What I didn’t mention in my previous post is something that photos don’t convey. My trip to Ireland was many things: necessary, inspiring, and full of life lessons. While I had many ideas about what the trip would be like before we left JFK, there were a few bumps along the road I never expected.
Ireland nearly signified the end of a relationship.
One thing I have tried to make abundantly clear since starting this blog journey is that I never want to fool my readers, sweep things under the rug, or do/write/say anything that feels dishonest. And just like blogging through heartache, I think it’s important to blog through the parts of life that sometimes confuse the heck out of us, too.
The first few days in Ireland were like a dream. Jet lag hadn’t quite set in and Bryan and I went about our days bright eyed and bushy-tailed. Once we picked up our rental car (and Bryan got the hang of driving on the left), we drove to the Ritz Carlton in Powerscourt, a hotel unlike any we had stayed in before and one we never would have been able to afford were it not for a pretty sweet Groupon. We immediately learned how to pour the perfect pint in the Guinness Storehouse, breezed through main attractions in Dublin, filled our faces with delicious local fare, took bus tours, breathed in the sweet smells of the rugged plains, and stopped in small stores to chat with the villagers.
But when we made it to Galway, all hell broke lose.
So while we saw this:
Bryan and I damn near almost killed each other.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of small-town village life and among the throngs of camera-wielding tourists we experienced a relationship meltdown of epic proportions. We sat in coffee shops and bickered, fumed over misconstrued statements, and finally parted ways for a few hours to cool off separately. In hindsight, I think a level of expectation and a failure to communicate resulted in frayed nerves. I regret the way we both reacted at the time, but I understand this is an important lesson in the grand scheme of things.
I’m so glad that I can think of that day in Galway now with fond feelings. Because the frantic phone call I made to my bestie and my irrational logic at the time made me realize that I have to work on my coping skills a bit more (communication issues notwithstanding). Who knew these relationships really DO require so much work, care, and coddling?
That all being said, Bryan and I are experiencing a very strange (but blissful) second honeymoon since we returned. Despite the added stress of celebrating our two-year anniversary pacing Dublin Airport for four hours, we have been enjoying a whole new phase of our relationship: one that includes open and honest communication, understanding, and, above all else a level of respect we have never reached before.
Survive a trip abroad together?