Meet Keelin, an RTC member from Wexford who is a single mum to 5 kids between the ages of 6 - 17 and has been a part of Rory’s Travel Club since 2022. Initially only seeing ads on Facebook and getting the odd screenshot of offers from her sister in law who was already an RTC member, Keelin eventually bit the bullet and decided to sign up herself so she could get all the emails directly to her own inbox and maybe see if there was an offer she could book in the future.
It was the Roryfest in the Summer of 2022 that Keelin said “f**k it” and booked her first RTC trip and while it may have only be a short 5 minute drive from her house, it was the first of many over the last 2 years. Keelin fondly remembers the camping trip and how the nerves were getting to her before she pulled up at the field where she knew no one other than herself. She’d never gone to anything before where she didn’t have a friendly face as back up and while she was apprehensive about getting out of the car, she pushed through as she knew she would only regret it by not giving it a try.
All the apprehension and nervousness quickly slipped away once she was in that field with a bunch of strangers as everyone that was there greeted her with a warm smile and an offer of help to get her set up for a night of camping and craic. Camping in itself is a humbling travel experience as you’ve limited home comforts, are exposed to the wonderful Irish weather and really have to make the most of what it is which is exactly what that group of RTC members did . The members on the trip were of all ages, backgrounds and walks of life and while you might not get on with everyone you are bound to find other members to connect with which is exactly what Keelin did.
With this trip in particular, it was adults only which meant everyone could relax and talk without the fear of little ears hearing and this meant some members could connect about different things on a more personal level. Keelin herself is a single mum and being able to connect with other members who are in a similar position has made a world of difference to her. She’s found a group of people that simply get what she’s going through, whether that’s other members who also have kid free weekends and can go on a last minute getaways or members who she can call upon for something to do with just life in general. The support network she’s built through her first RTC group trip and in turn the ones that followed is something that is absolutely priceless to her.
From a group trip 5 minutes from her house to a 10 day trip to Bali in 2024, Keelin has started to get a lot more use out of her passport! Her confidence when it comes to travelling has only increased and she even became the navigator on a group trip to Vienna which is something she never expected to take leadership in. The fear of getting around a new place or country doesn’t come into her mind as much and there’s no harm in getting a little lost in a new city as you never know what a wrong turn might lead to. Even with new countries, the support of going on an RTC Group Trip is being able to stay in touch with everyone through the WhatsApp group. There’s also no issue with sticking together as a whole group or bunching off into smaller groups as at the end of the day different people will want to do different things and you have to make the most of your own holiday.
Keelin’s kids have definitely noticed a change in their mum since joining RTC! They have a mum that is more confident, fulfilled and overall happier. What might be a bit more important to them is they have a mum that is ready to take them on a plane to a new country by herself. This is something she didn’t think would happen before she joined Rory’s Travel Club. Her kids have also benefited from RTC group trips as they’ve been able to go on the family friendly ones and make new friends and take part in loads of fun activities. Keelin and the other parents on the trips, are happy in knowing their kids are entertained and they themselves get to have a bit of time to themselves.
Keelin has gotten so much more then just travel offers in her inbox from being an RTC member, she’s gotten a bunch of new wonderful people in her life, she’s been pushed out of her comfort zone, gotten a new outlook on travel, a level of confidence that wasn't there before and become part of a community that is welcoming and supportive. She would’ve missed out on such an life alternating experience if she gave into that fear while sitting in her car outside the field in Bannow.
If you’re debating joining Rory’s Travel Club or a member that hasn’t booked anything yet then in Keelin’s own worlds from our phone call, “feel the fear and do it anyway and sure what’s the worst that can happen”.
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