When Sue’s granddaughter, Amanda, was diagnosed with a tumour on her optic nerve in December 2011, it was a very difficult time for their family. Thankfully, after successful brain surgery to remove the majority of the tumour and regular check-ups, Amanda’s vision is perfect and the tiny part of the tumour left on her optic nerve has even reduced. So, with a new positive outlook, there was only one way they were going to celebrate – with the Trafalgar trip of a lifetime.
This is Sue’s story…
In August of 2013, we set off on Trafalgar’s Best of Ireland tour. I’d visited Ireland with Trafalgar once before, in 2007. It was a personal mission to scatter some of my mother’s ashes on Irish soil – something I knew she very much wanted. Though that trip was bittersweet, I met and made some wonderful friends.
Knowing the physical burden of travel itself – without the daunting prospect of planning the trip – a well-organised and easy trip was the logical choice for us. As I’d travelled with Trafalgar in the past, it was my first choice. Travelling with Trafalgar meant we could always be sure we’d be staying in hotels that were clean and safe, staffed with people who care to make your visit the best in every possible way. Travelling with family can be frustrating, but Trafalgar take all that worry and burden away.
It’s hard to pick one big moment that was my favourite from the trip, there were so many small ones that maybe others would find trivial. However, a very personal moment that I will never forget happened when I was walking down the street in Killarney with Amanda. She turned to me and said “I get it Grandmother. I know how you feel.” In that moment I realised she had fallen in love with Ireland just as I did years before.
I’d travel again with Trafalgar in a heartbeat. Trafalgar’s trips were – for me – worry me. The trip I took with my granddaughter as we celebrated her recovery was absolutely wonderful. It was a release from a lot of tension and worry, and gave both of us a newer clearer outlook on life. It added a new layer to the bond we have always had.
This trip was really a life-changing experience for me – it will never be forgotten. From the moment we arrived, looking out the coach window as we travelled from Dublin Airport to our hotel, when it really sunk in that I was in another country and I had the chance to enjoy the scenery.
Meeting the people we were traveling with was another highlight. They were from all over the world and were so interesting and fun to speak with. I have so many incredible memories from the trip – having dinner at Muckross Farm in Killarney, listening to wonderful Irish stories and enjoying traditional music. I loved seeing the sea from the beautiful Cliffs of Moher, it was thrilling.
Truly, I loved it all. It opened my eyes and mind more, and helped me realise just how many cultures there are to learn about and places to see in the world. I had a wonderful time – and it made me want to experience it all!
Have you travelled with Trafalgar to celebrate overcoming an illness, retracing your family’s history, or another reason? Whatever your story may be, we’d love to hear it. Share your thoughts in the comments below, or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured right here on The Real Word.