For close to 80 million people worldwide who claim ancestry, Ireland has proven to be unique as perhaps the only country in our world where such a diverse group of foreign nationals feel a strong connection to a land beyond their own. In 2015, Ireland became my second home. Standing with me the Irish diaspora know that Éire is a place they too will never forget because “Ireland’s Call” will always beckon.
Every aspect of this exquisite country make it unforgettable yet it is often limited to dear little Dublin, even than many don’t look beyond the city walls to seaside villages like Howth offering world class dining & picturesque coastal walks.
Ireland’s natural beauty will imprint on your mind so sharply, as it did mine, from Dublin’s & Cobh’s winding bays which farewelled so many of their countrymen as they embarked on futures abroad in unknown lands never to return, to the untouched ruggedness of the Aran Islands where I lost myself exploring ancient ruins of Inishmore having never felt more liberated. The unparalleled beauty that is the Ring of Kerry & Galway’s rolling hills will make any visitor understand how fitting the term “Emerald Isle” truly is & though Ireland’s flag, the Tricolours, represents a complex history I believe the green, white & orange are a homage to their serene terrain.
If the landscape isn’t enough to give you chills the music alone will awaken your spirit. When you hear the beating of the Bodhrán or the ethereal call of the Uilleann pipes, like me, Ireland will become a place you’ll never forget because memories are not made by sight alone but sounds. Irish music has away of entering your soul & this music is extended to their accent which has an uncanny way of filling anyone with joy. Pure & melodic, even now when I hear their accent I am reminded of the Irish spirit.
A country is just a land without its people. It is the Irish who give their homeland heart through their musical gifts, their culture & language which has fought to survive. This collective & unbroken strength is what makes Ireland a place I’ll never forget. With “hearts of steel & heads unbowing” the Irish made my stay memorable as this unforgettable spirit changes your perspective. Despite a history plagued by hardship the Irish spirit remains resilient but most importantly positive.
For me having run to Ireland after years of personal struggle & feeling lost, I never imagined I would leave healed. Bleeding fortitude & quiet dignity, Ireland bewitched me & will forever remain a place I’ll never forget.
*Disclaimer: Today’s blogpost was inspired by World Nomads who continually strive to encourage travel writers and photographers to better themselves through offering scholarship program opportunities. This was my entry as part of the 2017 travel writing scholarship and was inspired by the theme “A Place I’ll Never Forget.” Since returning home from Ireland I haven’t been able to put pen to paper regarding my time in Dublin fearing it would make me too emotional. This scholarship opportunity proved not only enjoyable as I relished in incredible memories but equally liberating. Thank you to Yasir Badani who captured the images of myself featured. Follow his adventures around the globe @yasirbad*