Reality Check

Here’s a virtual reprint of the column I wrote in August 2012. This trip provided plenty of opportunities to take photos. I didn’t have a Smartphone at the time, but we were able to snap a few pics.

Last month, my husband and I took a much needed vacation to Ireland and the UK. For me, it was more than just an overseas trip. It was like a journey to the place of my ancestors.

My decision to take the trip was a bit spontaneous, in that I hadn’t spent a whole lot of time planning it out. I just knew that I wasn’t getting any younger or healthier. Deciding to take the trip wasn’t unlike my decision to become a full-time fiction writer. I figured, if not now, when?

While I was gone, I decided to disconnect entirely from social media, with only one small exception-an author I arranged to meet through Twitter.

Me and Caren Kennedy in Dublin, Ireland. My first overseas private book signing. :)

Apart from that, I’d check my emails if, as and when I could (mostly to delete all the crap, so I wouldn’t be so overwhelmed when I returned, with one not-so-small exception-a reader in England, who I’d come to know through blogging, then began following on Twitter, then later friended on Facebook.

A slighty blurry picture of Paul Downie, who took my book out of the Brentwood Library after I sent them some books! Exciting! (This was before we met IRL.)

So, we left our laptop behind, and relied upon business centers and Internet cafes for access to email, etc. To be honest, the first few nights, I kept dreaming about blogging. This seemed weird. Maybe it wasn’t for a writer with five blogs.

Making the journey to other countries felt special. I now have another stamp in my passport, which is so awesome.

And even though my body was screaming with pain at times, I was determined to keep going. I chose to be happy and live in the moment. Because being in a place is much better than just imagining it.

And meeting people is much better than just tweeting them. Really!

My second overseas book signing at Cafe Nero in Brentwood, Essex, UK.

I’ve always wanted to see the world and have adventures. This trip was truly an adventure, in every sense of the word. That’s three more countries down, and a whole shitload more to go. I’m really looking forward to making those trips someday. Maybe Sweden should be next, since I’m part Swedish. Or Australia. Or New Zealand. The world is not enough. Ha ha ha …

And I really hope to return to the places of my ancestors and spend more time. And even get a car and drive on left side of the road, like Woody Allen in that movie Scoop, except without getting killed. Ha ha ha …

PS: And then 2020 came. Need I say more? 🙂

And then came 2021! 🙂

PS: I no longer need to demonstrate to others how fun my life is.

PPS: Amazon’s ‘just walk out’ technology.

Just fuck off, Amazon.

This entry was posted in Essay, My Old Columns, My Videos, Travel, Writers Life, Writing and tagged Blogging, England, Internet, Ireland, IRL Meetings, My Writing, Our Travels, Random Crap, Scotland, Travel, United Kingdom, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

Originally published at on May 13, 2022.




New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, including the Sam McRae Mystery series. Screenwriter, podcaster, and blogger. My website:

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Debbi Mack

Debbi Mack

New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, including the Sam McRae Mystery series. Screenwriter, podcaster, and blogger. My website:

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