Finally on the Road....Sort Of.


We left on our trip about a month ago, on July 1st. We had just landed in New York, a first for both of us. We stayed with a friend and had a great time seeing the city.

But....

It didn't really feel like we had started traveling. It's hard to say why. Maybe because we were with a friend? Because we hadn't left the country? Because we weren't roughing it?

Oh well, we thought, our next leg will be something new and exciting and once we leave the US it will feel real!

So we boarded our cruise and enjoyed a week of dirty martinis and 3 course meals and masquerade balls and lectures from astronauts and Broadway producers.  We could hardly call ourselves backpackers at that point either, right?

So we didn't. We couldn't claim that we had begun our trip quite yet. It didn't seem fair, not when we were doing pub trivia quizzes with elderly doctors and snacking on smoked salmon.

It's alright, we said, we'll get to England and then head to Ireland where we'll go see parts of the country that neither of us have seen! It'll finally be something new and interesting!

We arrived in Ireland and went to Ricky's childhood home where instead of dropping off a few things and heading out to tour the country, we stayed and did yard work, helped around the house a bit, brought home the turf, and drank wine with aunts and uncles in the evenings.

And playing fetch with the dogs somewhere in between. 
We attempted to salvage some time and used our last full week there to visit Northern Ireland and then go back down to visit a friend. We stayed in a hostel, like usual, but we also rented a car (not so usual). We enjoyed our freedom and seeing the sites around the parts of the country neither of us knew well, but still it felt like we hadn't begun.
It was lovely, though. 


With a ridiculous amount of ruins for one place. 

After nearly 3 weeks of staying at "home" in Ireland we have begun our real trip. We've left both of our home countries and begun riding buses, staying in 20 person dorm rooms, and familiarizing ourselves with local transit.

And yet...

For the bulk of our time in Europe we'll be staying with friends or family, in homes, with home cooked meals. We'll be visiting cities that are new to me but that are old-hat to Ricky. We'll be eating foods that are somewhat familiar (why do the English serve chips with EVERYTHING!?) and getting away with the languages that we speak. We'll be using a phone with free roaming and lots of data so we don't get lost.

So when does our journey actually begin? When do we start the adventure, the not-knowing, the mystery that travel brings? When will we be ok walking around with just a paper map, using nothing but gestures to find a place to eat?

I'm not sure when I'll feel like we're actually traveling, but for now I'll try to enjoy the weird and wonderful that happens daily, try to find something interesting that makes this place, wherever it is, different from every other place.



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