That is a very good question. That is to ask, “what is it about this country exactly that is so appealing?” Is it the Cliffs of Moher or the Guinness Brewery? Maybe, maybe not. There are other countries with cliffs and plenty of places with breweries. I believe it likely isn’t just one thing that brings people from all over the world to visit Ireland. Many of us wouldn’t even have a clue what that one thing would be if asked. We would likely have multiple reasons that reach far and beyond any one attraction or monument. So what could it be then?
Irish Central recently did a post on what people loved the most about Ireland. After reading the replies, I saw a clear pattern in all of the responses. The consistent element I saw was “familiarity.” Whether they felt at home with the local people or found something they clicked with in the scenery, everyone had a connection that went beyond basic.
Ireland is an area engulfed in history. Since the 4th century BC, there were settlers on this little island in the North Atlantic. However, there were probably people there before that. Nearly everywhere you look in Ireland, you will see old buildings or ancient remnants. I imagine being surrounded by that much history can get to be overwhelming and even powerful. There is something very beautiful and intriguing about things that have stood the test of time. Many of us stop and appreciate the fact that we will never live as long as the historical element that stands before us. We may also realize that centuries from now, that piece of history might still be standing when we are long gone.
This can make us wonder what the future will hold. What will the world be like? We will also know that when these castles were built or those crosses were erected that life as we know it now was a far cry from that past reality. I think it safe to say that the pieces and places of Ireland transcend the past, present and future. And that concept alone can unite many people in wanting the chance to visit the country or just be one with it.
There are many reasons why Ireland is such a popular travel destination. I have yet to go, but I plan to most likely in the next year. From my research and writing on this blog alone, I have built up a yearning to see something I have yet to see, but so far have only read about. Maybe this is what initially draw people in. Whatever it is, it seems that once visitors arrive, they are likely to remain loyal to it for life.