Where do you find your inspiration? Do you get inspired often? Does it take you off on a tangent or down a rabbit hole only to emerge hours later wondering where the time went?

I am most decidedly the type that dives straight down the rabbit hole headfirst when my imagination or creative soul is tweaked, and since it can happen without too much of a nudge, I tend to find myself inspired by something another most of the time! This is honestly a pretty good way to go through life except when work is calling, but, even then, it comes in handy for the kind of work that I do.

I also like to plan my inspiration, and, in that case, the best way I know to get inspired is to go somewhere new or somewhere that I haven’t been to for awhile. All of that means TRAVEL!

I have not had the opportunity to travel often, so when I do go, I try to make sure that there will be plenty of chances to be inspired through all of my senses with the people who I love most. Priorities for me include hiking with my grown children in breathtaking places, living in history both outside and through self-guided tours of historical museums, homes, cathedrals, and castles, and plenty of great food and drink. We search out places where we can meet the locals and always try to learn as much as we can from them. It is truly magical and inspirational.

Just preparing for these trips is inspirational in its own right. I remember things forgotten and, more often than not, realize how little I know and how much I would like to learn about wherever we are going. There is just not enough time to see everything, so I try to plan carefully, have reservations for everything, and then be ready to chuck it all if a rabbit hole presents itself, and we decide to just go with the flow on any given day. That is the delight and inspiration of travel for me.

Currently we are preparing to go Ireland. I have wanted to go there since I was a little girl, so I consider this a trip of a lifetime. To have my children accompany me is not only a blessing, but also a memory maker for us all. Having taken two of these kinds of trips in the past, I know that this trip will be referred to over and over again with so many fine moments that will be cherished forever.

So…….. to keep all of that anticipation of inspiration front and center, I have spent hours reading travel blogs and combing through the good old Fodor’s books. Alexa has been asked to shuffle Irish music more often than not, while I try (very hard) to read books by James Joyce and Oscar Wilde. I have also tried the more contemporary literature of John O’Donahue in the quest to understand Celtic wisdom. I have printed maps of hikes, as well as studied the street maps of Dublin. Who knows how many menus of restaurants I have perused……… all I know is that the craving for the Irish brown bread and butter is a very REAL thing, and I am ready for a Guinness now!

Coming home is always bittersweet, as it means saying goodbye to busy children for awhile, but the inspiration that I will bring back to Door County will only enrich my life all the more for the future, be it professional or personal. Hopefully some sweet tangible items will be able to be wedged into the take-on bag to be admired here at Crosswinds later and to help to spark remembrances and stories for years to come. These mementoes are always cause to smile and to think happy thoughts!

Many Irish blessings seem to start with the words “may you”, so, with that in mind, may you be inspired by your own life and the roads that you travel. Until I return………. slainte!