Hélène (27) and I met while volunteering at Kilronan Hostel at Inis Mor in Ireland. She is from France and is back in Ireland to spend time with herself.
Why did you come here?
Whenever something goes bad in Hélène’s life she comes to Ireland. “Two years ago I live in Ireland and also stayed in this hostel. I loved it back than as I do now. For me it is good to spend time here to think about myself and my life. Especially after ending a relationship it is good have nature close and people who are nice and friendly around me.”
The island Inis Mor has a good effect on Hélène. “The beauty and quietness of the island makes me feel at peace. On the island there are no problems. Other people are good in making problems, but here they are good in finding solutions. In my stay I have met a lot of sensitive people. Having them around helps to make me feel good.”
What did you learn from your trip?
Being away helps Hélène to be more herself. “When I am home I am wearing more masks. Here it is less. I’ve learned that I feel good being on my own. For me this is a really good thing, because I used to be co-dependent. Back home I need external validation and while I am traveling I don’t.”
Hélène has discovered that the people she surrounds herself with make a big impact on her wellbeing. “On the island I have met a lot of artistic, happy and a bit weird people. I feel more at home and normal being here. I become happy when I surround myself with people like me. In the past years I learned about why people behave in a certain way and which people I need to avoid to be happy.”
What is home for you?
Hélène feels at home in places where she made a connection with people. “I feel at home Ireland. I used to feel at home in Italy, but also in Lebanon. For me the most important thing I need to feel at home is making good memories and real and good connection with people. Home is where my heart is.”
For Hélène it is good to be away from France. “I am more in touch with my feelings and emotions when I am abroad. That is a really good thing. I am highly sensitive and in France nobody accepts my feelings. So for me it is good to be away, be in touch with my feelings and be appreciated.”
When are you the most vulnerable?
When Hélène is in Paris she feels most vulnerable. “I have traumatic memories and had some severe depressions in Paris. When I was younger I didn’t know what to do when I felt like this. Now I draw or create something in any other way. I got here by receiving professional help and living abroad.”