Travel & Romance: Leaving Love Behind in Ireland

I had finally agreed on my next solo travel destination, the green fields & beautiful coastline of Ireland. I arrived to find my tour group on the middle aged side & soon began to worry how I would fit into this mature context.

My holiday Romance in Ireland

The Initial Attraction

After boarding the bus I noticed her almost immediately; young, attractive with sharp green eyes, long dark hair & a lovely olive complexion, also looking right back at me, seated next to what seemed might be her mother & father. Despite this obvious hurdle a sudden feeling of excitement came over me. We continued to glance at eachother over the next day, though my extreme ability to over-think prevented me from approaching. If only an opportunity would present itself.

Throughout my younger years this had always been an issue for me, though I was determined to conquer this curse once & for all.

Here Come the butterflies

My moment finally presented itself after an evening of drinking & dancing was agreed by the group at a local pub.

I entered strategically, ensuring I was destined to occupy the place directly next to her. The beers were flowing, though I continued to be silent replaying her possible reactions over & over in my mind. Finally I raised the courage to start a conversation.

“Do you drink beer often?” It felt like the right thing to say at the time. To my pleasant surprise this pathetic conversation starter didn’t set me back & after a smile we actually discovered we had a lot in common.

We were both from Australia, had similar tastes in music & most importantly the same dark sense of humour. We later took a walk out to the peace bridge connecting the Catholic & Protestant sides of the town of Derry, the perfect setting for a first & butterfly filled kiss.

To be or not to be…

The remaining days of the tour were adventurous & passionate, sometimes spontaneously so.

Staying in hostels with shared rooms was challenging at times, though our determination helped us overcome these more public opportunities.  Soon we were inseparable & my solo adventure had turned into a shared one. I started to question whether this short term romance was healthy as I felt myself becoming more & more invested.

In the past I had fallen into this all too familiar emotional trap & inevitably I knew that as I lived in Montenegro & she was heading back to Australia after the trip, short term was a certainty.  I started to question whether I should continue or if this was only going to lead to heartache.

One last night

Our tour had finished & I had prepared to say goodbye on the final evening & head to my booked hostel for my first night alone & last night in Ireland. Determined to end things clean & on my own terms. My plans were soon altered. Her family had booked a bargain, 3 rooms at a 5 star hotel in Dublin to which I was invited. Wrestling with the fact that this was probably a bad idea, I declined. To my surprise it was her mother who pulled me off the bus to ensure I would stay, & our romance would continue one more night.

Its goodbye, not see you later

My early flight ensured I was the first to rise the next morning & after finishing packing I took one final look back at my Ireland sweetheart sleeping peacefully, knowing this would be the final time I see her. In a situation where it would be easy to feel a sense of sadness, disappointment or emptiness, I felt happy, knowing I’d not allowed myself to be overwhelmed by the unrealistic fantasies our hearts find so easy to create when it comes to a holiday romance.

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