Molly & Steve's Trip to Ireland - 2023

You're Very Welcome Here


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Ireland is a special place that offers a hundred thousand welcomes to those who come to her shores.

"You're very welcome here" is a phrase we heard on a daily basis, from all sorts of persons - strangers we met on the hillside as well as the hotel desk clerk or tour guide. It's possibly the friendliest place in the world.

And we felt very welcomed. The people we encountered demonstrated an attitude of inclusiveness. It is not just because Ireland depends on the tourists' dollars (and Euros, pounds, yen, etc.) but also because the Irish have a cultural memory of what it feels like to be ostracized and unwelcome. Millions of persons from their island left for their own survival, and many struggled to make it in other places. Steve's and my ancestors were among the fortunate ones.

But you don't need ancestral ties for a reason to visit Ireland. "Who are we to turn others away?" asked one fellow we met, as we chatted about the diversity of today's Ireland. To him, making others welcome is not limited to tourism hospitality but also includes outreach and support for today's immigrants and refugees. We saw evidence that others embrace this spirit, too.

This was my fifth visit to Ireland and the second one for Steve. In past trips (1992, 2001, 2003 and 2016), County Galway and the west coast of Ireland were the priority destinations because my ancestral home lies there. I never seemed to find a way to add to the itinerary the places outside the trajectory from the airport to Galway - places like the Giant's Causeway, County Donegal, or Derry. Steve and I had never made a trip to Ireland with just the two of us, so we planned this trip as a short excursion to see some of those places and also to try to link up with a "long lost" cousin who lives in Carlingford.       

Next: Let's get started!


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This page was last edited on 11-Sep-2023

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