From the first time, I watched “The Quiet Man” and “Darby O’Gill and the Little People,” I’ve wanted to go to Ireland. It was the history, the charm and the people who first drew me in. And now, just the images of the rolling hills, the “greener than green” landscape, the windswept cliffs and the charm of the villages and pubs: that’s my idea. I can just see living in a cottage among the green sward, a nice fire in the fireplace and a cozy chair with a blanket and a book. Though I’m sure the big cities have much to offer, it’s the smaller villages, the countryside I long to experience. I often tell my daughter that if I ever really do get to Ireland, I might never come back. I’ve no clue what I’d do for work, but I’d find something!
There’s a certain elegance to those who make their living on the land, who believe strongly in where they live and love sharing that with others. There are so many who have been born in Ireland and traveled elsewhere, but they’ve never forgotten their homeland. I’ve had friends who have made the trip and none of them can stop talking about the people, the land, the history. I’ve done some research, I know my relatives come from Northern Ireland. I’ve traced my ancestry back to Antrim and to Ayr in Scotland. I would love to retrace some of my ancestor’s footsteps, see where they actually lived. But it’s not just Northern Ireland I want to visit. I would love to walk along the Cliffs of Moher, see the Ring of Kerry, visit Galway and Dublin, and even the Matchmaker’s fair in Lisdoonvarna. I would revel in spending a month or more just walking, driving, absorbing the culture, the sights. I want to experience Waterford, Wexford, and Killarney.
If there is such a thing as a dream trip, this is mine. I would love to drag my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter along as well. I was so fortunate as a child to have my grandparents, and great-grandparents to pass along some of their histories to me. I want to do the same for my children and grandchildren. I want them to know and experience more than just the part of the world they were born in. This is my idea of a vacation exploring history, finding new things to do, spending some quiet time just being with nature in a beautiful setting. I want photographs that I can look back on and say, “remember when we went to Ireland?” and know that my family will always have that joy: time spent together finding out where we came from. I know Ireland is in my blood, I’d like to have it in my memories and experiences. This is my goal and my dream. Even if this contest is not the way I get there, I’ve no doubt a visit to Ireland is in my future. I will be crossing this off my bucket list someday!
Have you ever dreamed of staying in an authentic Ireland cottage within a smaller village in the countryside? We offer many different customized tours within cottage stays along the Wild Atlantic Way as well as inland in the beautiful countryside. Just ask our travel agents for these options when creating your tour, and you are guaranteed to have a perfect vacation!