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Expect the Unexpected

An Ireland in the Sun

IRELAND | Tuesday, 13 May 2014 | Views [96] | Scholarship Entry

Expectations can have their ups and downs. They’re either met or they’re not, and there’s really no telling how they’ll fall. You can have terrible experiences and yet still have your expectations met and, likewise, you can have fantastic experiences and yet have none of your expectations met. However, you don’t know unless you try. My parents used to say this to me a lot growing up, mostly when vegetables were involved but also with regard to social experiences. As much as I hate to admit it, they were right.

The first time I saw Ireland is branded firmly into my memory. It’s almost been ten years but if I close my eyes I can still see it. I don’t think I’d truly had the capacity to understand how big the world was until that moment, because it hadn’t really occurred to me until then to consider how far Ireland was from England. Granted, when you live in Australia the notion of countries being so close together is a strange one on its own. I found myself marvelling at the amount of water we covered and how long a gap there was before we saw land again.

Every photo I had ever seen of Ireland came to mind when it finally came into focus. Nothing prepared me for how little the pictures did the country justice. Though I couldn’t imagine anyone could ever hope to capture the true green colour that brought those familiar hills to life. Fields and fields of vibrant green, like a giant patchwork quilt, stretched out before me. That was what struck me on that first visit and what continues to amaze me to this day. It was a green the likes of which I had never seen before. A green I couldn’t hope to see back home unless it was fake. How something like that could be formed naturally, I had no idea. The way the sun strikes the fields and makes them glisten, it certainly makes sense why it has been named the Emerald Isle. There is no other way to describe it.

Since returning I’ve been struck by how different countries can be right down to the shade of green in the grass. The details that come alive to you when you travel, in the countries you visit and your home, are remarkable. It’s probably not the same for everyone. It doesn’t take one experience for everyone to start noticing and appreciating the unique details all around them, but it’s worth a try. It’s always worth it to expand your horizons and open yourself up to new experiences. Allow yourself to set aside your expectations and have some fun. You won't know how it will affect you unless you try.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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