My three kids and I recently returned from an epic trip to Ireland for the World Irish Dance Championships and we are so very thankful.  For the sport that brought us across the ocean, the family that welcomed us, the blessing of health that allowed us to walk thousands of steps on cobblestone paths, grass filled roads and Atlantic cliffs. We’ll never forget those pots of tea, breakfast frys, World stages, and friendly faces.

Although we missed some school time at home, we learned about performing with confidence on the World stage, heard historical stories at museums and tours, tried different food and met new people.

As Saint Augustine said, “The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”

And as Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides, said, “Once you have travelled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.”

I hope my kids remember how a little island of 4 million people has connections to 70 million Irish around the world. From the teachers and orators who died in 1916 in Kilmainham Jail fighting for Ireland’s independence to the starving emigrants sailing across the ocean during the potato famine dreaming of a chance at life.  Ireland is a very special place and we’re so thankful we had the chance to soak up a little bit of its magic.