Why Ireland Stole My Heart and Will Steal Yours Too

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“Welcome aboard”

The dark haired flight attendant smiles at me as I show her my ticket. Those two tiny words spoken with her Irish lilt and a warm smile make my heart leap. Although it’s going to be six hours until I officially land, the Irish hospitality on our Aer Lingus flight already has me feeling I’m home. Like I’m back in Ireland.

Cliffs of Moher

For those of you who have been following me for a while, you will know that Ireland was the first place I ever travelled to. I spent few months living in the west coast city of Galway, and those months were some of the best of my life. Ireland is where I learned to love travel, and a lot of other things as well. Silly things like budgeting and planning, but also things like trusting others and becoming more self-assured and confident. It seems crazy that I impulsively threw myself across the ocean to live alone with no travel experience but, without a doubt, I picked the best place to do it.

It’s been nearly six years now since my first visit, and this was my fifth time back. With over forty countries under my belt so far, Ireland remains one of my all-time favourites. It’s somewhere I know I will always return to. And while I still live (happily) in Canada, Ireland holds a huge part of my heart and every time my flight lands in Dublin airport I feel like I am coming home.

Galway Latin Quarter

So why Ireland? What is it that makes me love this country so much? I have a million reasons, but in a nutshell: because there is so much more to this country than the typical stereotypes.

Let’s be honest, the first thing that probably comes to mind when you think of Ireland is along the lines of pubs, beer, and St. Patrick’s Day. You wouldn’t be wrong, all three are amazing Irish experiences and definitely worth visiting for, but these things are not the charm of Ireland.

Ireland is Natural Beauty

Ireland is one of those places that manages to be beautiful in the rain or the sun. I can stand on the top of the hills of the rocky Burren in lashing wind and rain and still be able to admire the unique landscape around me.

the Burren

The landscapes are not marred by unsightly skyscrapers or fences. I can sit on the cliff edges of Inis Mor and literally watch the waves crash against the rock 100m below my feet. Even the famous cliff of Moher, which now have a barrier, have managed to do it in a natural way that serves its purpose without taking away from the site itself.

Why Ireland: Cliffs

Ireland has so much nature that is often close to the city centers making it easy to explore and experience.

Ireland is Adventure

A visit to Ireland means I can be surfing- yes, Ireland has lots of surfing-in the Atlantic Ocean one day and hiking through the sheep-covered hills of Connemara the next.

Why Ireland: surfing

I can explore the ancient forts such as Dun Aonghasa, wander through castle ruins, and wonder at the legends of fairy rings.

I can have incredible animal encounters; learn about the birds of prey in the Burren, say hello to the friendly local dolphin in Dingle, or whale watch off the coast of Cork.

Why Ireland: Birds of Prey

From common activities like hiking and cycling, to more intense sports like scuba diving and parasailing, Ireland has no shortage of activities for the adventurous traveller.

Ireland is History

Like many other Canadians, I claim some Irish heritage. I find it fascinating to be able to explore the county where my ancestors once walked. To imagine what their life must have been like all that time ago.

Ever for those that don’t have Irish blood, the history of this country is incredible. From the ancient tribes who built the forts, to the 4000-year-old bodies of kings that can be found in the National History Museum. From the medieval castles to the famine walls. And, of course, you can’t forget about the legendary Titanic.


For those travelers who, like me, love to be able to get a glimpse of the past when visiting a new destination, Ireland is a dream.

Ireland is Magic

We all know I’m a sucker for fairytales and legends, and nowhere does them better than Ireland. Stories of leprechauns and fairies can be found nearly everywhere you go alongside tales of the saints and goddesses. It’s easy to get lost in these amazing stories, and with a landscape dotted with ribbon-filled fairy trees and castle ruins, it’s not hard to imagine ‘what if?’

Why Ireland: magic

Ireland is Genuine Hospitality

 The beauty and adventure, history and magic are all amazing, but the biggest reason that I love Ireland is because of the people. I have been to over forty countries so far and nowhere else makes me feel as welcome as Ireland does.

why Ireland: kindness

When I first came here half a dozen locals gave me their phone numbers and contact information “just in case.” They loved that I had chosen Ireland as my first country to live in and explore, but understood that it could be overwhelming or even intimating and were quick to offer kindness and help if needed. At the pubs, I can sit alone at the bar and chat up the bartender, or an older man on the stool beside me. I’m not judged or leered at for being a young woman alone in a bar. When I walk through the streets I can approach anyone with a question or ask for help, and no matter whether I enter a shop, pub, or my accommodation for the night, I’m always greeted with a warm and genuine ‘hello’.

Why Ireland: hospitality

Ireland is known for its hospitality, a reputation is absolutely deserves.

I could talk for days about why I love Ireland and why I think it’s perfect not just for solo travellers and women, but for everyone.

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  1. Amanda C | The World Incorporated on April 11, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Ireland <3 <3 <3
    So much love for that country!

