One Moment in Ireland - My Family Travels
5375_207417735503_634990503_7746329_5566015_n_1_

 An anonymous poet once said that “life is measured not by the number of breaths that we take but by the moments that take our breath away.” I want my life so filled with those moments that I can’t breathe, because I believe the experience of those moments are just as necessary as the vitality of air is. In June of 2009, I had one such moment when I took a leap across the pond of the North Atlantic and found myself in Northern Ireland. There were many entertaining and breath-taking activities that I partook of that included sight-seeing at the Giant’s Causeway- which was formed from volcanic activity of ancient times- and swimming in wet suits in the frigid Northern Sea- while body surfing and kayaking to reckless abandonment- and jogging along the White Park Beach- being subject to such a beauty that it would have inspired the most non-environmental business man in the world to write several sonnets- and, of course, climbing up the slope of Slemish- the highest peak in Northern Ireland. 

Out of all of those activities, I can honestly say that my climb up Slemish struck in my memories as being the greatest thing I did while in Northern Ireland. Now my climb wasn’t easy because of all of the obstacles that I had to go through just to reach the top. There must have been 50,000 boulders that stood in between me and the top, and the only way I was going to get there was to focus in on the nearest one and get past that. That still left 49,999 rocks left to climb over, but at least I was closer to the top than I was before. I had to climb over rocks while enduring an attack from a fearsome beast. The midgee, which is a nat-like-creature on steroids, is very partial to American flesh. I left part of myself in Northern Ireland- in the midgee’s belly.

And then the physical exertion was an obstacle in and of itself. As much as I love to hike, I can never stay in shape- unless you call being round as “staying in shape.” A little less than halfway up the slope, I took a little break to see how far I had come- and to catch my breath. As I looked back, I noticed a little old Irish man with a cane trudging on up to where I was. An old man beat me up this mountain- hell no. I started to high tail it from then on. Turns out that the man wasn’t that old- in Ireland, one starts getting wrinkles at age 14- and it was a professional mountain stick he was using, not a cane. But this error of mine kicked me into gear and I thought of all the advantages this work out was going to give me. I was burning calories, which meant I could eat again soon, and working out is a stress reliever, just as eating sweets is to some people. Even before the hike up this mountain I had thought that this climb was going to be worth it, and during the hike I had thought this climb had better be worth it.

When I got to the top and could see horizon on all sides, the view overwhelmed me. I was at such a height that I could see all six counties including Scotland from across the English Channel. That was the closest I will ever come to being on top of the world.

Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.

Comment on this article

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.