Remembering Ireland: Reflections

This is it: the last Remembering Ireland post. I'm glad that I've done this walk down Irish Memory Lane. It's been a lot of fun reminiscing about all of the things I did and all of the places I saw in Ireland, while also helping to slightly quell my wanderlust.

Next to Eyre Square in Galway.
For me, this trip was a dream come true. I had wanted to visit Europe ever since I laid eyes on a European travel guide when I was a kid. As an adult, I never did reach that level of "success" I had hoped for, and, combined with letting time get away from myself, I resigned myself to the (perceived) fact that I would never fulfill that lifelong dream. One day, I was looking over Groupon for a pizza coupon to take the family out with, when I saw the "Ireland: Dublin, Limerick, and Galway $999" Groupon promotion. I opened up the Groupon, without even giving it much thought, and so started the idea that maybe I could go to Europe. After wondering, "Who can go with me?" (because it's cheaper to go as a duo), I called my best friend and asked him. He came over, we discussed it, and the next day we purchased our tickets. Best decision I've ever made!

Granger's Pub in Dublin.
That was in April of 2014, and I spent the next six and a half months waiting with bated breath. When that November day finally arrived, I could barely contain my excitement as we drove to Chicago to board Aer Lingus for Dublin! We landed in the Emerald Isle and I was instantly living a fairy tale. From our excursions through the streets of Dublin to the numerous examples of rich history in Limerick to the famous Cliffs of Moher via Galway, every moment in Ireland was magical.

The experience changed me in the most positive of ways. There's something about traveling to another country and immersing yourself in its culture to really reshape your worldview. This trip was everything I'd ever hoped it would be, and more.

Side street in Limerick.

When I took this trip, I thought to myself, "This might be your only chance to go to Europe." I might be right, but I hate to think so. I fully intend on seeing as much of the rest of the world as I possibly can one day and experiencing a bounty of other cultures, foods, people, and history. I'll be back for you day.


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