Determination, Things I Can

59. Things I Can Begin: The Research

Ireland Balloon Flight

It’s one thing to talk about taking a trip. It’s another to board a flight. The in-between is the true test of commitment.

The stunning Silverleaf stopped by to comment on Sunday’s travel post. Her visit jarred me into action. I’m still months away from anything so radical as a B&B reservation. Last night, though, after reading Silverleaf’s encouragement, I edged a few minutes closer.

The goal is to take my boy overseas next summer. To shrink the options to a reasonable handful, the criteria for selecting a destination are these:

  1. Manageable for an American mother and a 9-year-old kiddo traveling as a duo
  2. Affordable on a working-mom income, saving a few bucks every month for the next twelve
  3. A place my feet have never seen (ruling out France, Germany, the U.K., Switzerland, Costa Rica, Canada, St. Lucia, Mexico, and Zimbabwe)
  4. Safe for driving (or otherwise getting around) without pressing all of my crowd-induced stress-buttons
  5. Rough in places where we can wander off the map
  6. Familiar enough that if kiddo or mama becomes disoriented, it’s possible to navigate to a helpful place
  7. Far enough that it will open a window onto the big unknown

These carry me directly across the water to the land of castles, bogs, rain, and the River Shannon.

Silverleaf’s nudge sent me bopping around the internet last night when I should have been tucking myself into bed. I zig-zagged over the map, looking for an Irish island or village that might make nice waystation for us a year from now. I bookmarked some (Farm animals in the hostel yard, oh yeah!) and jettisoned others (Antiques in the lobby? Maybe when Bug is 20).

Because it was all still rolling around when I finally did make it to bed, it naturally bubbled up in conversation today. The bubbling occurred in a brief exchange with a colleague who has more money in his bag of golf clubs than I do in my son’s 529. Travel discussions tend to involve him telling me about his most recent Icelandic mountain expedition while I tell him about the water park down the road.

It just so happens (I learned today) that this colleague is good friends with an Irish couple who owns a hot-air balloon company. It also just so happens that this colleague is also is more than happy to send Bug and me their way next June.

A blink, and the picture is another degree sharper.

A click, and we are another minute closer.



2 thoughts on “59. Things I Can Begin: The Research”

  1. I am so honoured to have been able to inspire you! You’re too kind to give me any credit – it was really the mother and her kids in the ice cream store 🙂 I’m so glad you are looking into this – it all sounds very exciting. Having lived in Ireland for 5 years back in 1998-2003, I’d be happy to be a third consultant as you prepare. It’s so beautiful and there are lots of great places for a boy and mom to roam.

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