Traveling to Ireland was always a dream of mine. I remember writing it on every bucket list I ever made as a kid. I wanted to see the historic castles, the hole-in-the-wall pubs, and the rolling countryside with the color green that people raved about. That was the dream. One I never thought would actually become a reality. I made excuse after excuse of why this could never happen. That began to make my dream feel very small. That is why I will say this with a passion….NEVER LET EXCUSES MAKE YOUR DREAMS SMALL. You deserve to chase after every one of them and make each of them a reality.
So fast forward to Christmas of 2017. Ryan and I started a tradition for Christmas that, no matter how busy that period of time was, that we would slow down and have our private Christmas together on Christmas morning. That was our time to open gifts together and just relax with the Christmas lights casting a glow against the wall, and hopefully (fingers crossed), the soft rain of snowflakes outside. This Christmas was our first together and Ryan went all out. Not going to lie, my gift felt pretty inferior to his, even though he would deny that strongly. 🙂 He was going to get us tickets to somewhere. And I say somewhere, because our end all be all destination changed a couple times. We couldn’t decide on exactly where we wanted to go that wouldn’t shatter his pocketbook. 😉 When we collectively mentioned Ireland, I was like “all my childhood dreams are coming true!” Tickets were then bought and we had a date for when we would leave: May 16th, 2018.
Now this is a little sneak peak for what was about to come. A certain someone had visited the jewelers back in February unbeknownst to me. I had no idea that he had something more planned than just a jaunt over the pond to Ireland. My life was about to change in more ways than one with this trip.
May 16th finally came and here I was, up at 5am trying to get some loose ends wrapped up before my mom and sister came to take us to the Detroit airport. Much cheaper, if you’re wondering, than flying out of Gerald R. Ford. Ryan worked the night before so we picked him up at the hospital and headed out. That morning, you definitely knew who had slept the night before and who hadn’t. 😉 We moved through security swiftly and made it to all of our gates on time (a miracle if you ask me). We had about a 4 hour layover in Boston before heading out to Dublin. One of the things I would have tried to do differently was not have our flight get in at 5 o’clock in the morning. Because with the time change, layovers and connecting flights, we had basically been up for 24 hours. Besides little amounts of sleep we got on the plane. It didn’t help that they were telling us that we couldn’t check into our hotel until that afternoon, so here we were, traipsing through Dublin with a huge duffel bag, our backpacks, and no where to put them.
Definitely not some of of our finest moments as we were overly exhausted and cranky. It was hard to enjoy any of the quaint, historic town of Dublin when I could barely keep my eyes open. We crashed at the hotel and slept for the next 7 hours. Yes, you heard that right. We basically slept through our first day in Ireland. We got dinner that night at a BBQ place in town and then went and explored the night life. Life was good. And it was about to get better. 🙂
The following day we did an all day tour to the Cliffs of Moher. Seven in the morning until about seven at night, visiting the cliffs and a couple small towns. This was what I was looking forward to the most. Seeing the Ireland, color green that everyone talked about. There were rock formations, broken down castles, and the ocean which was a color blue that I had only ever seen in movies. Needless to say, neither of us were disappointed.
And then I got the ultimate surprise when we got to the bigger cliffs….my now husband proposed to me! I had a hunch that MAYBE it would happen but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. That was an incredibly sweet icing to be added on top of the cake. I swear, I was smiling until I went to bed that night. In all the pictures we took afterwards, my cheeks started to hurt because I couldn’t stop smiling. God blessed us with an amazing day and I can’t thank Him enough for letting us experience His creation in that way. And getting engaged was pretty cool too. 😉
The rest of our time in Ireland consisted of a trip to Dublin Zoo, a greenhouse that had been converted into a mall, and many trips out to eat to various pubs, including the OLDEST pub in Ireland, dating back to 1198. Oh, and I’m pretty sure we ate our weight in gelato. Somehow it just tasted better over there. 😉 Anyways, the rest of our trip flew by and before we knew it, we were boarding a plane back to the States. Having only four, full days in Ireland was definitely not enough time to see all that we wanted to, but hey, that just gives us an excuse to go back. We were blessed with the amount of time we were able to spend there. And all the things we were able to see, to experience, are memories that we both, will never forget.
So, I’ll leave you with this. Dream big. Don’t let anyone tell you your dreams are too out of reach. You don’t want to look back on life and be left with a bunch of ‘what ifs.’ Take the time now to do the things that you want to do. Travel to the places that are no longer just sticky notes on your dream board. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Love the life you live, and live the life you love. You won’t ever regret it.