The Irish people have spread themselves, far and wide across the world, over the years. America welcomed Ireland’s “tired, poor, huddled masses, yearning to breathe free”, for many centuries.
Each year, the descendants of these immigrants return en masse, to visit the land of their ancestors.
Tourists to Ireland have developed a strong notion of what Ireland is, in their own minds. They base their dream on family stories, stereotypes, and the media’s romantic notion of an “Emerald Isle.” The ‘Real Ireland’ they visit, may be different from their long-imagined ideal. Often, Ireland is more than they could ever have dreamed of.
Potential tourists research their trip extensively on the internet, visiting the Irish Tourist Board site, which provides a wealth of information. In this section, I do not plan to repeat this typical guidance. Instead, we will explore practical details on the idiosyncracies of Irish life, coming to understand a people, who despite all the current trappings of modern life, remain steeped in history and tradition, whether they realize it or not.
The Irish people have an uncanny feeling and appreciation for living, a relaxed sense of life, and an innate sense of humor. We fuse history and myth, to shape our very consciousness, and our awareness of the world around us. Together, let’s explore the nuances of my homeland. I hope my practical advice on how to explore the countryside, and understand the locals, will minimize potential culture shock. These lessons will help you fully enjoy your personal journey, to the land of your forefathers.
In the Language section, we will explore the nuances of Irish speech. American tourists to Ireland seldom fear communicating with the people of Ireland. We all speak English.
Well, kind of!
The English language spoken in Ireland is definitely not the Queen’s English or American English. Our use of the language has been influenced and embellished by our native tongue, Irish or Gaelic. As we adopted the English language, traces, rhythms and nuances of our ancient speech survived. Together, we will explore words, meanings, expressions, terms, potential pitfalls, and all that Old Blarney I grew up with.
We will explore the reasons Why Tourists Love Ireland. If you have never before thought of visiting my homeland, perhaps after reading this section, you will find the lure of Ireland, and its people, irresistible.
In Land and Culture, we will take to the highways and byways, to visit out-of-the-way places, tourists seldom see. So be forewarned! If you embark on this blogging journey with me, you may find yourself booking a trip to Ireland, in a few short years.
My final section of Lessons for Tourists, is dedicated to visitors taking the reverse journey. Irish tourists to America tend to visit New York and Florida, seldom experiencing the vast beauty of my adopted country. In America The Beautiful, I will introduce potential American tourists to what some call ‘The Real America’.
When I first came to this country I lived in New York, then moved to Florida. I have experienced the typical tourist destinations, but now that I live in Kentucky, I know of the many hidden treasures of this great land.
So together, let us:
- examine our two countries and cultures,
- learn how our ancestors have shaped both nations,
- explore the ties that bind the people of America and Ireland,
- and gain the tidbits of information that support happy vacations (or holidays, as we say in Ireland).