Recently, a few folks have come forward to express how much Ireland reminds them of certain places close to home – how the craggy edges of the Wild West Atlantic Way emulate that of Cape Town; or how the thatched houses in the rolling emerald hills are a mirror’s image to those in Tennessee. Regardless of division of geographical areas, it’s sometimes nice to recall just how small the world can be – a pleasant echo of a home away from home exists especially in the Irish West.
Globally, Ireland is linked to many different land-forms – comparisons could also be drawn to Iceland or even to parts of Louisiana. Typically, places with a rugged, drastic coastline, deciduous zones, and mountains or hills make the comparison to Ireland very easy.
That being said, a place you might not have considered comparing to Ireland but is worth the note?
Claudia Pellegrini Queiroz, an exceptional photographer from Brazil says she felt at home when traveling with Wild West Irish Tours in Ireland.
“Arriving in Ireland feels like a welcome home. I am Brazilian. The Irish spirit is just as musical and happy [as in Brazil].” She adds that Brazilians are friendly and welcoming – just like the Irish. Claudia herself brought that spirit with her as she embraced the scenery and people – bringing to life the many colors and emotions in the Irish landscape
“I loved the historical, anthropological, musical aspects and the times we were free to experience nature,” says Claudia of her time with Wild West Irish Tours. “I keep coming back. Ireland soothes me. Going to Ireland felt like a calling, and once I heard it, I felt it will be eternal.”
Brazil, being more Southern than Ireland and on the opposite side of the world, wouldn’t be someone’s first choice in comparative geography [then again, is comparative geography on anyone’s mind, usually?]. That being said, you can find a camaraderie in the way certain Irish houses emulate the vibrant colors of some Brazilian homes. The lush green landscape and coastal drama of land and sea is a heartbeat that pulses in time to Ireland’s own, especially its Wild West.
Photograph by Wild Westie Claudia Pellegrini Queiroz – featuring Claudia herself!
The Rainforest and places such as the Burren in Ireland, while two very different ecosystems, are home to a considerable amount of life forms, some you might not even expect. Each are home to famous rivers – the Shannon and the Amazon, respectively. In fact, both areas are known for their plentiful rivers! There are even trees that look similar – the Irish “palm” and the Brazilian palm. The Gulf Stream seems to connect them, as Claudia connects with Ireland herself: warmly and with boundless enthusiasm.
“I have been 6 times and I am looking forward to being there in September,” says Claudia. “Funny thing, the first place we went, I just laid in the ground like I belonged and had missed the land…the day before I was returning home, after 3 weeks in Ireland, I caught myself in tears. Somehow I heard a voice saying, it is ok now, you will always come back. As I have and will.”
Being connected in so many ways to each other in this world is an arguable blessing. Ireland has, by itself, an individual brilliance about it that can make anyone feel at home – there is something for everyone here, be it the culture, the music, the people, the folklore, the history, or simply a little farm in a valley that feels like the heart of wherever you’re from.
So no matter where that is, you have a piece of home waiting for you in the Wild West of Ireland. It is a unique experience unto itself, and there is nowhere like it in the world exactly – just places within itself that feel like coming home.
– Sam Fishkind.