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For as long as you can remember you have dreamt of visiting this magical landscape full of rainbows and leprechauns (we will touch on this subject later) and now the time has arrived! I can sense that you are quietly packing your suitcase and probably thinking this is a no brainer, but wait there are those rumors that this is a sunny island, no wait, rainy, no wait, windy, no wait, cold maybe? “I give up” I hear you say but fear not as you were in fact correct in your assumptions as it is all them mixed together to give that special unique Irish experience. We have a saying in Ireland: “if you don’t like the weather just wait a minute”.

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So what on earth should I pack for this mysterious island in the middle of the wild Atlantic Ocean? Well, I have put together your essential guide to packing for Ireland and I must outline at the very outset that I don’t hold any honors degree or PHD in packing a suitcase and thus I wash my hands of any responsibility for poor fashion statements or ridiculous outfits that may enter Ireland. (However, the authorities will be notified of your whereabouts). Ok so now with potential liable actions firmly put to bed we can begin our essential packing guide.

In my opinion, humble as it may be, the two most important items to pack are:

  1. A warm curious smile (we Irish love a good smile and it will get you a long way or out of the way from potential dangers i.e. a smiling Irishman in a pub who has identified you as the best potential for a philosophical talk regarding life and farming).
  2. Second and lastly on the list is pack plenty of enthusiasm for adventure as we have bucket loads on offer in Ireland. That’s it in nutshell.

Now, do I hear the outcries of “Surely that can’t be it?” but I want to reassure you that us Irish don’t expect you to turn up parading around butt naked as this could potential lead to an arrest and mare everyone else’s experience. So of course pack the regular items of clothing e.g. 10 rain jackets, 50 woolly Aran sweaters, at least 3 Hawaiian style shirts and pair of sandals that you definitely won’t use (if you do so I will personally buy you a pint of Guinness – Terms and Conditions apply).

At this stage I want to hastily point out that we tend to forget that packing is a practice that occurs twice, going and returning. So I have also identified items that you will not be allowed to bring home with you as you leave our green Island. They are as follows:

  1. For starters, I hate to break this to you but we don’t have any Leprechauns anymore (they left when the recession hit).
  2. A sheep, which is a cuddly looking creature but you will not get away with packing one on your return journey. Cruel you may say, but we are very protective about our sheep and their welfare. Furthermore, we are doing you a favor as they are not toilet trained to the best of my knowledge (potential market opening there for some keen eyed business person).

A note of warning: You may contract a rare Irish infliction that we call affectionately, the Gift of the Gab. What is it you ask? Defined as the uncontrollable urge to talk utter nonsense for an unspecified amount of time at some unfortunate person (spitting or foaming at the mouth may occur but it is a non-violent action caused by eagerness to talk). The Irish are born with this and there is no known cure for it. We are happy for you to bring it home in your suitcase and it is free of charge.

I think that is about it and I hope you have found this Essential Packing Guide to be of benefit. Should you wish to discuss any issues that arose in the above guide then I will be waiting with a warm Irish smile in Killarney. (But, you had better be wearing shoes and not sandals!)

Have a pleasant and safe journey to our Emerald Isle.

Michael

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