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Yes, I’m in Ireland now. Yes, I just got back from Africa. Nope, this was not planned.

So. You might be asking … What the heck is Leigh doing in Ireland?
Boyne Valley, County Meath
Less than two weeks ago I was finishing up a six week trip in Africa with my Mom.  A bucket list trip, that meant a lot to both of us. And left me tired when I arrived home last Sunday, jetlagged and facing the inevitable slow transition back to normalcy.
I had tracked down the mailman to learn where all my mail was that was supposed to be forwarded to a friend … and wasn’t.  I had made an appointment with the dentist and for an eye exam.  And had carefully checked the yard to see the damage to my new landscape plants after weeks away with plants newly in the ground. And made a big grocery store run and bought enough produce to make up for six weeks of a meat-heavy Africa diet.
In short, I was settling back into Seattle.
Adjusting to being back after a long time away traveling generally takes a while.  It’s not just the slightly musty house smell or the jet-lag or all the little chores to set up house again.  There is an inevitable mental adjustment to returning to “real life”.
Every time I return from travel, I start over.  New clients and projects and schedules and goals.  I have learned to think of the time immediately back from a long trip as a window when I see things just a little bit differently, and this is often the best time make changes and decisions that send me in a different direction.  These are the windows when I am most likely to see things a little more clearly, and make choices with a perspective that is inevitably lost once I’ve settled into the comfortable routines.
So three days after returning, I found myself booking a flight to Ireland to meet a friend who had sent me an email that morning explaining her sudden trip to Ireland, ending it with the alarming – yet somewhat appealing – sentence, “So I bought a one-way ticket to Ireland.”  Her enthusiastic response to my half-joking “Maybe I’ll join you” made me think, “Well. Really, Why not?”  Two days later I was on a plane to Dublin.
Starting over and clients and projects can wait.  Life and living now can’t.  And post-cancer, when a chance comes up to be with a friend who needs a friend, in a place I’ve always wanted to visit, then … why not go?
The only regret I could see would be passing up another chance to live now.  The rest will fall into place when I go home again.
So I’m going to write a bit about Ireland.  I’m not going to take the time to re-do the layout of the blog beyond adding a map so you can follow the travel more easily if you like.
Thanks for following along.
Leigh Pate
Leigh Pate lives in Seattle, WA. She is a two time cancer patient and cancer research advocate, a communications specialist and writer, a nature lover and fan of beaches, mountains and big trees in the Pacific Northwest.

2 thoughts on “Yes, I’m in Ireland now. Yes, I just got back from Africa. Nope, this was not planned.

  1. Have a wonderful time, Leigh. We loved Meath, especially Castle Trim and Newgrange. I hope it means as much to you as it did to us. I am trying to emulate you by taking Jamie camping through a number of National Parks. I know I won't do it quite as well as you but I'm looking forward to trying.

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