One thing has jumped out at me on this trip… experience is way more valuable than attendance. It seems an easy point to understand and accept, but I have seen very many examples of the inverse and yesterday and today I had two examples that reinforced the truth of this to me. One was in a pub and one was at an Abbey. I will leave it to you to bring those two points together on your own.
The first, at a pub last night I had a delightful, if not difficult to understand conversation with a 67-year old gentleman named Tom. He was a mechanic by trade, an Irishman by birth and an avid follower of the local musicians, a trio of which were performing live yesterday evening. Despite his thick brogue and my hearing challenges, we managed to have a very interesting conversation, which made the entire time an experience rather than simple attendance at a traditional pub music night.
The second happened this afternoon when my wife complimented an older lady on her scarf. They spoke a bit and as we were preparing to leave, the lady and Sharon ended up swapping scarves, leaving her with a beautiful memory and experience of a beautiful place.
As I was typing this, a third episode just happened ending up with me dancing with a lady to “A Galway Girl” at her insistence and giving Sharon plenty of leverage to drag my uncoordinated body out at some point in the future.
The main point is this, take the time when you are somewhere to experience it, not just attend it. You may find it to be surprisingly rewarding.