No longer ‘once in a lifetime’ but ‘once in a while’!

Posted on 10th June 2017

It’s taking me awhile to get over this trip. I had so much emotion when I reached Boston on Tuesday, I couldn’t hold it in.  On the phone, I was talking to my family and I started to tear up. All I could say was, “I should’ve stayed.”, I didn’t think it had that much of an effect on me. I took a day off before I headed back to work because of jet lag, I was dehydrated and tired. Took my Jeep out for a drive with the top off and cruised around for most of the day. Went back to work the next day and when I reached the I-10 west on ramp, the sight of Casa Grande Mountain with clouds, gave me the sense of seeing Benbulben in Yeats country. I had a little flashback and almost missed my turn off.

Seeing and being in that particular part of the world made me more appreciative of the trip. I think my favorite saying (along with my roommate Ben) was “I can’t believe I get to do this, in IRELAND!” I had the greatest time in my life; I saw wild onions growing in a cemetery in County Sligo where W.B. Yeats is buried. Crawling through an area underneath Caldwell castle to a dungeon was amazing. I definitely soaked as much as I could up and tried to make the trip last. I crashed an Irish wedding when I ventured into Sligo Cathedral. I sat in the back and watched, it was amazing. I enjoyed walking around by myself and looking for something that would get my attention. I experienced a lot within the 10 days we were there than anyone in my family, or my group of friends, would in their lifetime. I felt selfish at times, but then again, I was there to have a “once in a lifetime opportunity”. Which I do not think it will be a “once in a lifetime” it is more of a “once in a while” opportunity. Now I’m thinking of ways to get myself back there and I figured why not retire there and buy a nice little Irish cottage in the country side (county Donegal of course). Slieve League Cliffs was just so beautiful, I asked Niamh to leave me there and pick me up in the morning. I got to see my favorite blues guitarist’s statue and birthplace. Speaking of guitarists, I got to play guitar in a pub and also play a song of mine that I have been goofing with for quite some time.

One item that stuck out the most was I learned that the Choctaw Tribe sent $147 to Ireland to help with the Great Hunger. I was surprised to see a newspaper clipping and also a painting. Being Choctaw myself, I felt like I was meant to be there. It was so weird how the process to actually go on this trip went so smooth. Now I have a feeling why.

People have been asking about my trip since I got back. I tell them what I learned, saw, did but in all honesty. Words and pictures really can’t paint a picture about it. My experience there was special and unique. I made friends with some locals and also with others in our group. I had some laughs and had no negative experiences throughout the whole trip. Everyday there was something new and I couldn’t get enough of it. I wanted to see more. Now I’m back to my regular 9 to 5, writing this experience and I can’t seem to write it all down. I just know I had one Hell of a ride.          –Derrick Hubbard

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