This post is dedicated to some of our very dearest friends, Sarah and Mikey. We traveled to Ireland with them last year and made memories that will last a lifetime. They are expecting their first child this month, and we miss them more than anything!
History, beauty, song, dance, food, drink, sites, castles, and culture. These are just a few reasons that Ireland is one of the best countries to visit in the world. Very soon, my husband and I will be going back to Ireland with our very close friends, and we can hardly wait. Ireland is near and dear to our hearts for SO many reasons, and it is a country that I think everyone should see before they die. The reason we love this country so much is really quite simple.
The People: First and foremost, I love Ireland because of its people. I can’t express to you in words how kind, laid back, funny, and welcoming the Irish are. Usually, I hate to generalize, but this time it is true. The people make Ireland. They are proud and patient and beyond welcoming. They go out of their way to help others, and generally speaking, they have a great sense of humor. There is no doubt that the Irish people will leave a lasting impression on you when you leave Ireland.
Culture: The culture runs deep in Ireland. Every Irish person has an in depth understanding of their country’s history, strengths, and challenges along the way. The culture is in all aspects of life in Ireland, from the food, to the sports, to the music, to the language, to the storytelling. Experiencing the cultural pride and noticing the efforts taken to maintain such a unique culture is admirable and memorable.
Trying our hand at the traditional Irish sport of Hurling:
Song and Dance: I might be biased, being a Celtic fiddle player in an Irish band and sporting the last name of “Murphy”, but I truly believe that Ireland offers the best music in the world. Almost every Irish person has had experience with a musical instrument (or 12), singing, or dancing at some point in their life. Song and dance are a part of Ireland’s history and culture – something that makes it unique and unforgettable. To me, there is nothing better than being in pub, Guinness in hand, watching a live acoustic band perform Irish music.
Food and Drink: Ireland’s food, although notoriously hearty, is soooo delicious and always hits the spot while in cool, often-rainy Ireland. I like to start the day with an Irish breakfast made up of beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, toast, bacon, sausage, and black pudding. Irish stew or a smoked salmon salad are perfect options for lunch. My favorite supper meal is bangers and mash. And, as always, I believe Irish food is best served with a pint of Guinness. Now – let me be clear – there are many, many great beers that have been made in Ireland. However, the Guinness you get in Ireland is much better, creamier, and more well-balanced than you can find anywhere else in the world. So, while in Ireland, why not? It’s part of the culture, after all.
Beauty: Ireland is debatably the most beautiful country in the world. The small island is covered in amazing greenery, decorated with B&Bs, castles, and old stone foundations. Of course, Ireland is an island, so it is also surrounded by a stunning coast line. The Cliffs of Moher (pronounced “more”) were stunningly beautiful – something I will remember for the rest of my life. The Ring of Kerry is another beautiful drive or hike, if you are up for it, near Killarney.
Energy: No, I’m not talking about some hokey “aura” of Ireland. I’m talking about the general feeling you get once you step off the plane and experience Ireland. The culmination of the hospitable people, the cherished culture, the traditional music and dance, and Ireland’s all-around beauty contribute to the incredibly positive feeling you get when you experience this beautiful country.
Is Ireland somewhere that you have been before, or have wanted to visit? I’d love to hear the reasons why you loved Ireland, or things you are curious about. Feel free to comment below and share your story.