If I hadnâ€™t started renting out rooms to random people picked up from Kijiji classifieds years ago I wouldnâ€™t have some of the bestest friends I have today. I wouldnâ€™t be standing in my friend Mattâ€™s wedding this summer and I wouldnâ€™t know Trish or Mike. Or Julia, who just so happened to be the girlfriend of a random roommate picked up from Kijiji classifieds.
And a year or more down the line, when I still didnâ€™t know Julia all that well, she wouldnâ€™t have come to Ireland to see me in 2013 while I was Couchsurfing in Galway, but she did because her friend bailed on another trip. I maybe wouldnâ€™t have gone to Sligo without her, when David asked me to, because I didnâ€™t know him or anyone, but having a 6-foot-2 sidekick made me braver and so we did.
And if it wasnâ€™t for David we wouldnâ€™t have met Art, who in turn started introducing us to all his friends. We wouldnâ€™t have had that magical day stand-up paddling to the Isle of Innisfree, and if I hadnâ€™t drifted out to sea and if Sonya hadnâ€™t fallen into the water we wouldnâ€™t have sought the warm glow of a pub for one of the best trad music sessions of my life.
And if Julia hadnâ€™t had her eyes opened to travelling she might not have accepted an invitation to study physiotherapy at the University of Glasgow a year later. And if I hadnâ€™t gone through a series of heartbreaks I wouldnâ€™t have run away to Greece to change my life. And if I were a braver person I wouldnâ€™t have opted for a private tour of Athens where I met the Greek girl who directed me to the farm on Lesbos, and if I hadnâ€™t met Lena there I wouldnâ€™t find myself here in Berlin two years later subletting her bedroom in Prenzlauer Berg.
And if me and Julia hadnâ€™t stayed in contact with our Sligo friends, we wouldnâ€™t have found our way back there last summer for the Fleadh music festival. And if we hadnâ€™t met Art on our first visit we wouldnâ€™t have been invited to stay in the spare room at his new place in Strandhill, and we wouldnâ€™t have met a whole series of new friends, like Kenny and Sheena, who just came to visit me in Berlin with Julia this past week. I wouldnâ€™t have spent the last seven days sitting around glowing with happiness to have all my favourite places represented under one roof: Berlin, Newfoundland, Sligo.
These were the first visitors from home Iâ€™ve had since September, and I guess I had kind of forgotten how nice it is to be surrounded by people youâ€™ve known for years and are totally comfortable with. Not that I donâ€™t have that here, but it sure makes you miss home. I havenâ€™t seen my parents in nearly a year, and I miss that too. My little brother turned 24 on Monday and all I could manage was a brief phone call. But here I am on another continent somehow living a life in a foreign country, and doing it all quite comfortably, in fact.
Isnâ€™t life funny?
Isnâ€™t it fantastic how the people you meet along the way become the lifelines you cling to, even on the other side of the planet?
Isnâ€™t it incredible how one singular action sets the whole world in motion, no matter how insignificant that propelling action may be?
Isnâ€™t life just.