2017 Grateful 15

I have a thing about borders. I have a thing about a lot of things, like cemeteries, counting stuff, and doors, but I also have a thing about borders. That I can cross the River Shannon in Athlone, Co. Westmeath and be in another county (Co. Roscommon) but still in the same town amuses me. That I can walk over a bridge in Killaloe, Co. Clare and be in Ballina, Co. Tipperary intrigues me. And to find that I’m within spitting distance of so many borders in Hungary, amazes me. I’m like a kid at Christmas.

I know it’s not rocket science. Borders have existed for eons. They’ve always been there. Be it districts, villages, towns, cities, counties, countries, regions, continents – whatever. They change with the politics, with the wars. They’re movable beasts. And while my borders didn’t just pop up since I started spending time in the village, I feel like I’ve just discovered them.

Driving into Istanbul from the airport some years ago, I was gobsmacked to see a sign welcoming me to Europe. That was my first continental border crossing and I hadn’t even realised I’d been in Asia. My favourite crossing has to be crossing over the Arctic Circle when I was working in Alaska. I’m sure I still have the certificate somewhere. I  must dig it out. And I have a vague memory of being somewhere, where by hopping from one foot to another I changed time zones or states or countries … something huge, so huge I can’t remember.

I’ve been a regular crosser of the border between Slovakia and Hungary and less often the one between Austria and Hungary. I’m partial to the border between Serbia and Hungary and rather fond, too, of crossing into Romania. A couple of weeks ago, we crossed over into Slovenia and explored. Last week, we crossed over into Croatia (posts and pics to come). The last two are about an hour’s drive from the house. With six of the seven crossings completed, the one still on my list to do is Ukraine.

The last two have also been road trips, a joy I’ve rediscovered. I took a couple through Hungary in my early days here but then reverted to trains and planes. Yes, there’s been a couple of US trips in recent years, but they involved planes, too. There’s something about just getting into the car and going. That freedom of movement, that being able to stop wherever and whenever. It’s something I’ve taken far too much for granted. My EU passport allows me visa-free travel in the EU and indeed outside. That little purple book coupled with my green international car insurance papers are my ticket to foreign lands. I need to take more advantage of the freedoms I have and be grateful that I can up sticks tomorrow and just go. Does it get much better?


Subscribe to get notified when I publish something new.

Talk to me...


%d bloggers like this:

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information on cookies and GDPR

Cookies and GDPR Compliance

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

General Data Protection Regulation

If you have voluntarily submitted your email address so that you can receive notifications of new posts, please be assured that I don't use your address for anything other than to do just that - and that's done automatically. I might use your address, if I knew how to, but I don't.

This blog does not make money, it does not carry sponsored content, it has no ads for which I receive any form of payment. If I review a place or a restaurant or a book, I don't receive any compensation from anyone. I wish I did, but that would require marketing myself and life is too short. If something changes, I will be sure to let you know.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe or manage subscription links at the bottom of every email you receive. When you comment on a blog post, Google Analytics tracks where you're posting from. This is stored and I can check my stats to see how many clicks I had today, where people clicked from, and what they clicked on. That's it. Nothing more.

I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, particularly to other commenters. If you want to have one of your comments deleted, the please get in touch with me at: mary@irjjol.com. I'm all for the right to be forgotten so will happily oblige.

So, in a nutshell, if you give me your email address voluntarily to subscribe to new posts or if you opt to subscribe to new comments, then you email is just used for this. Nothing else. Promise.