UNEXPECTED JOURNEYS IN IRELAND
SHARING MEMORIES WITH MY SON
other side of the road, and we forgot several times. We also had the chance to walk down the Cliffs of Moher. It was a last-minute decision that gave us an incredible memory to look back on. The walk was several miles long, and we packed a lunch to bring with us. Being so high up and seeing the seagulls below you with the waves crashing down was beautiful and one of the best experiences we had there. Another particularly memorable and unexpected moment was when we made reservations at a hostel in Dublin. When we arrived, it didn’t look like the safest place to stay. For one, several police officers were outside the building. Luckily, they took one look at us, noticed right away that we weren’t in the right place, and told us we needed to find another place to stay. Finding accommodations at the last minute in downtown Dublin is not an easy task, but it was quite the adventure! Our group ended up heading to one of the several internet cafes. Each of us had to wait to get in front of a computer to find a place to stay for the next few days. It took us a while, but we did eventually find a hotel. Our group had to split up in threes and twos among several rooms. Keith, one of his friends, and I squeezed into a tiny room where one of us had to sleep on the floor. Yet, we felt far safer and had a fantastic time. The hotel we stayed in was in a perfect place downtown with lots of nearby restaurants and activities that we got to experience, which I doubt would have been the case if we stayed at the hostel. It was quite the unexpected journey for us. As I remember this amazing trip, I can’t help but see how it relates to the journey we, as martial artists, take as we train. Every day leads to something new and exciting as you learn about this practice and teach your body to do something it’s never done before. You learn how to adapt to the culture imbued within martial arts, much like taking a trip to Ireland and immersing yourself in their culture. The key is to enjoy and respect the differences you encounter.
Everyone embarks on some kind of journey in their life, and I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing many. Training to be a martial artist, becoming a mother, and working so hard for the academy with my husband have all been wonderful journeys of my own. Sometimes, though, the unexpected adventures are the most memorable. On St. Patrick’s Day nearly 15 years ago, I had the pleasure of going on a trip with my son and a group of others to Ireland for two weeks. Keith was 15 at the time and had wanted to visit the country very badly, but I didn’t want him to go without taking his father or myself along. He planned everything for the trip and wanted me to go with him. The two of us went with about eight other people, and while we did have some plans for what we wanted to do, there were some unexpected twists and turns that ended up being a lot of fun.
If you ever come across an opportunity to embark on an unexpected adventure, I hope you don’t hesitate to take that chance.
We look back on so many things from that trip and laugh at the memories. It took us quite a while to get used to driving on the
– Amanda Olson
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