Have you ever felt so at home in another country that you could picture yourself living there? We have! 🙋🏻♂️🙋♀️ We were struck by this feeling during our trip to Ireland last fall.
I know, I know. Most of us probably say, “I could live here!” at least once during a trip, regardless of the destination. But what we felt in Ireland was more than the fleeting allure of a tourist town.
It wasn’t just one area of the country that seemed particularly welcoming. We covered a lot of ground during our trip – first spending a couple days exploring Dublin before driving west through the countryside to Dingle, Killarney, Portmagee, Galway and many other beautiful towns in between.
What we experienced was an incomparable hospitality that made us feel right at home. It was like getting a warm hug from a close friend. Much of this I attribute to the friendly locals we encountered along the way.
Each was as polite as the last – from the employees at the famous Murphy’s ice cream shop in Dingle, to the businessman in Listowel who stopped during his morning commute to share a bit of town lore and history, to the traditional Irish band members who played at our hotel bar in Galway. These endearing interactions created a welcoming experience unlike any other in our travels.
More than the kindhearted people we encountered, Ireland felt like a familiar land that offered just the right amount of unexpected adventure. As for the landscape, we expected the lush green pastures dotted by sheep – though we were blown away by the vibrant colors and contrast nonetheless.
But what we didn’t expect was the intensity of the jagged shorelines and the crashing waves of the Atlantic. The famous Cliffs of Moher are just as dramatic as the travel guides promised, but lingering just beyond them are equally stunning sites like Kerry Cliffs in the Ring of Kerry (see photo above) or Coumeenoole Beach on the Slea Head Loop (see photo below).
Wherever we turned, we were greeted with adventure and a smile. Save for driving on the left side of the road (and the right side of the car), our vacation felt more like a trip home than a 3,600-mile journey across the Atlantic. Even better, we planned just the right amount of activities and downtime, making it a more relaxing trip than our normal marathon sightseeing tours.
All of this made Ireland an unforgettable destination and one we hope to visit again. So if you’re wondering whether Ireland should be on your bucket list, let us respond with a resounding YES!