Planning Our Trip to Ireland
by Tom Sylvest, Jr.
Travel Stuff

Blog Hiatus

I haven't created a blog post since August of last year. For me, other activities, events and goals took priority. I'll post something about my change in direction and adjusted game plan. For now, I'm excited about our impending trip to Ireland. My Lovely Bride, Kathleen, and I head out tomorrow, Sunday, April 23.

Planning Our Trip to Ireland

Ireland has resided at the top of our bucket since My Lovely Bride, Kathleen, and I became a couple. From the beginning, and for over thirty-five years, we have had money devoted to this bucket item known as the Ireland money. Two very old certificates of deposit have sat in credit unions earning virtually nothing. I am not sentimental about money. I have frequently explored investing these funds in more productive instruments. However, my sweetie has viewed those dollars as something special. She has looked at them as “Ireland” money.

I recall a conversation we had about those dollars. While I wanted to move them to get the most out of them, she made it clear that these bucks were sequestered for a trip to Ireland, one day. She said, “I don’t want to mix this money up with other money and find we’re using these dollars to fix a roof or replace a car.” I understood.

Most of you are familiar with us and our trials and tribulations. Caretaking duties, family events and two home restorations following disasters in the last 15 years have kept us occupied. Life’s distractions present obstacles to achieving dreams for us all. Many of you have goals and objectives you have needed to delay. Some you may never realize. A trip to Ireland was not impossible, but circumstances made it difficult.

Our lives have evolved. Our responsibilities have changed. Our schedules have eased. Our resources have stabilized. Our circumstances have allowed us to consider our bucket list. The “Trip to Ireland” has moved from possible to probable to planned. The Ireland money will be deployed.

Since returning from our Big Bend, Texas adventure we have assembled a travel plan for Ireland. This will be our first international trip. We consulted many friends familiar with trips to Ireland. We spoke with folks I know from Ireland and some who live there now. We gathered research from internet sources. We talked to banks, credit card companies, cellular service providers, rental car companies, tour services, and host of other entities involved with our plans. The education is so much more fun than learning about funeral planning or investigating contractors.

We’ll travel in country for nine days. That’s a lot of time in some respects, but not nearly enough for all there its to see. We’ll use this trip as an education, learning what we may want to see when we make a second trip.

We have a travel personality that involves lots of driving. Cities aren’t important to us. Tourist stuff we avoid. Crowds aren’t attractive. We don’t wait in queues. We move at our own rate, not to the schedule of a guide. You won’t find us recovering from outdoor activities like hiking, canoeing, and climbing. There is no food we must eat or vintages we must sip.

We enjoy looking at the countryside. Many parts of Western Ireland are perfect for folks like us. We’ll travel the coasts, especially the Cork and Kerry Peninsulas. Galway and the surrounding area in Connaught have many roses we will stop and smell. There are a few spots in central Ireland we have to see, possible origins of our ancestors. Dublin gets our attention for the last couple of days before we head home. This plan is not overly ambitious and very flexible. We can dance across Ireland in half a day. We are prepared to travel slowly.

The plan will serve our goal, to spend a fun time making memories together. And to spend that Ireland money.