or would you like to see or experience Ireland?
How would you like to have the best vacation in Ireland?
A group I have just said farewell to have given me the warm impression that they had the most wonderful vacation, a total Ireland experience, just from 4 nights in the same location, our local Ballaghboy Lodge
Regular readers to my blog may be aware of changes I have made this year to our Ireland vacation services to encourage visitors to travel less and see more.
This year, many inquirers seem to be arriving in Ireland on shorter vacations but are asking to do more. A requested itinerary for 6 days is often what folks used to ask for over 10 days.
When I suggest 4 or 5 nights in Co. Sligo the response is often “Is there that much to see and do in Co. Sligo?”
The Multitasking Vacation
I see this style of vacation is where the traveller arrives in Ireland with a list of things to see and do that the traveller defines as “must see and do” sites to see. Top of this list is usually Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle, Blarney Stone, Kinsale, Rock Of Cashel, Killarney Castle.
Overall this list is of places to go to and it seems to rarely includes a list of what to experience in Ireland. So, such a list is really a list of “must sees” with very few “must dos”.
This kind of vacation involves the booking of several accommodation stops, arranging car hire and/or transport, and maybe book and activity or two. Add to this the arrangement of obtaining maps, maybe a gps/sat-nav unit, maybe suggested route guide books, and making sure you have enough saving and credit to pay for it all.
The pre-arrangement of this kind of vacation can be quite exhausting. I do believe that when these folks arrive in Ireland their exhaustion is not mainly from jet lag or missing a night’s sleep from an overnighter flight but from the effects of pre-arrangement stress.
I have read recently, somewhere, that multitasking is our greatest cause of stress yet our multitasking level of expertise has become a status symbol that many have set goals to improve.
A few articles touching on this
In short, I do not regard this as “vacation” because for most visitors this does not become a restoration time out from multitaking lifestyle routines. How about the joy and upliftment of real vacation?
The Focused Vacation
This is about experience and personal restoration rather than site-seeing, and in the end the visitor has become part of the Irish spirit for a few days.
Where we are in Co. Sligo we offer experiences in the quiet scenic sanctuary of ancient sites such as stone circles and sacred wells, quite dreamlike moments by our pretty and exhilarating shoreline, the sharing of seanachie style stories, songs and harp and traditional music, laughter and blether around turf fire hearths in the evenings, sharing of traditional foods in a traditional home kitchen, and so much more of the Irish ways and traditions.
All this without packing and unpacking your travel bags each day and spending most days on the road getting to places with the odd short stop on the way.
Re-kindling and enjoying your Celtic Dreamtime
Is there enough to do in Co. Sligo for 4 or 5 days?
Well with the group we have just said farewells to we ended up having to debate what to cut out. There’s more than enough to fill two weeks or more of vacation time, just here!
The experiences of the home and hearth here surprise visitors, bringing back memories of family childhoods with parents or great grandparents, and a gratitude to return to those days remembered as happiness, and returning to them in an Irish way.
Then there are the gardens and lands full of sacred groves, and I am proud to include our labyrinth within this.
The hospitality is really here in Ireland and it does not take a round trip around the island to find this, but takes time in one place to truly savour it. The cauldron of plenty is still within every welcoming cottage, in spirit, in warmth, in food or just a “cuppa tay”, and certainly around a hearth to take any chill away.
We are all moved by water, spirits moved by the presence of ponds, lakes, rivers and seashore, and certainly within the surroundings of a sacred well where suddenly clarity, focus and wisdom is gifted to many who visit.
After these things many people tell us that slowed down time here, within our home, surroundings and local sacred sites returns a sense of belonging and a return to roots. There is so much comfort found here from what seems to be the returning to our source and the spiritual refilling of our inner cauldron.
Its is not only sea, green hills, lakes and bubbling waters here but also the enchanting woods and forests blessed with rich flower colours in spring, sweet edible berries during late summer, kaleidescope of leaf colours in fall and oxygen pumping lichen and mosses all year around, along with hidden mysteries from ancient past inviting the sharing of their peace.