In the beginning of the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy is a bit sad and fairly bored with life in general and lets be honest she lives in the middle of nowhere with a dog named Toto. A pretty simple life some would say. However she longed for more and so her wish came true, along came a comma. In which she discovered a wonderful world called Oz.
This is a destination well known by many young Irish travellers. A yellow brick road paved with promise, sun and adventure. The sandy beaches of Australia guiding you to the answers you couldn’t find at home. However this adventure was a little strange, made up of tiny people who all sing in unison, swim in fake tan and live in fear of the evil witch, I wonder if this was the true inspiration for Glee. Short, orange, stranger things have been known to have happened. Anyway on this little psychedelic adventure she learns various things, how to be a team leader, run away from talking trees and out-smart flying monkeys. All essential qualities needed in a graduate today. She learns how to acquire courage, a heart, and a brain for her three friends. In the last and final step she outs the Wizard, a cowardly con man. The adventure left her with a longing, like most travellers away from home.
One thing I would say to all travellers is not to forget your ruby slippers. Adventures are wonderful but is leaving to work away from home for works sake worth the longing? One hopes that university gave you the tools required. I know it taught or at least showed me that I have a brain, still figuring out the manual, it certainly gave me courage not to give up and heart to stick to what I believe in.
It is easy to think of all the adventures you’ve survived, but when asked about our great times no doubt at least one occurred in an Irish bar millions of miles away from home. There are many things I have heard people say about Ireland, firstly the smell of the freshly cut grass, the friendly people and the tight community. We tend to find our way home, guided by warm memories and friendly faces. But how many of us do clip our magic slippers and actually find our way back? According to the state-funded Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) there are over 1,000 people leaving Ireland every week, will they find their way back from Oz, New Zealand or wherever their world-wind drops them. We hope so.
A very special person told me that your ‘soul is your soul wherever you choose to take it’ and the 40 shades of Green wasn’t written out of nowhere. I would have to agree at least with the first. There are some people who are homeward bound, others who love the idea of changing their shells along the way. The truth about these adventurers is in the joy you find when they’re talking about home. We can only hope that the tide changes direction and brings them home. If you stick out the storm you get the rainbow and fingers crossed there will be plenty of gold at the bottom of it.
By Michelle Knight