The people in Dublin are my favorite part.
There are a plethora of things to love about this place. No, there aren't leprechauns. No, I haven’t found any pots of gold. But, there is an abundance of culture and history and vitality bursting at the seams from every street you walk down in Dublin city.
The funny thing that I’m coming to realize is the same thing that I realized in Atlanta… hardly anybody that’s here is actually from here. Like, in a room of one hundred people… there are about forty that are from all corners of the earth, about ten that are American, and about fifty native Irish people. It’s like the melting pot of Europe. Is Europe already a melting pot? I dunno. But what I do know is that this place is probably more diverse than even the most most culturally-diverse place in the US. It’s pretty wonderful. I’ve met people from Romania, Latvia, Brazil, Netherlands, India, Greece, and of course, lovely America… all in like two weeks! Most Americans that I’ve met are either here for the long haul, or just visiting on holiday. Either way, it’s kindof funny to be the one who has an accent, for a change.
One of my favorite questions that I’ve come to ask each of these foreigners is, “What’s your favorite thing about living here?” I feel pretty strongly that a person should know why they love where they live. You don’t just accidentally end up living somewhere — it either has some sort of draw to your soul, or there’s some kind of extenuating story behind it. Either way, I wanna know that reason or story. I expected many different answers. However, there’s really only been one answer from all these different people, from all walks of life, from all different cultures and languages and circumstances…
And I can totally see why. These people are kind and welcoming and real to another level. I feel like I could talk to any single person around me and have a positive interaction. It might not be the deepest, most heart-piercing conversation ever, but I’m about 99% sure that there would be at the very least, a response of kindness and openness to a stranger making conversation. That’s pretty incredible to me. But, think about what I just said above though… more than half of these people aren’t even from here! It’s not like they’re just made differently, or have some kind of predisposition for being awesome. No, it has to do with the culture.
Here’s a funny hypothetical question: If a stranger came into a community of a bunch of “you’s”, what kind of culture would they be walking into?
There have been multiple times to far, that when I say that I’m from Florida, the response is, “What? Why would you leave such an awesome place?” And my response, also every time is, “Psshh, what?! No, THIS place is awesome? Why would you wanna come to America?!” Then they proceed to tell me all of these things that they’ve dreamed of doing that would only be possible in the States. Or, some kind of beauty that they’ve witnessed when visiting on holiday and wanna live in forever. And even more commonly, perhaps there’s a certain kind of adventure involved in living in the country that’s the world’s greatest super power. There are a million reasons why people here seem to love America.
…But all we wanna do is leave!!!
There’s nothing we long for more than to backpack through Europe, or go surfing in Costa Rica, or go on a safari in Africa, or drive fast cars in Dubai… but really, what’s the difference? We’ve got plenty of AMAZING things in the States that people all over the world covet, yet we’re so focused on being complacent or complaining. We just wanna get away from our normality to experience something amazing that will perhaps invigorate our spirit of adventure and vigor for life. But if there are so many people around the world that wanna be right where we are, having the lifestyle that we think is “mundane”, where’s the disconnect here?
It’s cause of the culture… and not the culture of the place, but the culture of the people.
You’re living the life that someone else dreams about. Your “daily grind” is the end goal for someone’s career. The things you think are absolutely nothing at all, are everything for someone else. Adventure is a mindset, not a place. Exploration is a way of thinking, not an experience. Kindness is a decision, not a predisposition. This “Irish kindness” is the result of tons of people over tons of years from tons of different places deciding that it’s a priority to make sure people feel welcome and taken care of when they come here. This isn’t a culture that’s inherent to this place, but it’s the proactive choice of the people, and you and I have that same opportunity.
It’s not about where you are, but who you are.
Your life is the grandest adventure that you’ll ever know… but you’ve gotta choose to see it that way. If you think going to school, work, church, or any other “normal” thing isn’t exciting, you’re right — but only because you’re not making it exciting. Learn to think with an “Adventure Mindset”… everything is only as adventurous, exciting, thrilling, breath-taking, and exhilarating as you decide that it is.
BIG IDEA: Adopt an “Adventure Mindset”. Your life is AWESOME — make it count.
I pray that in this day, you have new vision for the crazy adventure you’re currently on. That you’ll look to your circumstances, your location, your finances, your family, and see that they’re all a part of something much larger than you give them credit for. You aren’t held down by any of those things, but you are by the way you look at them. Make the proactive choice to be the kind of person who falls in love with the journey, not the destination. I also pray that you’ll realize that every person you meet is also on such a journey. You’re not alone in this thing, and we’re all figuring it out just as much as you are. The wonderful thing is that Jesus has already written the story for us — we have the grand opportunity to live out that adventure in our own individual, unique ways. Keep moving forward, friends. Cheers.