“You’re crazy.” “It’s never going to happen.” “Alone? Why?” The negativity swarmed around me as my resolute grew firmer. I was going to do this. It wasn’t that I didn’t have reservations about being a solo traveller, but this was something I determined to try. So, after a great deal of begging, pleading, convincing and fighting, it was finally agreed that I would spend two weeks in Ireland, travelling alone.
The cynics continued their chant, even as I booked my tours, researched how I would spend my days, arranged for my visa and flight tickets. I received little help from anyone while planning this trip. Not that I minded, this was going to be my time. I could have written a research paper on the hotels and tours of Ireland with all the efforts I’d put into planning. But nothing would have prepared me for what was in store for me.
The beauty of the Emerald Isle blew my mind from the moment I stepped out of Dublin Airport. From Dublin to Galway and Killarney to Belfast, I spent the next fifteen days falling in love again and again and again. The colourful little houses that line up the streets brightened each day. The merriment of the buoyant Irish people laughing over a pint of Guinness seeped into my bones. The quaint pubs made my feet tap to the Celtic beats. Storytellers transported me to the world of magic with their tales of leprechauns and fairies. And above all, the stunning landscapes, the crystal clear waters, the fresh air, the untainted grandeur of Nature, quenched my thirst for Atlantis. It felt so much like being transported to another world, that I was almost expecting a Hobbit to pop out and say hello to me.
I was so mesmerized by everything that I had little time to ponder over my solitude. Travelling solo has a charm of its own. To share a drink with somebody random, to strike a conversation with a localite, to walk on strange roads amongst strange people, to experience them, in their culture, without having a fallback to familiarity in the form of a companion, to feel the kinship with other solo travellers or even immigrants, who are, like you, struggling to fit into this foreign land.
While I do understand the comfort of sharing your travels with another person, I am so glad I took a chance on this liberating adventuring that has been the greatest experience of my life so far. Ireland stole a piece of my heart, and created for itself, a permanent space in my head.