About two years ago I started to look into my family name. Like many people in the last few years I’ve become interested in finding out more about my ancestry and I wanted to start plotting out my family tree.
At first I didn’t seem to get very far. Unfortunately I have no living relatives who could give me any information or point me to records or resources. I do remember stories that my Dad used to tell me about his father’s side of the family. His family had been from Ireland and that we had taken our own family name from a County in Ireland.
Finding myself at what seemed like a dead end, I decided to leave my search there for the time being.
Some months later, I started talking to the ubu enabling team who support me to live with independence in my own home about planning a holiday for later in the year. I did some research, looking at various places that I remember going to Britain as a child.
When ubu announced last summer that there would be a group holiday available for people to go to together in Whitby in North Yorkshire I jumped at the chance! Although I’d never been there before it was one of the places I already had on my list this was one of the placed that I wanted to visit on my original holiday planning list. I really love photography and I was sure that staying in Whitby would almost certainly give me some great opportunities to enjoy my hobby.
My time away turned out to be even better than I imagined. I really enjoyed ubu’s Summer Spectacular Whitby holiday. I met lots of new people and made friends and had a wonderful holiday. When I returned to Manchester I was feeling charged up and excited about getting back to planning for my next big holiday, perhaps in Ireland.
As I began to develop my plan to visit Ireland, I discussed all the various options I had found with ubu enablers. It became clear to me that this trip would be more of a challenge than the last one. I am planning to travel much further afield than across the Pennines to North Yorkshire!
I have never been abroad so I am very excited and nervous at the same time about my trip to Ireland later this year. I am really looking forward to the trip and I am going to fly for the first time! To help me with getting an idea of what it’s going to be like travelling in an aeroplane and where I’ll be going to get on it, I’ve been to the airport with ubu team members to have a coffee and try to spot the plane we will be travelling on.
When I go on my trip we will be based in Dublin, staying in a Castle! I don’t drink beer normally but everyone has been telling me about Guinness which is of course famous for being made in Ireland and the famous brewery in the heart of Dublin. So I may try a ‘half’ when we visit the brewery.
I’ve thought carefully about how to fit in all the places I want to visit and made a budget for my travelling and accommodation expenses. It seems like a good idea to get it carefully worked out before I go.
I have done lots of research and I have a long list of all the other places that I want to visit in Ireland. It will mean a lot of bus and train journeys, I’ve been looking carefully at timetables and connections. One of the key parts of my trip will be to visit the town of Monaghan in County Monaghan. I am also interested in visiting Down Cathedral to see the remains of Saint Patrick which are held in a glass case there. The National Photography Museum and the Leprechaun Museum are also on my list.
I am taking my camera and plenty of spare memory cards so will be taking loads of photographs as we travel around. When I get back I will be sharing my story and describing my adventures and what I’ve discovered about the origins of my name and perhaps even my family tree.