Hello, I’m back!
I recently got back from Ireland, and had an absolutely amazing time. I tend to gush about a good amount of my travel adventures, but this one was above and beyond. I’ll get into more of the reasons why you should visit this lovely little island in future posts (filled with suggestions on what to do and see!) but for now I just wanted to leave you with a list of the things I’ve learned on this trip.
Because from all experiences, good and bad, the most important part is the learnings.
1. When you insist your boyfriend do all the planning for the trip, you can’t be too critical when he gets things wrong. In our five+ years of being together, I have been the chief trip planner, so this time I asked him to take care of it. For the most part, all was well, but the few times when things weren’t (he failed to write down the addresses of our hotels, he drove us to the wrong town two hours away from where we belonged) my getting annoyed about it didn’t help things.
2. Ireland is a place for LAYERS. And I don’t mean a sweater on over a ratty tank top, because chances are at some point during your travels, you’ll wander into a pub with a cheery little fire going, start sweating like crazy, and so you’ll want to be wearing something acceptable underneath your sweater. But then you’ll walk back outside again, likely to the edge of a windy cliff, and be grateful for your sweater, jacket, scarf, and hat.
3. If you’re going for a boat ride, bring hard candies and diet coke. My go-tos for motion sickness. Otherwise you may just find yourself begging for cough drops from the German couple next to you, and afterwards, hanging over the side of the boat in the rain anyways
4. There’s no such thing as too many scenic cliffs. See photo above.
5. Have a go-with-the-flow approach to cuisine … within reason. I like to immerse myself in the local cuisine, as much as I possibly can being a non-fish-eating vegetarian. In Ireland this meant a lot of carbs and dairy. Delicious–yes! Good for me–no! Towards the end of our trip, having had nary a fruit or vegetable in days, my stomach was not very happy with me. In retrospect I wish I’d had more fruit for breakfast and fewer scones.
6. Read a trip-appropriate book. For me this meant I got to devour the latest of Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series in Dublin. It was awesome.
7. Embrace the local booze. Okay, I knew this one already, but seriously–the beer, the whiskey, the Irish coffee… can I go back right now, please?
Image of the Wormhole on Inishmore, taken by me, October 2016
5 thoughts on “The 7 Lessons I Learned in Ireland”
I always try to bring a “trip appropriate” book with me on vacation. In fact I spend a lot of time researching the perfect book prior to the trip – time that could be spent whittling down unnecessary clothing in my suitcase. Having the right book totally elevates the travel experience. I’m a big Tana French fan too – haven’t read her new book yet – I’m letting the excitement build. I bet it was the perfect choice for your trip!!
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Oh yes, book packing always takes priority over clothes packing for me (which has at times led to me frantically searching for a washing machine and/or sock store while in foreign countries)
Gorgeous! It’s been almost a year since I last visited Ireland, and I would love to return, perhaps to see the Cliffs of Moher. Where did you go during your stay?
Hey! We started in Dublin, then rented a car and drove to Galway, then to Doolin, where we took a ferry over to the Aran Islands for two days. Then we saw the Cliffs of Moher, spent a couple of days in Dingle, then spent the night in Cashel before heading back to Dublin. It was so amazing!
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Sounds amazing! I just might have to make the effort to return while in Europe.