What: Draft-poured, straight from the brewery, Guinness
Where: Kelly’s Cellars, Belfast
Who: An Aussie, An Irishman, Deux Femmes Francaise, and two newly arrived Canadians
My first night out in Northern Ireland! And I celebrated with a perfectly poured, delicious straight from the source Guinness. (Technically Guinness is brewed in Dublin, Ireland not Belfast, Northern Ireland but close enough!) For the grand occasion, we went to Kelly’s Cellars which is apparently the oldest licensed establishment in Belfast. It represented one of the aspects of European life that I truly love – it was steeped with history but was fully part of the present, it paired the ancient with the modern, the exuded romance but functioned with efficiency. I am always impressed in the European cities that I have visited that the past can be respected without minimizing the importance of the present. Actually, that sounds like a valuable lesson to learn myself.
Back in Canada, I reflected on this moment and wondered what I would feel. I honestly wish I could say I was so immersed in the moment that the past was pushed from my mind. I wish I could say I was so overwhelmed with the feeling of new that I was transformed. I wish I could say that being surrounded by interesting, funny people made me forget my desire to be with someone else. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. I was very excited to hear my new friends stories from around the world, and I was interested to learn about the history of this country and I was happy to be in that place, at that time. But still in the deepest, darkest places of my heart I longed for what I had lost.
And yet, sitting in that bar surrounded by new friends talking about travel, adventure and the possibility of seeing the world, I realized that for me it is suddenly all possible. I have taken the first step towards moving on, the first step towards exploring the world, the first step towards re-ignighting my passion. And in that busy, loud, crowded bar, I realized the moment I had been waiting for had arrived.
If you never try, you never know. – Coldplay