Several years ago I bought an airline ticket to Ireland on a whim, flew out there with no plans or reservations, and had the most incredible and spontaneous journey. I didn’t pack much, just a couple changes of clothes, a GPS, and my camera. I didn’t really know what I was doing or where I was going. I had a general direction I wanted to go in but I relied mostly on intuition and my GPS to get me around.
When my plane touched down in Dublin, it was about 8:30 a.m. local time and I was too excited to have gotten any reasonable amount of sleep on the flight. I gathered my belongings and hopped on the first bus to the rental car desk. I felt insanely nervous for even thinking about attempting to drive on the left side of the road, but it was something I needed to scratch off my bucket list. Besides, there was no turning back at that point.
The rental car company put me in a Hyundai Getz, a small piece of junk that was too slow to get out of its own way. I sat down inside of the car and took several minutes to get myself acquainted with the steering wheel being on the
right wrong side of the car. I then set my GPS to guide me to a small town called Clifden, way out on the west coast of Ireland. I had embarked on a five and a half hour cross country journey while giving myself a crash course on driving on the left side of the road. And yes, I did get honked at quite a bit.
When I arrived in Clifden, I stopped in at a small B&B to see if they had any rooms available, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and crashed for the night. I was exhausted. When the morning came, I asked the lady who owned the house if she could recommend a place to stay somewhere near the Cliffs of Moher. She directed me to a B&B in a small town called Doolin, quite literally down the street from the Cliffs of Moher. I was so unbelievably stoked when I saw how close by I was. As soon as I arrived in Doolin, I checked into my B&B and then immediately headed out to explore the Cliffs of Moher.
If you stick to the designated tourist area, it’ll be an amazing experience. I’m all about going off the beaten path though. It wasn’t long before I found a gate blocking a trail with a sign saying not enter in many different languages. If you’re up for doing a little exploring, the dirt trails running along the cliffs on the opposite side of the fence will give you a mind blowing experience. There’s something very liberating about standing at the top of the 700 foot high cliffs, over looking the ocean below you, without any distractions or noise pollution for miles. There aren’t many opportunities left in the world where you can simply sit and enjoy the sounds of the silence among you.