Falling in Love with the West Coast

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I have fallen in love with the west coast of Ireland. This fact I think was always inevitable. I think in most countries the west coast always holds the best vibes. The people are chill, the air is clear, and there is positivity everywhere you look. The west coast of Ireland and I have been having a love affair for around 3ish years now. When I came to Ireland properly for the first time to study abroad I was eager to join as many clubs as possible. My favorites that provided the best memories were the windsurfing and surf clubs. They provided sound vibes on every trip. Most of the weekend’s took place in Lahinch and Castlegregory. These two places had the most hippy vibes that I look for to keep me happy. Now let’s fast forward to now. The gals and I decided we all needed to treat ourselves to a few days away from Dublin. We set off for Kilkee in Co. Clare to Emily’s beachside home for some R&R. The few days definitely did not disappoint. For the three hour drive down from Dublin was a trip. I was absolutely exhausted from running one of the largest all women’s 10k in the world, but we still chatted to our heart’s desire. Upon our arrival to the quaint little town I immediately fell in love. The vibes were unbelievable. It reminded me of my time at Lake Erie as a kid. Since it was late in the evening and already growing dark we had no time to explore so we left that for the following morning.

After a good night’s sleep we started the day with a FANTASTIC fry up. Then we threw on our swimsuits, packed our bags for the day, and set off for Emily’s favorite childhood swimming hole. Even though the water was freezing it felt amazing to be back in the ocean after so many months. Laying on the rock letting the sun dry the salt to my skin I finally felt whole. It was the first time in ages that I had truly felt at home. It pretty much solidified the fact that I belong near the sea. After two hours of lounging we headed off to Ennis to collect the fourth member of our weekend crew and set of on a day of drinks, the Cliffs of Moher, and Father Ted’s house.

As we were driving along the coast we decided to go to the Cliffs. Though we had all been before it is always unreal to see something this grand. As you walk along the cliffs it is crazy to see something this beautiful. The grandeur of the Cliffs have become the staple of the country. The typical Irish postcard photo. Something that seems to be too good to be true. The sights are breathtaking and you can’t help but feel so small. After taking in our fill of the Cliffs we headed back to the coast. Though we drove through my absolute favorite town of Lahinch no one seemed to want to stop so I just had to watch the waves from above. Once we made it back to Kilkee Em and I knew we had to make it back to the ocean. The beach was completely quiet and serene. The water was calling our name and all we could do was play in the water. For the first time in a long time I was completely content. I was so pleased with life and it seemed like nothing else truly mattered.

The next day was devoted to driving the Ring of Kerry. It is known as one of the most beautiful drives in Ireland and man did it not disappoint. We started early in the day to ensure we could make it the complete way around. The drive brought us through different landscapes. From beautiful coastal views to various mountain tops. I was in sensory overload. I had no idea where to look. We put on an excellent playlist, had the windows down, drank a few cans, and had the most wonderful adventure. Everything we saw was remarkable. It was an easy going day that we let ourselves take turns off the beaten path. By doing so we found ourselves driving along another peninsula. I was super stoked to do this portion of the drive because we were going to see Skellig Island. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the Millennium Falcon (this is where they film bits of Star Wars.) Though I had to slowly get over not seeing the set it was still unbelievable to see such an amazing island. We all laughed to our heart’s desire, shared the beautiful sights all around, and enjoyed a relaxing weekend on the coast.

I have always found refuge by the water. I find refuge in places that are more easy going compared to the hustle and bustle of big cities. I have felt so confined in Dublin and I am so happy that I was able to spend some time away.

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