Our next favorite entry comes from Steve whose essay meanders the plethora of reasons why his heart desires a trip to Ireland and he capped it off with a little poem. Very original, Steve! Sorry you didn’t win the trip but we’d be happy to give you a discount on that trip. Reach out to one of our travel specialists and let them know you were a contestant to discuss the details.
What Ireland means to me. To be honest, I don’t know very much about Ireland. I know that it’s a country. I know that it’s hilly, rainy, and green. I know of Leprechauns, Shamrocks, and pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. I know of the Blarney Stone, Guinness beer, and Bono. But after that not much else comes to mind. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at my stereotypical point of view of the old “Emerald Isle”. I’m not Irish nor have I any Irish ancestry.
Most of my education on the subject matter comes from one lone day a year out of the entire school year. On that day, we take the time to wear green (so not to get pinched), eat some form of Irish delicacy (pot pie or beef stew), and color in some Leprechaun with his pot of gold at the end of some rainbow. For me, I never enjoyed arts and crafts, I hated anything with vegetables in it, and I prefer blue over green. It wasn’t until I turned 21 before I took the time to look forward to St. Patrick’s Day.
One might wonder, why then would I want to go to Ireland? Here are my reasons: I love to travel, I need a vacation; and above all, Ireland does have a certain appeal to it. Traveling is something I love to do, but I don’t get to do much of. I have lived in Minnesota and North Dakota nearly my entire life. If you don’t know much about the area, I can tell you it’s a flat, windy terrain that gets a lot of snow in the wintertime. Earlier in my life my wife and I got to experience the Rocky Mountains for the first time. After a near 15 hour drive, imagine our excitement to see a piece of land that wasn’t flat and how it just seemed to rise out of the ground into the sky! Our time spent in the mountains holds some of our most enjoyable memories. To realize there’s more to this life than just frozen lakes with ice fishing tournaments makes a guy want to live, experience life, go to new places and meet new people. Soon after our experience in the mountains, obstacles started to pop up that made travelling a little more difficult. Three of them actually, named Stuart, Stella, and Sebastian; which leads me into the next reason for wanting to go to Ireland.
My wife and I need a vacation. Now don’t get the wrong impression, I love each one of my children dear, but any parent would know that we need time off for ourselves. This trip to Ireland would help us in a way that we haven’t been able to help ourselves. Imagine a lush green country side with the smell of the salt water filling the air and no screams of children filling my ears. Yes, that would be enjoyable, like a second honeymoon if you will. Well, more like a first; my wife and I wanted to go to Hawaii, but because of our work schedule and limited budget, we went to Mt. Rushmore instead. It was interesting, of course, but if I had to compare seeing the cliffs of the Black Hills to possibility of seeing the Cliffs of Moher, I think I would rather have the latter. The Cliffs of Moher is something I would not have even known to exist (except in Harry Potter) if I had not taken the time to learn about Ireland. After all, one should take an interest and be fully invested if one really wants to go to Ireland.
Yes, I really want to go to Ireland, my wife and I both do. What I’ve come to find out about Ireland beyond my limited St. Patrick’s Day education, is that Ireland seems like a pretty cool place to be. Who wouldn’t like the idea of sightseeing ancient castles along lush green countryside and finishing your day with a pint of cold brew from the local tavern? Naturally, castles interest me. What boy doesn’t dream of either being a king ruling in his own castle or a knight going off to fight on behalf of his lady fair? For me, stepping into an Irish castle would be stepping into a piece of history and a boyhood dream. The landscape of Ireland also intrigues me. From high mountain tops to green valleys, from the Cliffs of Moher to the Giants Causeway, Ireland provides a vast variety of scenic adventure that even local folklore can revel in, a step back in time for an eager adventurer. Then I read about the local hospitality and some of the festivities. Yes, a tour of the Guinness Storehouse would be a treat, but I think more enticing would be getting to meet new people, experience a new culture, and enjoy what the local scene has to offer. When in Rome? I say “When in Ireland!” What Ireland means to me? It means a chance to travel, to get away from it all, not just to a foreign country but a foreign world. It’s a chance to visit new places and to meet new people, to be a boy again and for a second honeymoon. So with your support and perhaps a little bit of Irish Luck, you can make my wife and me very happy.
“So send us to Ireland if you will,
We’ll be happy not having to pay the bill,
We’ll be raising our glasses with the local lads and lasses
At the local pub & grille”
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