Tuesday, October 16, 2012
We have just returned from The Republic of Ireland. Loved it! This morning I found myself back in Canada on the curling rink and was vividly reminded of the conversation I had with an Irishman in a pub about the mysteries of Curling and Hurling. He had no idea what curling was and how one could spend a Winter throwing a large stone across the ice. I tried to explain that it is a bit like lawn bowling played on ice and that seemed to make a bit of sense of to him. But I was equally intrigued by the game of Hurling which I had just been watching on TV when Kilkenny won another All Irish Championship over Galway. Being a patient man he was happy to explain the intricacies of hurling, its history and rules.
During the course of our conversation with both learned something about each other: what makes us as Canadians excited and what makes Irishmen exited. We also learned something about other issues that preoccupy us in these times: the economy, religion, family life etc. The kind of conversation we had is why we travel and visit other countries. It may be possible while sitting on a cruise ship but is less likely to happen in that kind of setting. When you take advantage of the benefits of the Affordable Travel Club or Home Exchange, allowing you to stay for extended periods of time and "living" the culture and country you are visiting, this kind of encounter is happening all the time.