Picture two friends doing what some might say our generation does best, drinking wine and contemplating our futures. By contemplating our futures, I mean plotting. Plotting how we could find the courage to follow our dreams. How to step out of what convention says we should do, and do what we love – write.
As the discussion evolved, as the wine continued to be poured, an idea was born.
Before we get too ahead of ourselves let’s step back to 2009 and to another wine bar…
Meaghan had recently moved to Alberta to pursue a PhD and Peggy was forging a career in heritage management, while pursuing her passion for music and songwriting. They were set up on a blind friend date, brought together by family, a common friend, and a shared tale of long distance love.
While it might have been the red wine, the two became fast friends bonding over time spent living in Scotland and a love of Coronation Street. As their friendship evolved, they realized that their upbringings were remarkably similar — close families with a strong appreciation for heritage, and gatherings filled with music, storytelling, and food from recipes handed down over the generations. This sparked conversations about family history, values and traditions; although one hailed from the shores of Cape Breton Island and the other from the prairies of Alberta, the overwhelming reason for the many parallels was their shared Irish ancestry.
Jumping forward to 2017 after a year of wistful conversations, the friends have decided to take the leap of faith and follow their passion to write — with that, The Wandering Gaels Project was born. They say you have to know the past to understand the present, with that in mind the two friends have decided to travel to Ireland in 2018 to research their family ancestry. And have future trips to Scotland planned.
The Wandering Gaels Project will be focused on sharing the friends’ experiences of visiting the towns and villages from where their families hail. The friends will seek to take you along their journey to off-the-beaten-track places to eat, drink, visit — the places locals might frequent — revealing a different side to Ireland and Scotland. The girls have the goal of turning this experience into a book to share their experience with others.
Like all great journeys this one will begin at home. The girls will be sharing their planning and research on this blog, where you can expect to read some family folklore, places they’ve traveled, loved and think you will love to, get tips on starting your own ancestral study, how to cook traditional recipes and brew the perfect cuppa, and about the odd nip of whiskey.
Thank you for sharing in this journey!
Meaghan & Peggy