  2. Swati on April 14, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    You had me at leprechauns and fairies ! I have heard so much about the natural beauty in Ireland and would definitely want to visit someday

    • Hannah Logan on April 14, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      I hope you do! It’s such an amazing country

  3. Ticket to Adventures on April 15, 2017 at 7:03 am

    Great post with beautiful photos. I absolutely love Dublin, but would love to go back to Ireland to explore the countryside and the coastline.

    • Hannah Logan on April 15, 2017 at 7:29 am

      Dublin is great but I think the ‘real’ Ireland is outside of it, especially on the west coast where they still speak Irish

  4. Lolo on April 15, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Ireland is definitely an amazing country but I have to say I hated my first visit, mostly because of the people I went with and the experiences we had, so I’d really like a do-over! #blogpostsaturday

    • Hannah Logan on April 16, 2017 at 10:48 am

      Oh no! I hope you get back to give it another shot!

  5. Manon on April 15, 2017 at 11:52 am

    I just got anxiety when looking at the photo with your feet over the edge of the cliff haha. These photos are incredible and I have to admit, I’ve been looking at going to Ireland for such a long time already but I never quite booked the ticket. It looks like I really need to do it before the mass takes it under their wings. Also, 5 times in 6 years?! Holy haha.

    • Hannah Logan on April 16, 2017 at 10:47 am

      aha yeah I love Ireland so I visit whenever I can! Also, my group kinda wanted to kill me for hanging over that cliff too hehe

      • mary on March 9, 2018 at 2:45 am

        I would have dangled my legs right next to yours 🙂

  6. Amy - Page Traveller on April 15, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    I love these photos – you’ve really captured the country well. Also, I had no idea you could surf in Ireland! Isn’t it chilly? Thanks for sharing.

    • Hannah Logan on April 16, 2017 at 10:47 am

      Haha a bit chilly yes! But you are provided with wet suits so you don’t feel it 🙂

  7. C-Ludik on April 15, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Since I’ve been reading your Ireland post I’ve fallen in love with this magical land, right ? Ireland seem to be a place of unique culture, breathtaking scenery, delicious food, friendly locals, traditional music, rolling hills and incredible history…

  8. Lara on April 15, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Ireland´s natural beauty has always attracted me. I have been wanting to visit this beautiful country for ages. Now that I read your post I feel even more tempted to visit in a near future.

    • Hannah Logan on April 16, 2017 at 10:46 am

      You have to go! It’s so good. Early spring is a good time too- not too busy yet 😉

  9. Kathi on April 16, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Just yesterday I was thinking that I could move to Ireland if the UK kicks me out (EU citizen here)… I’ve actually never been, but your post makes me think I’m onto something 🙂

  10. Lisa Addington on April 19, 2017 at 2:08 am

    My family and I have planned our first trip the first week of June. We are starting our trip in Dublin and ending in Shannon. Any tips you can offer would be appreciated.

  11. Daphne on April 24, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Your photos already stole my heart! 5th time back says a lot about the country! 🙂

    • Hannah Logan on April 24, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      haha yes, safe to say I highly recommend it 😉

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  16. mary on March 9, 2018 at 2:48 am

    I am wondering how to “live” there for a month or so…how did you do this? Is there a limit on how long you can stay? Love your sharing of experience in Ireland, thank you! <3

    • Hannah Logan on March 9, 2018 at 12:39 pm

      If you are not working, just travelling, you probably wont need a visa. It depends on your nationality- but Canadians and Americans can stay up to three months no visa. You may be asked for proof to show a return ticket though.
      I went over with a work visa because the goal was to find work (didnt happen- thanks Irish economy in 2011) so rented a place and everything. But if you are just going for a month you can travel around more, or find a long term rental spot, maybe Airbnb, if you want to base yourself somewhere.

  17. Robin Charlebois on March 8, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    Hello from a fellow Canadian! Though I have been to Ireland three times already, I have never been there travelling solo. This May I will be heading there on my own as my husband has to work. I’ll be travelling to Shannon and spending time in the Southwest area. Any suggestions you may have for special out of the way places off the beaten tourist path would be greatly appreciated. I am a photographer so would love to capture some amazing photos of everyday life and people. I have enjoyed reading your posts. Thanks so much!

    • Hannah Logan on March 10, 2019 at 2:18 pm

      Hi Robin- sounds like a great trip! Doolin is probably my favourite spot in County Clare, most people come as a day trip so it has a more local feel in the evening. Also nearby is Lahinch Beach where you can find the local surfers and theres a tiny town called Lisdoonvarna which has a cool craft pub called the Roadside Tavern. It’s a cool spot- and the owner also runs the Tolkien Society of Ireland which I thought was kinda neat.
      Down further in Kerry, Dingle and the Dingle Peninsula are another of my favourites. It’s gotten more popular since Star Wars was filmed there but, again, it seems to be more of a day trip destination rather than somewhere people tend to stay.
      Hope that helps a bit!

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