July 2015, August 2016, Summer 2018
So far I have traveled to the Republic of Ireland twice. The first time being in Jusy of 2015 as part of the backpacking trip with my friend Blake, and the second being solo a year later, and both times I have found it incredibly hard to leave. And if you're wondering why it is so appealing, here is just a small story that demonstrates why.
The very first day Blake and I arrived, we decided to go on a run to explore the city. Having both run cross country in college, this was something we did in each location of the trip, but this one was different. Not yet ten minutes into the run, a car pulled alongside us and rolled down its window. A bearded middle-aged man with glasses leaned out and said, "You guys running? Great! Enjoy yourselves and have a beer." He then proceeded to hand Blake a tall clear plastic cub willed with a dark stout, which of course Blake drank immediately. Needless to say, our run didn't last much longer, but right away we felt at home.
Since then, I’ve been back to the country four more times, traveled along the western, southern, and eastern coasts, and seem more sheep and green fields than I can possibly count. Not to mention, during my visits here, I've probably formed the best and most lasting friendships of any place I've been to so far. That, in and of itself has made each trip absolutely worth it!