Ever since I could remember my family have been coming down on holidays to Connemara and have stayed out Lettergesh and Tully Cross way. Little did I know that I would be returning soon after my teenage years of not wanting to come down to the "quietness" of it all!!!
I thank my secondary school for letting us away in a cold February to another centre for a little break! I didnt really know what to expect as back then in the 90's we had never really heard of anything as great as all the activities we were about to do.
We got a shock arriving to the snow capped mountains and the nothingness of it all but by the time we were leaving my career path had been choosen.
I had always wanted to work with kids, well the smaller ones at first but talking to the instructors I found out about courses that could be done to get into this line of work – nothing like that on the CAO back then!
So I found the course that I wanted, applied and luckily got accepted and there I was telling all my friends that I was going to become an outdoor pursuits instructor... I am still not sure what their expressions on their faces meant to this day!!!!
Started off on my 2 year course and loved it – Sport and Leisure Management. Had work placement to do and went back down the to the centre to do it in again in the February time and still as cold and then again the following year. During that second time down there I asked for a job for the summer time and was delighted they said yes........nothing to do with all the gorgeous instructors working there!!!!!
So the day after graduation, well walking in home at around 6.00 am and then having to get the 8.30 am train from Heuston to Wesport, I had my bags packed (all three of them) and waved off mum who had the tears flowing.
Little did I know then just going for the "summer job" that I would not be returning home – its now 14 ½ years later!!
Worked there for 3 amazing years, met some fantastic friends from all over the world and also my husband.
We went traveling and did the abligitory work in Ausralia for the year and then arrived back home to a very cold Ireland.
We didnt stay East for long, even though nothing was open down here in the depths of December.
I bumped into Mona Purcell one morning and had known her from working in the centre the past couple of years and she had said that there was another amazing adventure cnetre opening soon and that she would see if there was anything going for me and luckliy there was.
That was 10 years ago and now going into my 11th season here, I still love the work with all the schools and other guests coming through although I have worked my way to management and in a nice warm office.
I'll never say never but on a morning like the recent ones waking up to the Killary and the snow capped mountains home is West for me now.
By : Zoe Goor
By : Zoe Goor