dares and challenges to be choosen. I use the age old technique of talking to myself like Fagyn talks to Betty – loving baby talk but tough when needed.

I used to think solo travel pointless and tragic, dreadful. But it’s not. Why didn’t anybody tell me? Its challenging, definitive, freedom and heart-filling wonder.

Do you hear mum in you?

My sister asks if I hear mum when I talk to strangers. And on my own I am over myself, talking to strangers every day, wondering and dancing aloud. It’s fabulous. I tell her I do. And she says do you hear mum in you? she was so good at striking up conversation and stories with strangers. And yes I feel that too. Its easy and inviting and people are so ready to listen. It’s a revelation.

Travelling is easier now and safer for women, particularly older women. We recognise each other. We smile and make way and help out where we can. We know how delectable the experience is. Here we are all grown up, being fabulous warriors on a quest that will fulfil our desires. How important. And all of us to a T, dressed to impress – ourselves. It’s so liberating to put myself first. will you try it?

I ask another sister, the well travelled one, why didn’t you tell me? She says you can’t, its all about the willingness to step into the unknown alone but not lonely. Solo!

EDIT: And upgrades! Wow. The woman at the desk of the Killarney hotel told me I was upgraded because I was an older woman travelling solo. When I asked her what that meant she said cleaner and unlikely to damage the room. Clearly she doesn’t know me. That made me think of other benefits. While there is no one to share costs the meals are cheaper smaller and more frequent and include fruit! Heaven.

IMAGE CREDIT: The Eye and Me by Erin M McCuskey

The image journal can be found in this Collection – Ireland –  Flickr Album 


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Subscribe To Irregular News

* indicates required

Luxville Citizenship