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When I Needed Strength, I Needed Ireland

 

I missed Ireland before I even knew it.

Years after I first met three wonderful Irish people while camping in The Outback, I found myself walking around New York City and saying to myself that I missed this island across the ocean.

It was an odd phenomenon, one that I didn’t quite understand myself. How could I miss a place I had never been to?

But I did. I missed the warm feeling I got whenever I thought about how one Irish woman, with her eyes the color of lime juice, and I would cackle in the backseat of the van while driving through The Outback.

I missed the Irish couple that had quit their jobs to travel for a year and their clear love for each other.

And I smiled at the memory of a different Irish woman with smooth, sweet facial features delivering what had to be one of the best cursing outs I had ever seen. As my grandmother would say, this Irish lady “laid one man’s soul to rest” after he made an off-color comment such as “Oh, you’re Irish. You must love to drink.”

Thus—two years later—I was rolling my pink suitcase out of a job that I hated, happy to be on Spring Break, and heading to JFK airport. After one five hour direct flight, I was driving down winding roads, some bordered with stone walls, to my friend’s Dublin apartment. I was one woman with two men (the third man was gone and kind enough to let me use his room) and days ahead of me.

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