I visited Ireland as a junior flight attendant many decades ago. I was only there 2 days – just long enough to walk around Dublin and grab a meal and pint. All the other flight attendants had made plans to visit the Waterford factory, do some shopping or tour the Guinness plant, of which I would have loved. So I was left to my own devices. I took in what I could. But how much of a country can you possibly ‘experience’ in 48 hours? How can you get a feel for what people are like in such a short time? It was my first and still my only visit there. So I did what I’ve known best and that was to explore on foot. To feel cobblestones under my feet and breathe in the air that has fed her people for all of their years. To put it plainly, what I experienced and felt has never left me.
Growing up in the desert Southwest of the US, the colors in Ireland were so different and crisp to what had previously formed my perception of reality. The greens of the grass and dark grays of the buildings. They were colors from a different palate from which I did not know but what was most memorable was the air. It was a misty air that I have not experienced since. I’m not sure what to call it. Visitors that return from the Emerald Isle understand me when I stumble for words. I don’t know how to describe it, but misty. Not even misty – it was like baby mist of a baby’s mist. The tiniest droplets of moisture suspended in cool air that carried the sounds of a smart city. Slowly waving my hand in front of me, I expected for it to be damp and dripping but instead my skin simply felt tender. Very different than cabin air. The air in the city hub felt alive and engaged. The people, sharp and on the move. I walked what I could during my short stay. A statue of Molly Malone. Beautiful gingered-haired people. And I thought, – Wait, is this Ireland? As in Ireland?’ To this day it seems like a dream. Even the passport control officer was throwing jokes back at me. Where does that ever happen? I remember leaving the airport area by passing US passport control ON Irish soil – a 1st in my career. You had a waiting room plastered with blown-up images of newspaper articles and window signs from the states decrying the Irish. I was so embarrassed for us but then immediately impressed. This is a land that embraces its history. A place that knows where it’s been and where it’s headed. She had just piqued my interest and now I was about to leave her. This dynamic city with its kind hearted people that took care of me for my brief stay there. This is Ireland to me. But there I was, about to step off of a country that had so soundly awed me. I vowed to go back someday to explore. Thank you.
(Even if I don’t win anything in this contest, and if you are real Irish people reading this on Irish soil, I do want to thank you for my great stay there 20 years ago. I figure that someone should know!)
There are endless possibilities for amazing experiences when on a vacation to Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales – which is why we are proud to offer customizable tours to all of these locations. We take care booking accommodations, transportation, activities and experiences for the duration of their trip. If you’re looking for things to do in Ireland or have any experiences in mind, you can ask our travel experts and they can help you add these activities to your current itinerary.