Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ireland, in retrospect

It was a good trip.

Despite the fact that much of the latter portion of the trip felt like surviving it rather than living it, I had a good time.  

It was definitely a different kind of trip than my other overseas/abroad travels have been.  The largest difference, I think, is that there was no real cultural immersion.  Since we spent most of the time we were there by ourselves out in the wilderness, I don't feel like I got much of a picture of what it's like to live in Ireland, what the major cultural differences are, things like that.  Instead, I got to appreciate some beautiful and diverse scenery (I never knew Ireland was so mountainous), as well as test my own physical limits (for better or worse).  I don't think there is time for both in just a week, and certainly spending more time there would have allowed for great cultural saturation, but if the trip had gone exactly had planned we would have ended up spending even less time than we did in places with people.  I don't think that one kind of travel abroad experience is better than the other, but this was certainly a new side for me.

Of course wish I that I (and Andrew, and Brandi) hadn't gotten sick, and of course getting sick put a damper on some things.  But what I can say?  I can't regret something like "getting sick" because it's not a choice I made and anyway, I don't like having regrets.  I'm not even sure I'd know how to plan better to keep it from happening again, except for what I mentioned in one of Thursday's journal posts.  Really, I think we had the best time we could under the circumstances.   This trip hasn't put me off difficult hikes, either, though I have a better picture now of my own limitations, which will hopefully lead to better planning in the future (not that we planned poorly this time).

I really enjoyed traveling with this group of people.  It was a great size for a group, and we got a long well and enjoyed each other's company.  This was the second time I have spent time with Brandi and Keller, and I like them a lot and feel like we are getting to be great friends.

Well, the above was really just an amalgamation of the things that I've thought/talked about since returning.  I don't know if it's meaningful for anyone else, but it sums up my feelings pretty well.

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