You’re in Ireland. You’re stoked. And you’re finally seeing the verdant, patchwork green of the wild fields lined with stone and hedge. There are sheep everywhere. And your fantasy of meeting a ridiculously handsome Irish farmer seems closer than you’ve ever imagined. In your enthusiastic state you have decided that you’ll fit every single thing you’ve ever dreamed about experiencing into your ten day trip. Day 1 on your self-made itinerary starts to look like this:
Leave Cork City and drive to Blarney Castle. Kiss the stone so that when you return home to your loud neighbor you’ll know exactly how to tell him off while simultaneously making him laugh, then hop in the car and drive around the Dingle Peninsula. As you drive you’ll stop and enjoy all the little villages and beaches along the way. Then you’ll end your day in Galway and relax with a pint of Guinness or Murphy’s while listening to some live Irish music.
Sounds amazing right? And it is, if you have a couple of days to do it. But putting this schedule into one? I’m just going to say it…INSANE. Don’t do this to yourself. There’s a pattern I’ve noticed when it comes to Americans traveling in Ireland. We try to fit a ridiculous amount of sights, experiences, and driving into one trip.
I believe there are two main reasons this occurs
1. We look at maps and say, “Hey, Limerick is only 62 miles away from Cork, that’s not far at all!” And normally we’d be right … except for one pesky little detail … we don’t know Ireland:) A vast majority of the roads here are windy, narrow, and lined with hedges. Or rocks. Or sheep. So 62 miles ends up taking a lot longer than we can imagine!
According to Google Maps it will take you (the bleary-eyed, fresh off the plane driver) 1.5 hours to travel those 62 miles. I’d say, if you’ve never driven in Ireland before or its been awhile, it will take at least 2 hours, maybe more.
2. For some reason, as Americans, we feel like we have to fill our time with as much as possible to get the most out of our trip. I believe that we have a culture-wide obsession with work, even during our vacations. Couple this with the reality that most people visit Ireland one time in their lives and the schedule packing begins.
This is a disaster for MOST people. There are some hardy souls out there with great travel companions who can do a marathon trip and thrive. But most will get fried by the end of their vacation.
You? You don’t have to experience this
Read on to discover what my dear friend from Ireland told me and why it has become my favorite travel tip to share with people when they decide to come to Ireland…
You will meet this man when you come on our Retreat. We’ve been friends for over 3.5 years now and he consistently amazes me with the wisdom that comes out of his lips. One day we were texting about how to connect with someone about a potential business opportunity and he suggested the following:
Relax and feel the next approach…
I knew instinctively that this was a piece of wisdom I needed for my life and remembering this phrase has helped me on countless occasions. Relaxing and feeling into your next approach gives you space. And space makes room for you to actually see and feel what’s in front of you. It also allows for more spontaneous happenings. If you’re not on a tight time schedule then you can follow that mysterious sign you passed a second ago pointing towards an ancient graveyard. Or you can stay and spend some more time chatting with the local people you just met at the pub and take them up on that offer to come by their place later for a session. It gives you a chance to enjoy yourself. Ireland is a laid back country. Go with it. McCarthy’s Bar by Pete McCarthy is a great example of this. This hilarious book is worth a read and highlights many of the sights you’ll see if you come on retreat with us here in Ireland!
So, when you decide to plan your trip to Ireland (with or without us) and you begin to dream, research, and plan, keep my friend’s phrase in your mind. Relax and feel the next approach. This is a great way to travel in Ireland and a good piece of advice for all those moments you want to rush through because you don’t know what to do.
Let this be your travel mantra. Repeat with me…
Relax and feel the next approach
Relax and feel the next approach
Less is More
Less is More
We love space:)
Like this post? Leave a comment below. Let us know where you’re from, how you like to travel, and how your own culture tends to travel. Let this be a space for cultural exchange!