Adventure inspires adventure. The more adventure I taste, the bigger my craving for something even sweeter. To some, it’s known as ‘the travel bug’– and let’s just say this little bug has bitten me in the ass.. HARD! It’s an unstoppable force of nature, compelling me to move forward all the time. I want to be everywhere! See everywhere! And just live day-to-day with an excitable uncertainty as to where I might end up next. These feelings of escapism and exploration have been reignited once again by my most recent trip along the Road Beside the Ocean that is Great– also known as ‘The Great Ocean Road’ .. go figure! Not that these feelings ever left but they have been blindsided by my focus to get rich or die trying here in Melbourne.
The Tweleve Apostles
In 2014, I travelled to Thailand with none other than my wicked gal pal Jazzy. Upon my return to Ireland I vowed that I would only remain here long enough to save up some magic beans and hit the road once again. The ‘travel bug’ had bitten and left me with an uncomfortable itch- an itch that couldn’t be scratched or soothed by cream and antihistamines. However, over time the itch began to fade. Once again distracted by life and routine, I fell back into the clutches of the city and my sights only stretched as far as the end of the working week (which never ended in hospitality). Carrie Bradshaw and the girls all back together! Oh how very Sex and the City!! (Although lets be realistic, I’m definitely Samantha).
Pee Pee, Thailand
The next few years weren’t spent in misery and gloom. I continued to get rich or die trying, focused on my career, acted in some of the most exciting roles I’ve done to date and had many weekend getaways and trips with friends. Wonderful! I used to call myself ‘a lady of leisure’ which transcribes as someone who does not need to earn a living. Quite the opposite in my case- however, the way I behaved would have suggested that I was sitting on a rather large inheritance fund or something. Any excuse for casual coffee catch-ups, brunching with the ladies, dinner dates and many, many late nights of hookers, cocaine and cocktails.. well, not in that order of course.
The lady of Leisure
Having lay dormant for some years, my long lost ‘itch’ began to resurface. The symptoms were brought on by a number of factors. My gal pal Jazzy introduced the BIG PLAN of travelling to South America… this is when the scratching started. My mini road trip that summer through Spain and Portugal with my good friend Pedro Salguero made me incredibly itchy for new horizons. In fact, after this trip I had what can only be described as ‘post holiday depression’. On a couple of occasions I remember weeping like a kid who really didn’t want to go to school.. “But Mam! I just want to travel!!”. I didn’t want to be a lady of leisure anymore- Sarah Jessica Parker’s life made me sick “YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF THAT BLOODY CITY!! GOD CARRIE.. I MEAN, CAOIMH!!”. I was trapped in a life that I had so neatly made for myself and once again there was no quick way out- it would take time. I denounced my title as Lady of Leisure, moved back in with my parents, made my own lunches and worked 2 jobs solidly so I could see the digits rising in my bank account.
Road beside the Ocean that is Great
Finally, in January 2017 I escaped from Alcatraz and I’ve never looked back since. Sometimes I feel sorry for other travellers I met along the way who had to return home- mainly for financial reasons, back to the bump n’ grind of everyday life. I heard the same tale on many occasions from those with insatiable travelling itches “go home, save up and I’ll be back out there in no time”. Although, now it seems that ‘no time’ has manifested into ‘quite a long time’ and I wonder have they lost their itch completely? It would appear from social media that their bites have healed and Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha are back sippin’ on Cosmopolitans, back to the REAL WORLD.
It can be very easy to get sucked back into routine. Financial stability and responsibilities can produce feelings of purpose- and being an explorer, a bit of life structure has temporarily soothed my adventurous soul. I tell myself I’m travelling.. but I dunno… this feels pretty real worldish to me right now and I’m not quite sure how long it’s going to last. The Real World is like a Cosmopolitan Cocktail. Glamourised by the Sex and the City girls it tells a tale of city living or real world living – working, earning, partying. Rent, bills, responsibilities. Stylish outfits, yellow taxis, dating and the hunt for Mr. Right.. or Mr. Big.
However, the definition of the word ‘Cosmopolitan’ comes closer in describing what I believe is the reality of any explorer ‘familiar with and at ease in many different countries and cultures’. While some city slickers solely itch for the next round of cocktails, my itch yearns to taste another country, another culture. It took a 3 day trip down ‘The Road Beside the Ocean that is Great’ to make me reevaluate my situation: my itch has resurfaced but this time it’s manageable. I’m paddling in the Cosmopolitan cocktail glass for now but when the time comes I will gracefully tip the glass over and slide on out. Weeeeee! Perhaps I’m running away from the real world- and so what if I am? I’m allowed! I’m 28, I’ve no kids (not that I know of anyway) no mortgage and no tall dark and handsome billionaire husband. What I do have are 2 legs, a passport and 2 pairs of glasses which I will wear proudly so I can actually see all that I want to see on this planet. As tempting as fancy Cosmopolitan cocktails may be, I am a cosmopolitan human at heart and I can’t lose sight of what I came here to do.. TASTE & EXPLORE.