Pretty much the one big thing I’m missing during lockdown is travel. If I could choose to travel anywhere in the world right now though, if money and distance were no object, I would still choose to visit my sister and her family in Ireland, on the banks of Blessington Lakes.
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My brother-in-law is Irish, and they moved to Ireland about five years ago when my niece and nephew were small, to give them a taste of growing up in Ireland. Originally they were thinking it might be just for a short while, but now they’ve built and renovated a cottage, and have plans for outbuildings – it’s not feeling like they are going to be coming home soon!
In the good old days, when we weren’t confined to our homes, we’d travel to Ireland three or four times a year to visit them. I’ve been to Ireland on my own too, and we even did a two week motorhome tour, as far up as the beautiful west coast of Ireland, stopping off along the way to enjoy the scenery, the culture and the food. It’s a really beautiful country, with some spectacular landscapes. One of my favourite places food wise is the original Happy Pear cafe in Shorelines, Greystone – absolutely delicious food and in a lovely location too.
I can try to capture the Irish countryside vibe at home with homemade Irish stew, but honestly, it’s not the same.
What being apart from my sister and her family in Ireland has made me realise is that I want to spend more time there. In the past we’ve gone just for a few days at a time, and often not ventured outside the house, but when things are back to normal I want to go for longer and explore the area more. I want to relax into a week or two away. I want to go for walks. I want to eat out more. As often as I’ve visited Ireland, I don’t feel like I’ve been adventurous enough or really experienced the best it has to offer – the best locations, the best chefs, the best live music and theatre. If this sounds like you then click here to discover Ireland’s best chefs and inspire your next visit.
Most of all though I just want to spend time with my family. My niece and nephew are 9 and 11 now and they change so quickly – not visiting them even for just a few months leaves me feeling like I’ve been left behind, like I’m losing out on watching them grow and develop. My sister too is the person I’ve always felt the closest to, who knows me better than anyone else, and I want to spend as much time with her as I possibly can.
In the meantime, like a lot of people around the world, I’ll have to make do. Games over FaceTime with a bowl of homemade Irish stew will just have to do the job for now.