A special thanks to Jeff Coyle from Arcanum, OH, for sharing this story about his visit to Ireland.
Jeff says… My Mother passed on 3 years ago. At that time, I vowed to pick up the family genealogy trail she had been traveling on for years. It was always important to her and has since become a passion of mine. The gap between her research and mine is nothing more than a large ocean called the Atlantic. Our families came to America from Ireland early in the 18th century.
Last year my wife and I planned a journey to Ireland. There was so much anticipation and excitement. I planned as though this would be my one and only chance to visit my ancestor’s homeland. I visited every possible website relating to Ireland. I learned a little Gaelic. I listened to several podcasts on iTunes, where I found the Irish Fireside. Corey and Liam shared their experiences with Ireland, the people, and their friends and family. Stories and lessons learned from the Irish Fireside proved to be very valuable to me.
At last we left Boston in route to Shannon. In the 5th hour of the 6 hour flight, I began to rifle through all of my preparation papers dotting my I’s and crossing my T’s. Soon the pilot made the announcement that we would soon be landing in Shannon. Within minutes, the plane descended until a graceful landing. When I stepped out of the plane, a feeling came over me that I still have difficulty explaining. I had goose bumps, felt weak, and began to silently weep. My wife was concerned, asking what was the matter. At first it wasn’t very clear even to me. Then I realized, I was fulfilling my Mother’s dream.
My planned journey to Ireland quickly changed. Instead of roaming about to mark off destinations on a list, I traveled the way my Mother did through life. I took my time and made it count for something. I made friends and learned about the people. I visited several towns including, Galway, Dingle, Kinsale, Cork, and Dublin. Ireland is more than a collection of counties or cities. It is a collection of wonderful people and a magical culture. A trip to Ireland is like closing your eyes and introducing the mind to the soul. This trip will not be my last…