If youâ€™ve been following my Ireland journey youâ€™ll know that some things didnâ€™t go as planned. The breakdown: I met some of the most incredible people in County Waterford, but as explained in my article for Matador Network, it looks like Iâ€™ll never REALLY know where my family came from. Iâ€™m Canadian as Canadian can be.
I did all the research. Met all the right people. Was interviewed by radio stations and newspapers and tried to host my own Gathering in Dungarvanâ€¦but didnâ€™t really find anything at all. The help of Waterford Gathering was monumental, and I appreciate every minute of it.
Instead, I got to know an area of Ireland that I would likely have never explored if I hadnâ€™t been sent on this journey. And as you know, itâ€™s all about the journey.
I cruised the Copper Coast on a brilliant sunny day. Had my share of pints at The Local, where I sat in on my first real trad session led by the most talented of musicians (including the pubâ€™s owner, a famous bodhran player named Donnchadh Gough)â€¦although it seems like everyone in Ireland is the most talented musician. Seriously, does anyone here NOT play an instrument? I stayed in the 700-year-old Lismore Castle, and had the entire Burlington Wing to myself. I collected a mass of stories that will take me at least a full year to tell here on this blog.
The journey was an emotional one. I felt like I had failed my first real journalistic mission, and I was humiliated about it. I was hurt. I mean, this was literally my DREAM writing trip. I knew there were people counting on me to deliver a story and I just couldnâ€™t figure out what that story was. And then one day after crying about it in the car, Scott went to take photos of a castle and I sat down and wrote everything out on the back of a Dublin guide. I suppose the best stories are rarely ever the most successful ones.
The rest of my Ireland story is a much happier one. Iâ€™m currently in Sligo â€“ Iâ€™ve been here for a week and amassed a group of friends that Iâ€™m devastated to leave behind â€“ and heading up to Belfast tomorrow. But itâ€™s been one hell of a ride, Ireland, and I doubt Iâ€™m done with you just yet.
Life. Interesting, innit?