Exploring Ireland: Discovering the Irish Countryside

I am thrilled to be sharing Part II of our Ireland adventures. Don’t worry if you happened to miss out on Part I where I chatted about our time in Dublin & Cork, as it can be found right here. But before I get on with Part II, I feel as if I need to update you guys on what’s been going on with life lately.

I know back in March (yeah, hard to believe it’s been a solid six months since this post!) I had mentioned Derek and I were going to move out west to San Francisco sometime after our trip.

While I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact we’ve been back from backpacking for about eight weeks now, when we returned to the States at the end of June, we both dove head first into our job search. Living at home, with our parents, without jobs. Yeah, talk about getting back to reality. But truth is, I needed to become completely submerged in looking for a job so my mind wouldn’t slip into a dark hole since our trip had ended.

So after countless hours on LinkedIn scrolling through job openings, and after countless hours of drafting cover letters and perfecting resumes, and after countless hours of encouraging each other to stay focused and positive, we were able to turn our Californian dream into a reality.

And while I don’t really know exactly how it all happened so fast, I do know none of this could have happened without constant guidance and support from our friend and families, and of course from the good Lord above.

So, thank you all! Thank you for believing in us. These last two months of being in transition haven’t really been the easiest, but we made it through the dark and now see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I won’t go into too much detail of San Fran because:

1) we just got here Wednesday

2) that wasn’t the point of this post.

But, I just wanted to let you all know what has been going on lately, and I cannot wait to share this new adventure with you all. And, of course, thank you again for reading and following along.

Now, before I lose any more of your attention span, let’s get started with Part II of Ireland!

ireland_beacon lighthouse

While Derek and I loved exploring both Dublin and Cork, what really stole our hearts was by far the Irish countryside. I wish these pictures did justice, but they never do. Everything was just so, so green. The grass was practically glowing here. It was all just beautiful.

I think one of our best decisions was renting a car for this last leg of the trip. We pretty much had to since we wanted to see so much of the countryside, but I would definitely recommend this to anyone traveling to Ireland for the first time. Despite the fact we spent the majority of these days in the car trying to squeeze in as many little towns as possible, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

OK, maybe I would have given ourselves one more day.

ireland_baltimore beacon_cow pasture

Our Airbnb hosts recommended we make a stop at the Baltimore Beacon. I don’t think either one of us knew what kind of beauty we were in store for when it came to this white-painted stone beacon.

First of all, this thing is fifty feet tall, so it was massive. However, the way it stood there so tall and strong on the edge of the cliff was breathtaking. The entire area was breathtaking.

And somehow we lucked out, because when we arrived there was not a soul in sight. It was just us, the jagged cliff-side, and a panoramic view that I cannot even find words to describe.


ireland_cliffside sail boat

This picture below. As you can tell by my hair, we were practically in a windstorm. Not really one of my best shots by any means, but I love this photo so much. Derek looks so happy, and it takes my mind back to how giddy we were at this moment. We felt as if we were at the edge of the world.

ireland_baltimore beacon


The picture below is also one of my favorites because, to me, it’s such a good reminder.

If you squint hard enough, you can see me. I love this photo because of what it signifies.

So many times we find ourselves having a tendency to think we’re much larger than we are. You know, worrying so much about our wants and our needs and somehow getting caught in the “me” trap.

I guess that is why I love nature so much because it can be such a humbling experience. Mother Nature always knows how to put us back in place with a reality check. When surrounded by nature of such a significance scale, you suddenly realize just how small you are. And man, what a beautiful feeling.

ireland_cliffside view

ireland_beacon_seaside boat

You see all those white blobs that look like cotton balls below? Those are sheep. They were EVERYWHERE.

ireland_seaside sheep

And that irresistible Irish coast. The pristine icy blue waters laying so gently on top of the silky multi-colored beads of sand. What a soothing sight for the eyes.

ireland_seaside views

ireland_serene sea

Of course, what would be a visit to Ireland without exploring some historic castles!?


ireland_colorful canoes



All this countryside made me want to just take off my shoes and do nothing but run. You know that chilling feeling that overcomes you when your toes touch the grass.

How is it at that moment you have no worries!? Your mind is free. Maybe because this feeling somehow awakens those memories as a kid of running barefoot.

Whatever it is, this feeling is so good for the soul.

ireland_lake view

ireland_sheep 2

We even stumbled across a deserted castle, which was a major highlight of the day.

ireland_deserted castle

ireland_deserted castle exploring

ireland_twisty mountain roads


And then, we hit the narrow pavement to chase down a gorgeous sunset.

ireland_sunset views

ireland_mountain lookout


I will never forget this day. You know when you lay your head on your pillow and can’t help but smile because the day was just that good? This was one of those days.

And I hope I can keep it in my memory forever.

ireland_countryside road

To read more about our experience exploring the Irish countryside, check out the article I wrote for POPSUGAR here. And if you’re in the mood for a short two-minute video, here’s the mini film Derek created.

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