Flattery will get you everywhere

“Travel is fatal to narrow-mindedness, prejudice and bigotry.” Mark Twain

A ten year old told me yesterday my website was lovely and it made her feel good about everything in life. She suggested I write more blogs. What a lovely thing to say. A lot has happened in my life this year and it’s only February. I feel behind in my writing and sharing.

Have you ever received praise or a compliment that catches you completely off guard?

Whilst reading my blog, my new young friend asked me, “Why do you travel?”

I didn’t answer right away but on reflection I found a few reasons. The quote from Mark Twain above describes one of them. Travel is a fatal blow to bigotry, prejudice and narrow-mindedness. Another reason is Ireland is very beautiful but small geographically. I’m also naturally adventurous and enjoy exploring new places. And, I grew up under the shadow of fear and terror gangs. By the age of ten a horrific civil conflict was well underway and my freedoms were regularly disrupted and restricted by army checkpoints, bombscares, assassinations and stop and search.

However, since I came back to Northern Ireland, just over a year ago, I’ve been able to integrate the bad memories from the past into my present day life more fully than ever before. I can see people, places and things with a new more holistic perspective. I’m grateful for this gift of time in Ireland given to me solely by the generosity of my late mother.

The video below, titled, “My Dad, the Peace Deal and Me” by Patrick Kielty has been helpful on my emotional healing journey. Patrick also grew up in Northern Ireland and has traveled a fair bit too. In this documentary he reflects on his father’s murder and the Good Friday Agreement, 20 years on.

Feature photo: Me and my best friends at my 10th birthday party in Craigavon, County Armagh.

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