I’ve been leaving subtle hints here and there on social media recently expressing my anticipation about my next travel adventure. Now that it’s actually happening in a few days—and because I can’t hold it in much longer due to my overflowing excitement—I’m thrilled to share that I’m going to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day!
Am I the only soul who counts how many times I have to go to sleep in anticipation of a day that I can’t wait to hurry up and get here? I feel like I’ve been hurdled back to my anxious ten-year-old self, counting down the days until Christmas. I now have just four more sleeps until I’m headed to Chicago for a quick layover then I’ll be on my first Aer Lingus flight headed to Ireland.
I am so excited Tourism Ireland invited me to Dublin to experience the special Irish celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and I can’t hide my enthusiasm that I’m about to explore another European country and tick a place I’ve dreamed of visiting off my ever growing list.
A little background about Dublin and St. Patrick’s Day
For those of you who may be curious, Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland and Ireland is an island situated in the North Atlantic Sea to the left of Great Britain. Northern Ireland makes up a part of the United Kingdom or ‘UK’ which also consists of England, Scotland and Wales—all of which I want and plan to visit someday.
I’m just going to put a disclaimer out there now and say that I am super guilty of celebrating holidays in the past without having any prior knowledge of their cultural significance. But now, I’ve become more curious in understanding the history behind the things we celebrate throughout the year and the importance of them to certain people, places and cultures before ‘cheersing’ the day away with debauchery.
When I found out I was going to Dublin, I researched St. Patrick’s Day and discovered that it’s a mixture of a cultural and religious celebration in honor and memory of Saint Patrick who was the patron saint of Ireland. During the four-day festival of celebrations paying homage to Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, the Irish heritage and culture comes alive through celebrations complete with parades, festivals and the wearing of green clothing, paraphernalia and shamrocks—the three leaved plant St. Patrick is said to have used to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish.
I know there’s so much history behind this holiday and I’m holding both my curiosity and hands back from googling too much information prior to the experience because I’d prefer to see and experience all that Dublin and the St. Patrick’s Festival has to teach me from a firsthand vantage point. I’m hoping to interact with as many people as possible on this trip to understand exactly what St. Patrick’s Day means to them on a personal level as well.
I have always wanted to visit Ireland. I remember attempting to convince friends to do a weekend trip with me to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day a few times in the last few years. Needless to say, that never happened and that was during a time I wasn’t quite sold on the whole traveling solo thing. I’m all about celebrating international holidays from anywhere in the world, but I feel the experience is ten times better when you actually go where the holiday originated to celebrate.
My excitement about visiting Dublin also comes from how beautiful Ireland is just from pictures alone. If you search ‘Ireland’ using Google images, you’ll find some jaw dropping images of the country that will make you want to pack your bags and go right now. The endless green landscapes, dramatic skies, majestic castles and dynamic street scenes are simply unbelievable and breathtaking even from nearly five thousand miles away as I sit on my little green couch in Houston.
Speaking of green, let’s forget about fifty shades of gray for a moment. Green is my favorite color so of course I want to visit a place where everywhere I look, my gaze is met by a sea of emerald, jade and chartreuse. How satisfying and so easy on the eyes!
Also, can we go back to the part where I mentioned there are majestic castles and some of the best regal architecture in Ireland?
Let’s just reflect on that one for a minute can we?
Dear Ireland, you’ve already captured my heart and I haven’t even met you yet. The end.
As far as all the details on what I’ll be up to while I’m in Dublin, I don’t want to give too much away about my itinerary just yet, but I really hope I get the chance to catch a glimpse—with my eye and camera—of at least one if not many castles.
Why this trip means so much to me
I remember sitting on my mom’s couch in Atlanta on New Year’s Eve just a few months ago in my pajamas watching the usual celebratory broadcasts on TV feeling slightly subpar for not having plans that consisted of champagne flutes and a night out on the town with friends. I stayed up well past the minute-to-midnight countdown sending emails to tourism boards of places I’ve always wanted to visit introducing myself and my passion for sharing my travel adventures through my writing.
I’ll never forget receiving the email from a representative of Tourism Ireland expressing how they were delighted to invite me to Dublin for the St. Patrick’s Festival.
Each time I think about the emotions I felt while reading that email and reflect on my goals, I think about a quote that I love by Dave Ramsey:
Could all the late night writing and editing sessions, bouts of writer’s block and frustration and waking up at 4:30am to finalize blog posts before heading to my full time job really be paying off? Could I really be getting closer to realizing my dreams?
It’s the little successes that I’ve experienced since I’ve self-proclaimed as a travel blogger that make the journey so sweet and so worth it. I’m taking this as a sign that hard work truly does pay off and I’m realizing more every day that you never know what could happen if you don’t put yourself out there to receive great things!
I’m so excited for what this trip to Dublin has in store, all the people I’ll meet and memories I’ll create and I can’t wait to dish the details about this adventure upon my return.
Have you ever been to Dublin? Any great places to see or things to do that I should squeeze in while I’m there?
All pictures associated with Ireland used in this post were found on Tourism Ireland’s Pinterest page.