Out of all the mystical places in the world to visit, for me, there is no other destination that would ever compare to the feeling of finally stepping foot on the emerald green grass of Ireland.
As a young girl growing up in a small fishing community of Newfoundland, I loved to hear stories my grandparents told about our Irish roots, the folklore, and the Celtic culture of Ireland. I was completely consumed and absolutely intrigued by the notion that someday I would go there. I would sit beside the blueberry bushes on warm summers days, eating berries, and daydreaming about the thin-winged fairies that could carry me away, and the tiny red-haired leprechauns who could lead me to a pot of gold if only I could catch him. I often pictured myself living in one of the amazing castles on the dangerous cliffs Ireland has or wandering around the green rolling hillsides in search of magical mythical creatures and ancient artifacts. Many of my childhood days were spent with my best friend in the garden, scanning every patch of grass we could find in search of a semi-rare and magical four-leaf clover. We were sure we to find one eventually, as we had the luck of the Irish in our blood.
As I have grown and matured, I have come to realize that, even if I am to ever get lucky enough to visit the land of my ancestors, I should not expect to come face to face with any red-haired Leprechauns, or to be swept away by beautiful fairies; Although these magical details originally drew me towards the yearning I had experienced for Ireland as a child, the history it beholds, along with my passion to understand and absorb my heritage, is what keeps my curiosity and burning desire to travel to Ireland alive.
I want to experience and understand my roots, to walk the same paths as the many relatives before me. I want to see and kiss the Blarney Stone (from which my relatives told me as a child that it was the reason I was bestowed with the gift of gab). I want to feel a sense of belonging and understanding; to feel a real connection with the locals; to hear their stories and the Gaelic language at its best ; to lose myself completely in their festive music and upbeat surroundings; to observe and take part in their festivals and parades; to experience the traditional Irish cuisine and to have a Guinness beer at a real Irish Pub. I would locate any relatives living there, both distant or otherwise, and swap tales of our families to pass on to future generations. I would search the archives for existing family records and research why our families left Ireland to start a new life in Newfoundland to begin with. I would plan to drive through the countryside, admiring the hauntingly beautiful landscapes, abandoned castles, and ancient tombs older than the Egyptian Pyramids themselves.
There are so many reasons I need to visit Ireland, it would be impossible to pinpoint a main one. Although reading various books on Ireland’s history and amazing wonders have helped me to understand what Ireland offers to others, it does not quite do justice with my own desire to experience my heritage . I am of Irish decent, and I want to discover what that truly means to me. Whether it happens in the near future, or in a distant one, Ireland is as much in my heart as it is in my blood, and I will submerse myself in its beauty, history, and culture before I take my last breath.
Discovering what Ireland truly means to you is something you must experience for yourself – No words could accurately describe the feeling you get when you connect with your heritage while on a Trip to Ireland. Some people know they want to experience Ireland for themselves but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve created a great list of Ireland Experiences sure to intrigue.