As a new year dawns, humans tend to discuss thresholds, change, and resolutions – as well as lingering on the memories of the year passing; summoning celebratory nostalgia by candlelight and fireworks.
As a part of Wild West Irish Tours, from our perspective, we also focus on transformation – as we say, “you will be transformed” journeying with us, and stepping over the threshold to explore the Wild West of Ireland – from perspectives new and old.
Whether you’ve been to Ireland or are planning a visit with us in 2018, we have a lot of good recommendations. Our sample itineraries are chock full of wonderful surprises – and off the record, there’s a lot of spontaneous delights to consider. You might encounter a lively street band or pub session; perhaps listen to the stories of a Celtic wise-woman, or even submerge yourself in a crafts market nestled between the mountains and a quaint café. The road through Ireland’s Wild West is broader than you could possibly imagine – but I encourage you to try, as we recap 2017 with a couple of highlights, and prepare for 2018’s season with hopes to come!
Here’s some of what our Wild Westies reflected on regarding 2017:
- “The landscape scenery in both Co. Sligo and Co. Clare were my favorites. Each had their special beauty but both Counties were spectacular.” – John Farrell
- “Serpents Rock- it was the solitude and the beauty of being in a place, not having to speak or rush… just being.” – Stacey Kinsey
- “I’d say going out into the Burren with our tour guide, Pius. He makes it an experience, not just a place to see. And the time we spent with the Irish women who conveyed Irish folklore and some of the ancient connections among people/land/spirit.” – Saoirse Charis-Graves
- “I loved walking down to the beach every morning and evening with Finn from our B & B in Donegal. I felt like I was in the real Ireland and just loved it!” – Mary Ellen Powrie
- “Visiting the graves of my great-grandparents.” – Rita Byrne Tull
- “The beautiful scenery was the best, but my favorite was the jam session withauthentic Irish Music and songs!” – Robin Winn Moore
- “I would have to say it was a toss up between exploring the Burren with Pius and walking the cliffs of Loop Head.” – Colleen Marikje Barker
And here’s what our sojourners are looking forward to in 2018!:
- “I hope to hear great music, see spirited dancing, taste hearty food, smell the sea, and feel the presence of something magical.” – Judy Peterson
- “Just being there – I can’t wait!” – Claudia Pellegrini Quieroz
- “Going back!!!!” – Terry White
From this past year, I think making new friends [I know, I know – I’m corny] and exploring new areas like Donegal were but a couple of highlights I can mention! The faerie glen as well, which was unforgettable.
As for the future, it’s definitely the possibility of new experiences – but also seeing said friends again; getting in touch with the land and its history [as well as the myths and legends], and finding new stories to hear & tell.
There are boundless opportunities for personal, mental, and spiritual growth in the Wild West of Ireland – and as one of my New Year’s resolutions, I’m trying to leave myself more open to the possibilities of said growth. I’m ready to let 2018 be a year of healing and hope! Especially when it comes to visiting Ireland.
Owner Michael Waugh threw in his two cents about the year past and year upcoming as well:
“Getting a chance to be shown the areas like the Burren and the Holy Wells this past year; finding new areas that no one knows about this past year – that’s just one aspect, though,” says Michael. “It’s hard to choose just one.” When it comes to the upcoming year, he’s delighted to be bringing people fresh experiences close to home: “We’re looking forward to the new Wild West Atlantic Way in particular – bringing people to what we consider the ‘best’ places of the four tours.”
“We love developing new tours and showing people these places dear to our hearts,” adds Michael. “Seeing everything from Clare out to the Antrim Coast; Connemara, Sligo – what we’d say is the best of Ireland.”
And, if you’re like a few of our Wild Westies who said “I wish” or “it’s not in the cards this year” [shout-out to Wild Westies Ann DesRoches and Cynthia Owens], there is always a time in the future you can take a journey with Wild West Irish Tours.
Please stay tuned with us as we enter 2018 with light hearts and enthusiastic adventures; eyes on the horizon of the Wild West of Ireland.
You might not know what to expect from the rest of the world, but we can promise you as always, you can expect great things in simple places with us.
Until next time, be well!
Wild West Irish Tours
Social Media Manager & Scribe