Do you recall the very moment when the travel bug bit you, so bad that you would not heal from it ever again?
I have been traveling since I was born, with my parents taking me to my first trips to the seaside and the countryside only 3 months after I was born. We always traveled during the holidays, within Italy and abroad - but it was only at 15 when I had the epiphany.
It was during one of my very first trips alone (i.e without the family and not knowing anyone else prior to leaving), I was young, naive and with a barely intermediate level of English. The country was Ireland, and the city was Dublin.
I am not sure exactly what clicked - but the fact is that with its vibes, its colors, its truly magical landscapes and its incredible people, Ireland got me. It totally got me and made me realize how much i loved that lifestyle: moving around, taking trips, exploring new places, trying new foods and embracing different cultures.
Besides Dublin, I had visited quite a few places in Ireland during my high school years: Bray, Cork, Galway, the Cliffs of Moher, the Connemara Park, Aran Islands, Glendalough, Fore Abbey… and although over ten years have gone by, I can still see clearly those places in front of me - the colors, the people, the overall atmosphere that only Ireland can gift you, that only if you have been there you could fully understand.
This is why, when we decided to plan a trip to Dublin for 2019 New Year’s Eve, I almost cried with joy. I always wanted to go back, with all my heart, but I also have so many places on my travel bucket list and I have on-boarded so many experiences in these past few years that I never managed to. However, this time, it was getting real, it was happening, I was going back to one of the places that are most close to my heart.
So here are the main reasons why this trip turned out to be so special:
As stated many times already, it felt like “going home”: I would never imagine to remember places and details so well, to remember exact directions and immediately spot if something had been removed or changed location (like the statue of Sweet Molly Malone).
The last time I was in Dublin was over 10 years ago: so what I was mostly looking forward to, was to live it from a different perspective. I am not a teenager anymore, and as much as I still love rock music, I was definitely not looking forward to go back to Hard Rock Cafe and get the usual t-shirt; Carrolls shops are always fun to walk into, but I am absolutely done with the typical souvenir shopping. Instead, I was aiming at discovering places I had never been to before: St Patrick’s Cathedral; EPIC Museum; a lovely day trip to Howth… enriching my sentimental luggage with even more Irish memories.
And I finally wanted to experience pub crawling - because why not? This was my first time in Ireland as a grown up so I think I deserved some Guinness treats here and there!
With this trip, I started the new year in the best possible way: traveling. And since new year usually brings us to formulate goals and resolutions, I also came up with one: the intention of putting traveling as a top priority. Traveling enriches me, recharges me and heals me - even if nothing is wrong at home. It has made me who I am today and it deserves my full unconditional love and attention.
So thank you Ireland, and thank you Dublin for the continuous emotions you give me.
And here’s to a 2019 full of new experiences and memories to collect!