Out of the Way Places…

Erin Schaden
5 min readMay 15, 2024

I am in the Burren Perfumery. A lovely little place, out in the Burren, away from the crowds, away from the people, among the flowers and, in this particular case, the perfume. This place is so quaint, and I can add it to a long list of places that are equally charming. Hazel Mountain Chocolate, Ryans Lodges. And that was just in the last 24 hours. So unceasingly amazing.

In today’s world, you have to make a concerted effort to get away from the peoples. I don’t hate the peoples, I just really dislike how we all behave when grouped together. It is like in the coming together, we lose our humanity. Like the proximity of each other en mass makes us leave ourselves and check our humanity at the door.

So, it is in these out of the ways places where I have had to put forth some effort to find, also just happened upon by getting lost in the first place. So many of my discoveries on this trip were just happy accidents. A wrong turn here, a missed roundabout exit, a miscalculation of my GPS and away I go to somewhere I didn’t know even existed before I found it. And then, I find myself there, amidst all the lack. Lack of people, lack of cell service, lack of agenda, lack of ambition or throngs of humanity. Just cows, sheep, intense, majestic scenery that beckons me further away and closer to myself.

I am learning that the cows and sheep have some of the best, unspoiled views in all of Ireland. That being said, I do not wish to trade places. The vistas of my life may not be as continuously grand, but I do believe I have a longevity on my side that they do not. Which makes me sad, and grateful to not be a part of that particular cycle, in any way other than benevolent spectator.

Moving inwards is a struggle for me usually. But not this time, it is just what is coming naturally. Away from and into. That is what this time has been about. I have touched a few souls along the way, some of them even human. Most of them bovine…but souls nonetheless.

I am not sure what my life looks like when I return home. I just know that I will continue to seek out of the way places because that is apparently where I hide myself. And it is only when I make the effort to get there that I am granted access to parts of myself and my soul that are otherwise unavailable to me. Untethered, unburdened, unknown. It is truly in the getting lost that I have been found. And granted a peaceful abiding with the present moment, in all the very many out of the way places I have been honored and privileged to find.

Today I wake up to another magical, out of the way place. So very much out of the way, an island off the coast, where I am sure the cows and sheep out number the humans by a landslide. I slept on the couch last night because I wanted to wake to the view the living room provided, and if I am honest, I thought just maybe God might give me another chance to see the Northern Lights. No go on the lights, God appears to be saying, “Dude, you had your chance, you blew it!” But I will continue to seek, because I know that the reward of seeking is that you always find, not necessarily what you are seeking, but find you do nevertheless.

So I awoke to this this morning. The natural, unspoiled beauty of the Irish coastline, the Dingle peninsula just across the bay. The waves battering the rocky shores in swelling tirades that scream reclamation in every rip and curl.

I have been up since 4:30, watching the day break dawn. Watch the blue of night give way to the pink dawning of morning’s beckoning. Everything muted and hushed in tones of night ceding control to day. The landscape transforming from blackness to green again.

Today I explore this island, the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula. Another day in this most amazing country where my heart finally feels at home. I could live here forever, in fact, I feel in some strange way that I always have. I feel a pull to this place like no other. Sure, I want to move to wherever I vacation, it is a known fact about me. But this is something different, I don’t feel this yearning to move here, instead just to continue to return. Like that is what I am supposed to do. My soul belongs to Ireland. I think I have always known it, not sure why I stayed away in some sort of self imposed exile, I just know that my body, my mind and my spirit have landed, here, in the austere wildness this land provides at every turn.

I am reminded, again, still, that I cannot find myself amidst the clamoring crowds. I need the silence, the retreat, the peace, the space, the out of the way places to get close to myself once more. I lose my center when I am surrounded by all of the life that teems about me in the easily found places. I see now, in a way that lands deeply inside me, that my life, whatever and however much more of it I have, is meant to be lived simply, quietly, peacefully on the shore of some out of the way place, at the end of a dirt road. Maybe it is Ireland. Maybe it is not. I just know that my life gets exponentially more grand, more full, more inspired in the stark relief of existing, even briefly, in this out of the way place, known as the Emerald Isle.

It is as if God exists in greater measure here so even my calloused heart can open ever more slightly. And as it does, I pour out and God pours in. Righting a balance that has been off for some time now. I have come here solo but have not been alone once. As I have found, that much like myself, my God, exists more grandly, more presently in places that are hard to find…apparently this is my parallel to my own interiority that I so very often fear to tread. Showing myself once more that sometimes the most out of the way place you can ever really go is inside yourself.





Erin Schaden

Who am I? I am all that I write, all that I learn, share and grow. Read and find out? Check out www.nakedrandomthoughts.com for more.