. What the Irish people and craic taught me about life : Budget Travel Adventures

What the Irish people and craic taught me about life

Irish people craic Colm

Good Irish craic with Colm

On my first trip to Ireland, I was excited to explore Dublin.  While this was the first stop on the College Football Travel Tour, I was more interested in the culture and the city than I was the Emerald Isle Classic between Notre Dame and Navy.  While I enjoyed the game, I fell in love with Ireland more.

To be honest, there were some ups and downs on this trip.  I didn’t visit all the sights that I wanted.  With places like Kerry, Cork, and Galway, I wish I had more time in the country.  Personally, this trip to Ireland had some emotional highs and lows and travel adventures along the way.

With all that Ireland and the city of Dublin have to offer, the best thing about this place isn’t the food, the sights, or the scenery.  I fell in love with the Irish people.

Conversations with the Irish people

During my four days in Ireland, I had long conversations with a number of locals – teachers, stadium security guards, college students, travel writers, and film makers.  I connected with them.  I hope to see them again.  A few of them I now call friends.  They stole my heart more than they will ever know.

While I’ve visited a lot of countries, the Irish people are the friendliest I’ve ever met.  Many people may seem friendly but I’ve never met anyone else like them.  The Irish people are engaging, polite, and genuinely interested in others.

Irish people craic Nicola FionaAsk someone for directions and don’t be surprised if they take you there themselves.  If an Irish man or woman asks you if you were here for the game, they will follow up with questions about how you enjoyed your experience.  They want you to have a good time.  They are proud to call this place home.  More importantly, they want this to feel like home to you.

I hung out in a number of pubs, drank more than a few pints of Guinness, and talked with the Irish people.  Irish craic is a term used to express good times, connection, and conversation with people.  I even heard the term used euphemistically to excuse drunk, flirty behavior.  Yet it’s more than that.

Irish craic really does exist and it’s a term that perfectly describes the Irish people.  No one does this like they do.  Yet it’s something that you have to experience.

Why are the Irish people so engaging, friendly, and interested in other people, their culture, stories, and experiences?  They get it.  They understand what it means to come from a group of people that is connected to one another.  They are proud of who they are and believe the people are their greatest asset.

The Irish people are the underdogs and don’t take life too seriously.  They understand that it’s the small things that matter.  They aren’t concerned with popularity, fame, riches, or ego.

What makes the Irish people so great?  They understand that it’s people that matter.

Why you should visit Ireland

Trinity College Kevin and Marina Irish people

Trinity College students – Kevin and Marina

Ireland’s economy is struggling.  There are homeless people on the streets of Dublin.  The country is green and beautiful but the weather isn’t always great.  They aren’t known for athletes or celebrities (outside of U2 and Colin Farrell).  Yet don’t ever tell the Irish people what they aren’t or what they can’t do.

For all our material possessions, power, influence, and success, the Irish people know something many of us don’t.  It’s the Irish craic.  It’s hard to explain.  You have to connect with these people to understand how genuine and interesting they are and why they get life.

For all of Ireland’s beauty, there is nothing that comes close to the beauty of these people.  Ireland’s greatest export is its people.  After visiting Ireland, your best memories will be those conversations with the Irish people that you met.  Ireland has reminded me that it’s connecting with people that really matters.

To Nicola, Fiona, Colm, Orlaith, Sean, Eamonn, Rex, Kevin, Marina, and the many others that I had conversations with in Ireland – thank you.  I am not ashamed to say I fell in love with your people.  I am proud to call many of you my friends now.  You mean more to me than you realize.  You reminded me what matters.

You’ve given me the chance to think about my travels.  I write about destinations and try to be honest and interesting.  I’ve learned a lot of life lessons through travel.

However, I’ve become less and less concerned with how many people read what I write.  What matters to me are the people I meet and the relationships I am building.  Thank you for that lesson.

As I leave Ireland, I won’t forget you.  I hope you won’t forget me either.  Then again, Irish people don’t need to be told how much our connections matter.  It’s all a part of the Irish craic.

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Filed Under: DestinationsEuropeFeaturedIreland

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  1. Charu says:

    What a lovely post, Jeremy. I have had a life long obsession with Ireland, notably fueled by the poet Seamus Heaney. I am the biggest fan of Heaney, and he lived in a town called Glenmore. He wrote so many poems that pointed out how tight knit and warm the Irish people are, and that too is what I remember from my travels there. One of the families we stayed it at Ahoghill (near Belfast) took special care of Matt and I and even prepared a vegan meal so we would not starve. Yes, totally believe they would actually drive you to a place. I love that Ireland is not tainted by the “real world.” It’s its own microcosm.

    • What great thoughts and experiences on Ireland Charu! I wish I had gotten the chance to see more of the country. However, I really enjoyed the people. By far, they were the best thing about my 4 short days there. I am sure the more you get out of the city, the friendlier the people are. I do believe these are the nicest people I’ve met in my travels. Seems your experiences were the same.

  2. Frank says:

    Jeremy what a lovely article.

    Thanks from another Paddy. Glad you enjoyed your engagement with us and do visit again.

    • Thank you Frank! My time in Ireland was far too short. I hope to be back in October and explore a little more than just Dublin. I did get a chance to visit Howth on my last night and it was a perfect way to end my time. I look forward to my next visit and a little more craic :)

      What part of Ireland are you from?

  3. Hiya Jeremy… this post made me so home sick.
    Even though I left Ireland, God, 18 years ago, I still yearn for the people there, not necessarily the place. I’ve travelled a lot, and, like you, think the people are the warmest, most natural, easy-to-get-on-with people you’ll ever meet. There are no airs and graces, they say it how it is, and know how to have a good laugh.
    I still think it’s a shame people aren’t as open elsewhere, and a shame that when people first meet me they think I’m a bit nuts when I’m so keen to have a banter. I have to reign myself in a lot of the time… and often think it would be so nice to be home to just let it all go! It’s comfortable there isn’t it? It’s a place where you can really be yourself. I miss it! Thanks for reminding me why :)

    • Thank you Linda! It’s so nice to read an Irish person’s thoughts about their homeland after being gone for so long. Glad to know that my experience with the people was a genuine one.

      One thing about my experience there has got me thinking – why are Irish people that way? I think being a smaller country, having gone through some hard times, and just connecting with their own people that they are excited to show that to others when they visit. I wish I could put my finger on it and explain it better than that. I think it has to do with their location, history, and culture but I don’t know why more people aren’t like the Irish.

  4. This post makes me want to visit Ireland. I love meeting cool genuine people during my travels.

    • Some of the best people I’ve met on my travels. If all people were like the Irish, the world would be a better place and more people would travel.

      TBEX Europe is in Dublin next year so you should go if you can.

  5. Beautiful landscapes, lots of pubs, AND friendly people?!! I need to get myself to Ireland!

    • I am surprised you haven’t been there. The people know how to talk and drink – that is for sure! I only saw Dublin but want to see more of the country. I can’t speak for all of the country but hope the rest of it is just as beautiful as its people.

  6. Glad to hear the people in Ireland were so welcoming and friendly! Would love to visit one day.

    • The Irish people are great. I didn’t get to see much beyond Dublin but the people are the best thing. You may definitely get your chance to visit next year as TBEX Europe is in Dublin!

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