In the summer of 2008, an old acquaintance invited me to stay at his family’s home in Mullaghmore, Co Wicklow.
I had always wanted to visit Ireland and so I agreed, and soon afterwards, we were joined by a small group of friends and family members who were keen to see what all the fuss was about.
They had just come back from a holiday in Portugal, where I had been travelling, and they had been in the woods with me, playing in the fields and taking pictures of their family.
The campground was in the middle of nowhere, and I had no idea how to get there, so they were keenly interested in learning more about it.
I was thrilled to be invited to share my knowledge of the landscape and its history, and to learn about the traditional beliefs of the local people, and about the unique history of this place.
I learnt a lot about Irish people and their customs, and a lot of stories, including a story about a woman who had been pregnant with her first child when she was killed by a drunkard in the town.
It was a great experience, but it wasn’t all about the outdoors.
I also learnt about a young woman from a different part of Ireland, whose story I was also interested in.
She had also been in a similar situation to mine, and had also miscarried a few months before.
The couple who had brought her back were both still in the country at the time, but were travelling for work, so I had the chance to meet their children, and also to get to know the woman’s mother.
She and her family were now back in Ireland and I got to know them, too.
I learned a lot from her about life in the UK, about the people and places, and the history of the country.
I even learned about a couple of the most famous people from the island.
It all meant a lot to me, and now that I’ve returned to Ireland, I know I can’t wait to return to see more of it!