A cautionary Irish tale

by Rebecca A. Watson on January 11, 2013

in continuing education, life, travel, trees

In 2009 I traveled to Ireland. Obsessed with green and leprechauns at the time, I really thought I wanted to live there. In fact, before I left I was so convinced I would that I quit my job.

Just in case, y’know some Irishman proposed to me or something. I certainly didn’t want the hassle of dealing with that overseas!

Keep in mind that this was at a time in my life where I’d say yes to anyone who asked me on a date as sort of a social experiment. Needless to say, my calendar was full and I had plenty of good stories. I figured this could be another one.

We landed in Dublin after hours on a plane from Minneapolis. My dear friend Jean and I were completely jet lagged but dammit! We’d planned to get to Galway that evening!

map from dublin to galway ireland

Driving across an unknown country after a trans-Atlantic flight seems smart, right?

We rented a car and realized not only would we have to drive on the wrong side of the road but the stick shift was on the wrong side of the car. It was a hilarious scene as drove, literally screaming because we kept feeling like we we driving into oncoming traffic, across the whole country.

It didn’t take but a night of sleep in this lovely country and the next day I was refreshed. And in love. Ireland had a magical quality to it. I felt like I could do anything.

killarney tree green

The trees were all covered in green. Everything was green!

cemetery skull ireland

And the cemeteries were so delightful.

We visited castle after castle. The roads were littered with them. And if you think driving on the left could be tough, imagine being a pedestrian. Look left? Wait! Look right?!?

castle ireland

“Only in Ireland can castles be random.”

cliffs of moher

The Cliffs of Moher, or as they’re known in The Princess Bride, the Cliffs of Insanity!

And the amount of Guinness we drank bordered on sinful. Iain, a dear friend I met there, said he was pretty sure stock in Guinness went down after we left.

guinness in ireland

After a few days we went to Killarney, where we proceeded to go to a pub. They close those at 10 p.m., but no worries because the clubs stay open until 2! While we were in a pub, I met this Irish architect and we chatted for a while.

Later I saw him in the club. We talked a bit longer outside and he proposed to me. For real. And seriously folks, if he hadn’t been such a raging alcoholic (he openly admitted this to me) I probably would’ve said yes and turned into an Irish wife.

Although I was blown away by the “coincidence,” I wasn’t so impressed until we were enjoying dinner on our last night in Ireland. In the form of a toast we lamented leaving and wished for one more day in Dublin.



The next morning we loaded our bags onto the bus and headed to the airport. Wouldn’t you know it? We read our itinerary wrong and had missed our flight! We had one more night in Dublin.

I’m not sure if it was Ireland or just my uncanny ability to manifest things at that time, but I was taught an incredible lesson. One that not even The Pussycat Dolls had been able to bang in my head with their catchy pop sorcery. Be careful what you wish for.

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