In October 2008 I took some time off work to heal and to try and discover what I really wanted most out of life; I quickly came to the conclusion that what I truly wanted was to travel, a lot. Putting all my fears aside, I tried to think of ways to attain my goal and remembered something that I had considered many years before: the SWAP program http://www.swap.ca/out_eng/index.aspx. I was very happy to discover that in some countries, I still fit into the “youth” category! Ireland was my place of choice for many reasons — my nanny and pappy Smyth were from there and I have a particular fascination with all things Celtic. After many more months of research and thinking, I did what only a few years ago I would never have had the courage to do: I quit my job, made arrangements to sublet my apartment and told my family and friends that I would be leaving everything I know (and love) in order to satisfy my desire to explore new places and to meet new people.
The past few weeks have been very difficult for me and my family, but I strongly believe that everything will go well and that I will be boarding a plane June 1, 2009 and will be landing in Gatwick on June 2, 2009.
I will spend some time in England and then the adventure in Ireland begins — and what an adventure it will be! I will do what I’ve never done before: start over all alone in a country that I’ve never been to before. This blog will offer you a chance to follow along with me as I explore medieval castles and prehistoric sites, visit art galleries, learn some Irish Gaelic (you know I will!) and create new friendships.
I look forward to the road rising to meet me.