The Bliss of Being Lost - My Family Travels

             My father was born in Northern Ireland and our family visits the country often. That summer in 2008, however, it was just my dad and I. My dad had a meeting in Galway, so he wanted to also go tour the Republic of Ireland for a bit, something I had never done before in my life. I was up for it.

            With a rental car and a slightly dated map of the country, we hit the unfamiliar roads, stopping at random abbeys or castles to please my dad. I did not particularly take pleasure in the historical aspect of the places as much as my dad did. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the aesthetic beauty of the old and ruined structures.

            We left Galway after a week stay in the area for my dad’s meeting and headed north to Sligo. On the map, I noticed a castle in the middle of nowhere called Parke Castle near the Lake Isle of Innisfree where the famous Yeats poem is based. I tried to find the best and shortest route there, but in doing so, chose the smallest and most complex roads.

            Driving up there, we both came across a very confusing sign that told us to take the turnoff at an intersection that looked like it was heading nowhere. But, going against our judgments, we turned and drove off in that direction.

            It didn’t take long to realize that we were lost in the middle of nowhere. I was growing a bit scared of being lost in a foreign country, but my dad seemed unfazed.

            “Do you have any idea where we are?” I asked him.

            “Nope,” he replied nonchalantly.

            “And how do we get back?” I continued, worried and slightly annoyed.

            “Does it matter?” he questioned back like Socrates.

            “We’re lost,” I told him, bothered that I had to state the obvious.

            “We’re not lost. We’re just taking a scenic detour.”

            His wording of the situation took me off guard. I was panicking, but my dad seemed unfazed.  His optimistic outlook on being completely unaware of where we were suddenly changed my outlook. After that, I took my eyes off the map and looked outside. No longer was I directing which way to turn or what road to look out for. I was now actually enjoying the outdoors and the beautiful country of Ireland. Greens and yellows and browns mixed over rolling hills. Colors vibrated and filled my eyes. I watched the black and white cows move lazily over the ground, eating the bright grass. I looked up at the sky, always seeming to be filled with clouds. That day, though, the clouds were a clean and glowing white with a dull blue shining in the background.

The world seemed almost perfect outside my car window and I felt ashamed I had never really noticed it before then. I was always so preoccupied with the destination or when we would get there. I never really noticed the small details, the details worth noticing. This nature and this scenery were much more important than castles or abbeys. Getting lost was the best thing to have happened to me that vacation.

            No longer was I afraid of not knowing. I was completely lost in this beautiful landscape. I was blissful in my unawareness.

            Eventually, we found the right road and got to the castle, but that part does not matter as much. Because at that one moment, I was lost. And I was happy. 

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.