Having a visitor from the far-off places, can be the perfect time to take stock of your own current place in the world and in life (not that I NEVER do any reflecting whatsoever…haha)
Mark arrived on Wednesday night. The following day I showed him the sights of Arklow… ahum… Now, for those who aren’t from Arklow or who haven’t been here before; it’s safe to say that it’s at bottom of the list of ‘must-sees’ whilst touring Ireland. But still, it’s where I am, at the moment; it’s where I’m from and just because there aren’t really any sights to speak of, doesn’t mean it’s a bad place to be or a place I should be ashamed of living in. It just might not be a place for travellers to spend 5 days of their European tour… not if the purpose is solely for exploring. On the other hand, if their purpose is to visit a friend, then it can definitely be a place to spend some time.
To show a traveller the place you’re from, can usually force you to see the place through the eyes of a tourist too. You question: What are they used to? What have they already seen? What are they looking for? And what’s so different about this place than any other..?? Hummm… Showing him my ‘native place’ (using some Indian terms here) made me see Arklow and Ireland in pretty much the same light, if I’m totally honest! How so? Because I’ve only been back a month and I still see it all very ‘fresh’, even without any attractive sights around the town.
It would sound sad to others, especially to those who know the town and I’d probably be misunderstood by many as to how and why it could possibly excite me to be here. But how we experience our surrounding world is just a reflection of what’s going on in your own world. And the main reason I can be happy to show people where I’m from is because of the great place I feel I’m at, in life. So of course I’m in a great place in the world too! (this makes me want to shout to everyone that they should come and see ARKLOW!!!! Yayyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!! It’s soooooooo exciting…!!!!!!!!!!)
(sorry, little outburst there) I reckon though, if you can do what you love most and if your circumstances permit you to work hard at making things in life happen – which is a process ongoing always – then wherever you are will bring you brilliant experiences, even if the Avoca river could ‘do with a bit of clean out’.
So, coming back to the traveller: whether or not an encounter with a country is a memorable one – in the positive sense - all depends on if you find what you’re looking for. Was Marks encounter positive? Who knows! We can never know how a person truly experiences things. If it was solely for exploration purposes, then Arklow would’ve been disappointing (and I never promoted Arklow as being a place people must see in the first – so there were no expectations for the town to live up to). I guess it all comes down to the purpose of passing through, be it for 6 days or 6 months..?? Mark was passing through, to see Ireland?? Well, then Arklow wasn’t the best choice. He was passing through, to see me?? Well, then Arklow would have been the right place to visit.
And so, after 5 days, it turned out for this Kiwi traveller that Dublin city, the Wicklow Mountains and me, were the only things he got to encounter whilst being in Ireland. Not too sure if that was enough, too much or too little of Ireland… But it was the only thing that I, in my current circumstances, was able to offer.
It’s now Wednesday afternoon. He travelled onwards to Scotland on Monday. Hopefully with some positive energy to use along the way. Who knows if and when we'll meet again...
As for me, I’m starting to get back into the flow of the book I’m writing and doing other bits and pieces, just to keep the process ongoing. But that’s for a later update.