I’m here at the Milwaukee Irish Fest. To be honest, Sasa and I were talking for several years about attending an Irish fest for several years. It was going to be a big undertaking, a bit cost for a big unknown.
What if nobody there would be interested in learning to speak the language of their heritage? What if… well, it’s hard to come up with excuses now that we have done it. I’m sure I could have come up with a lot more excuses a month or two before taking the trip.
The flight from Shannon to Chicago O’Hare wasn’t that bad. Eight hours is a long flight, but there’s ways to manage it. Thanks to Jody at Ireland Family Travel for the tip on our podcast episode to drink lots of water. It helped.
Maybe you’re planning your own trip to Ireland for a good many years. Maybe you’ve always kind of promised yourself the trip, but there’s always something more important to do. Or more honestly, maybe you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed about how to organize it.
On the way to Milwaukee, I started speaking with the woman next to me on the plane. They were just finishing their 8-day trip around Ireland. They had rented their own car, and picked out B&Bs alog the way. They got to visit Brú na Bóinne/Newgrange, drive around Northern Ireland, in around Donegal, and down to County Clare. She’d been planning the trip for a long time, it sounded like. But she had made the jump and booked her flight. I told her we help people learn to speak Irish in Bitesize pieces, and it turned out she’d been learning the language on her own. I was very impressed by the Irish (Gaelic) she used with me.
You can worry yourself about lots of things. What if the accommodation that you picked turns out badly? What if you’re not up for driving on the other side of the road? What if you get ill while you’re traveling?
A sad lament I’ve heard before is “What if I’d only started learning to speak Irish 5 years ago“. It’s like my retirement plan – what if I had only started 10 years ago! You can’t wind back time, but you can start learning Irish today.
Another version of that fear is “What if I try some Irish Gaelic on the locals, and they’ll just laugh at me or they won’t understand me“. You just have to try it on someone that seems like a good candidate given the moment.
So whether it’s booking your trip to Ireland, or starting to learn Irish, how’s about you do it now instead of letting your fears get the better of you.
1 thought on “Take the trip to Ireland, it will work out”
Great blog Eoin ! I hope your trip to the Milwaukee Irish festival was a fun and productive one. Enough so that you’ll consider coming back to the States for another one.
I couldn’t agree more with your advice concerning over coming fears and putting excuses aside. That’s exactly how my first visit to Ireland came about 5 years ago and how I decided to learn Irish not long afterward. I thought of all kinds of excuses why I couldn’t and had my own particular fears that were holding me back. I finally “took the plunge” and haven’t regretted a single moment. I’ve now been to Ireland twice, including recently attending couple of weeks at Oideas Gael and have plans to return in the near future.
I’m not wealthy by any stretch of imagination and I haven’t any extensive experience in languages but, I’ve managed to make the trip to Ireland twice on a modest budget and I’ve managed to learn quite a bit of Irish in the process. I’ve even started to be able to create my own simple sentences 🙂 To those who might be reading this but haven’t yet “made the move”, I can say with all sincerity that if someone like me can do it, pretty much anyone can.