Posted by: Laura | February 16, 2010

Céad Míle Fáilte

Well, I’m here in Ireland! And let me tell you it was no small feat making the trip. Vancouver is having the warmest winter on record since 1958 and having to import snow (from other parts of Canada) so the mountains will have enough for the skiers and snowboarders to compete in the upcoming Winter Olympics. Where is the snow you ask? It’s all on the East Coast in the United States. I’ve lived in Durham for over four years and I’ve never gotten enough snow to cover the ground.

Until three weekends ago. That was the weekend I had planned to move the remainder of my things to my father’s house. Thanks to him and my brother we got it done before Durham got more than eight inches of snow. I told all the skeptics (who thought the weather forecasts would hinder my plans) that it was going take a lot more than that to stop me from leaving the States.

Until a few days later. I got stuck in Roanoke, VA because my aunt (who lives just north of Richmond, VA) got snowed in and couldn’t get to me any earlier. And it’s not exactly safe to drive over mountains in the midst of ice and snow.

And then there’s last weekend. I think it’s safe to say most everyone heard about the massive snowstorm that swept through Washington DC and shut down both

View from the plane in DC

of the international airports. Seriously, I was shocked to look out of my window (on the plane) and see that we were driving over ice to get to a barely cleared runway for take-off. All I could think was, “Do airplanes have snow tires? I think not.” And while it took us more than an hour to get the go-ahead to taxi to the runway, I was thankful that the pilots were taking their time and being careful. After that delay the rest of the trip went smoothly.

But now I am finally here and let me tell you, I’m excited to be back on Irish soil. Of course I have many fond memories of my last trip to Ireland (just a few months ago), but somehow I didn’t exactly remember the feel of this magical place having visited numerous other countries immediately after leaving. But just as soon as I got to the gate for my flight from Heathrow to Shannon and heard the lovely Irish lilt in everyone’s voices, it all came flooding back. During the (following) bus ride I couldn’t stop staring at the charming countryside with all of its green grass and fat cows. And, I’ve already met some nice people while traveling around. I dare to say I’m enjoying Ireland even better than I did on my first trip.

Inis Mor

I just feel more at home here than I did the last time. Maybe it’s because I have been here before so I feel more comfortable getting around on public transportation and talking to locals. Maybe it’s because I’m planning to stay longer this time (and not just live out of a backpack for a few weeks.) Maybe it’s because I made some great friendships the last time I was here so I will know at least a few people. While I was sad to leave the many friends and loved ones back home, I know this time around Ialready have those that I can call ‘friend’ here in Ireland. Whatever the case may be, I’m more excited than ever to be on this journey…and I’m just glad that all the packing and preparing is finally over.

Upon my arrival one of my Irish friends wrote “fáilte” on my Facebook page. Its part of a common greeting in Ireland, “céad míle fáilte,” that translates to “a hundred thousand welcomes.” And that’s exactly how I feel – completely welcome.



  1. Hi! John gave me the link to your blog here. Really cant believe you just bailed out and moved to Ireland. Thats really cool though, hope all is well and good luck!

    • yeah, not sorry i “bailed.” 🙂 its been a lot of fun so far! keep in touch!

  2. so glad you feel at home – we miss you here in NC!

    • i miss you guys too! i hear it has continued to snow!

  3. Thanks! I’ve already had lots of fun – and plenty of funny stories. Miss you too…I’ll find out that translation for ya and let you know!

  4. So glad to see things are going well!
    What’s the translation for a hundred thousand best wishes? Just wondering.
    Miss you!

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