When I went on my first trip out of the country, I was so overwhelmed with excitement; I didn't think much about the impact it might have on my life. I had traveled around North America as a child and saw the trips more as vacations or boring history lessons rather than "traveling."
When I was in college, the only place I wanted to go was Ireland. My family roots are in Ireland, so that was where I felt the deepest connection. I had assumed I would make the trip there and be satisfied.
When I got back from my trip to Ireland and shared my pictures and stories with my family and friends, I had an epiphany. I did not just want to travel to Ireland. I wanted to go everywhere and anywhere. I wanted to build a life around it. I locked myself up in my room and made lists of all the places I wanted to go. I scoured Pinterest for affordable traveling ideas. Many friends said I had just been bitten by the travel bug, and that I’d move on. But it has been three years, and I’m about to spend a year living in Ireland. It will be home base as I travel around Europe.
I find that travel can lead to many epiphanies or answers to our deepest questions. Travel teaches you about what you want most and, sometimes, how to get it. It’s often those little moments, the ones that seem inconsequential, until suddenly the words you’ve been searching for crash into your mind. Your jaw drops, your hands clench, your eyes widen. You’ve just had an epiphany, and your life will never quite be the same.
Sometimes when we travel, we answer questions we didn't even know we had. We find these brief but impactful moments of clarity, and it’s like we had the answer all along.
As you read through our issue this month, I hope you find the courage to go out and unearth your own epiphanies. Perhaps you will even unveil one through reading our stories.
Photo by Ingrid McQuivey
Rose is an American-born, Ireland-based editor who is currently expanding her craft at NUI Galway. The only way into her heart is with peanut butter, classic 18th-century literature, and cats.