It’s been nearly a month since I returned to Berlin after my most amazing trip in Ireland. I have been terrible at sharing with you stories from my travels. I apologize!

I wrote a travelogue in my journal and haven’t yet typed it up. Yes, I still handwrite things. In the last 12 years, I have written and drawn a daily journal. Maybe one day, I give you a glimpse into my journals.

This post is going to be short and sweet because I am short and sweet.

Catherine at Giants Causeway

I want to share with you three souvenirs I returned with from my travels. I did buy a few physical goods, like a sweater and an awesome book on Western Ireland hiking trails but what I mean by souvenirs here is more realizations and memories.

1. Putting my dream into action

This trip was an experiment to see what it would be like to intentionally and unapologetically work my dream job.

My dream job is to travel and take my special photographs.

As you may know, I don’t take regular travel photographs. I put a spin on travel photography by taking multiple photographs of different and sometimes the same locations on one roll of film. I don’t get to see the results of the combination until I return to my lab and develop the film.

During this trip, I shot up to 49 rolls of film! Only 29 rolls were actually shot 3 times. The other 20 are for a project where I shoot the film in three different countries.

Still, I shot 29 rolls in 4 weeks. I went wild and got completely absorbed with fully living my dream job.

Catherine at Sea Caves

2. Just Trust

Every morning I would wake and say to myself ‘just trust’. Trust in the process, trust in the vision, trust that the universe supports us. There were a number of moments when my faith was tested.

A powerful moment was when I got sick just after a full day of photographing the Giant’s Causeway and Dunluce Castle. Nausea came on suddenly. I laid down to rest but my room was freezing cold. I woke quite ill. I felt miserable but even during that time I continued to say to myself, “just trust”. I trusted that my body was acting intelligently. Though it was most unpleasant, I believed all would soon be okay. I didn’t stress myself worrying because I had faith. By the next evening, I was back to my usual self.

And then I had a wonderful story to tell new friends I made.

My Dream Dog

3. Let go of expectations.

Though try as I might, I certainly had expectations for my trip and for myself. The expectations I placed on myself I mostly accomplished. I shot more film than I planned, I distributed nearly all my postcards, and I explored new places. I kept focused on my goals despite the unexpected.

The thing about going to new places is that I really don’t know what to expect.

I expected a certain experience yet I received more than what I imagined.

I made new friends and reconnected with old ones. I witnessed beautiful landscape under a spectrum of weather variations. From locals, I learned about little known locations and saw places I hadn’t planned.

Not all trips go this way. It’s kind of a gamble and not every place we went was flowers and lollipops. But I got into the flow of traveling and let got of any expectation. Traveling gets me out of my patterns and heightens my awareness to opportunity. Because of the shortness of time, I saw the value of living every moment fully. If I spent too much time thinking about the past (habitual thoughts) or the future (expectations), then I missed the life happening around me.

Thank you for letting me share my travel reflections. I would love to hear about your travel experiences and the wisdom you learned from traveling.

Hugs,

Catherine

My Lovely Pentax