Yesterday, according to ‘science’ (or rather Sky Travel) was the most depressing day of the year. Yes, twenty days into 2014 and we have supposedly broken all of our resolutions, resigned ourselves to a lifetime of debt and lost any motivation we had mustered for the rest of the upcoming year. God, we’re a sorry lot, aren’t we?
Well, not me. I refuse to let a defunct travel channel tell me when I’m expected to feel gloomy and dispirited; that’s my daily horoscope’s job, thank you very much. Yesterday morning I woke up, kicked those Blue Monday blues where the sun don’t shine and started my day with a brisk walk through the fields surrounding my house.
I’ve lived in the countryside all my life but I don’t think anyone would ever describe me as a typical country girl. Much to my dad’s disappointment I’ve never been very outdoorsy, and much prefer my cosy 15-tog eiderdown duvet over a blanket and inflatable pillow in a manky old tent (unless it’s at Glastonbury, then I can handle it!). I have little interest in the workings of a farmyard, and give me a man in a suit over a man in wellington boots any day!
But, recently my tastes have been changing and I must admit I’ve grown quite fond of the great outdoors. Whether it’s due to spending the last few years living in a built up city, or perhaps an impending quarter-life crisis making me feel sentimental I’m not quite sure, but one of the things I’ve come to appreciate most since moving home is the beauty of the Irish landscape. The landscape I grew up in. Stepping outside my front door I have views like this, and it’s hard to not be (at least a little) impressed.
A significant lesson I learned from my few years abroad is that no matter where we’re from we can all be guilty of taking our own country for granted from time to time, preferring to check off the points of interest further afield, than visit the ‘boring’ ones on our own doorstep. I myself am guilty of this: for instance, I live 30 minutes from the Giant’s Causeway, one of our greatest natural wonders and I have been there once. I have visited Niagra Falls six times. SIX TIMES. Granted, a few of these times were out of necessity (for visa renewal purposes) but nevertheless, SIX TIMES. I rest my case.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s important to know our heritage, to be proud of where we’re from, and to share the best things about our country with people in other corners of the world. We know this place better than anyone else, it’s part of our cultural DNA and we often don’t appreciate this enough. That’s why this year I have resolved to take the initiative and see more of Ireland, both North and South; so be prepared for several upcoming posts on my local explorations and mini road trips.
Morning walk done, I cleaned up my pink floral wellingtons, headed inside for a cup of green tea and refreshed my Twitter feed for a browse through the morning’s global and social events. What? I did say I wasn’t an average country girl!
And if I haven’t yet persuaded you to get outdoors and rediscover the great things about where you grew up, then perhaps these words of wisdom from an Irish hero will do the trick…
Much Love, K