What if life was just about being?

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(On the road to Nantes)

Today, Thursday, we are in Nantes, France with just three days left of this journey. We have been travelling back since Sunday morning from Lagos in the Algarve, Portugal. We spent Sunday night in a lovely car park in Estremoz, Portugal, near the Spanish border. Monday night we were in the beautiful city of Burgos, Spain (thank you to Angela for this suggestion, two years ago!) Tuesday night we were next to a huge lake near the town of Mimizan south of Bordeaux, France. Wednesday night we stayed in the town of Surgeres, France. For both Friday and Saturday night we will be at Mont St. Michel and on Sunday night we will be sailing home to arrive in Greystones on Monday. At this moment I am very, very tired and very, very grateful.

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(Like two old friends by the lake)

I often think about the messages life brings us… not necessarily the hard messages, the illnesses or the problems. But the small warm and gentle encouraging messages. Messages that in a normal day, we can miss. When we started this journey I didn’t think I would be blogging but it turned out I couldn’t stop myself. I missed the extra something writing brought to the experience of travel. Now, I think I know what the extra something is… writing makes those messages visible. When I started with the first blog it had a step, Step 1. Write. I didn’t expect there would be more steps but a step turned up each day when I sat down to blog. Now that I see them all together I can see the gentle encouraging message life has been sending me.

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(Write…)

  • Step 1. Write.
  • Step 2. Stop Talking to Fear.
  • Step 3. Repeat Step 2.
  • Step 4. Take it easy and find a way to enjoy the journey, whatever it brings.
  • Step 5. Take more tram rides.
  • Step 6. Do the work.
  • Step 7. Stay awake to the beauty.
  • Step 8. Acceptance, it’s not always possible to fit in.
  • Step 9. Gratitude… for the old, slow computer that is working.
  • Step 10. Live in the present.
  • Step 11. Make time for rest.
  • Step 12. Believe it, you are so, so beautiful.
  • Step 13. Always wait until Monday.
  • Step 14. Say thank you to your washing machine.
  • Step 15. Less junk, less storage.
  • Step 16. Listen, you are alive, isn’t that amazing?
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(Beautiful Burgos)

I am human so I like to think that I’m not wasting my time flitting around in a camper van. I’d like to think I was accomplishing something… or at least bringing something useful into being… Now I think that the only thing I can be bringing into being is myself. Wouldn’t it be great if that was enough? Yes. Maybe it is.

Step 17. Be, Mairead.

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