I was 20 when I decided I wanted more, I wanted to do something more, go somewhere interesting, meet new people, and see new things.
I’m from a small village in County Down, the youngest of 7 children and born to a Catholic family. I got all my sacraments went through Alive-O in school but I never really felt any personal need to go to Mass or get more involved in the parish. I would wonder why we went to Mass every week and learnt so much about Jesus but I never really got an answer, not many talked about him outside of Mass and R.E class.
Growing up the youngest of a big family and a big extended family I grew up around people who were more mature than me, most of them were traveling the world when I was still young and they still do now. I grew up with the desire to travel to see the rest of the world, meet interesting people and see and experience things I never would at home. That's what traveling would be to me.
But how would I do it? My friends either had a job they were committed to or were at university. I didn't have that much money saved from my job and what would I do when I get to wherever I was going to? It was all very up in the air and no real solid plan was coming together.
My friend came home from a year on NET Ireland and she seemed different, more confident. She told me all about her experience, where she went, what she did and who she met. It sounded so interesting, I wanted more from my faith than what I was experiencing at the time. There was something else that was drawing me to go on NET as well and I couldn't pinpoint it. I applied for NET Canada, and it was one of the best years of my life. I met so many new people and saw so many new things. I got to experience a new culture for a whole year!
I realised pretty early on in my NET year that God had put the desire to go to a new place on my heart for a reason. He put the same desire in the disciples hearts to go to travel the known world, and bring the Gospel, the good news. He gave me the desire then gave me the path on which to carry his out, and now here I am on my 2nd year in IRELAND in the beautiful County Clare with people from across the world. You may be thinking if you're from Ireland and you had the desire to travel why stay in the country? Well, you don't necessarily travel in your own country especially when it's on the smaller size. Plus, I've only been here in Clare since September and there are still things and places that I never would have had the opportunity to see if not for NET!
You may be thinking, Ellen what has this got to do with me? Good question! Well maybe God is putting the desire on your heart, maybe you were searching the internet looking for something… this is the exact thing you are looking for! If you only get one thing out of this blog I hope you get this: apply. just do it, there's no harm in it, do something amazing!