I came to Dublin for the first time 5 years ago today (March 16th). I came for St Patrick’s Day celebrations. I did not need a visa to enter Ireland, but upon entering the country I did get a stamp on my passport allowing me to stay for one week only. I did not stay for 1 week, instead I stayed for 2 years. It is 5 years later and once again, I am here. I had no idea that my life was about to change in such unexpected ways during that spontaneous visit.
Dublin may not have the glamour of London, the romance of Paris, or the history of Rome; but you will never find a more magical capital in Europe (maybe in the whole world) than Dublin. I have visited all the European capitals and major cities in Europe and no city captivated me in the way that Dublin did in a few days. I think I am only one in a big group of people who think this way about Dublin and about the Emerald Isle in general.
The most important aspect that contributes to the magic of this country is the people, the Irish people. In all my travels (47 countries to date) , I have never met a general population as happy, easygoing, open-minded and friendly as the Irish. I have never felt so welcome in my life to a new place as I did during that first trip to Ireland. I was looking for a city in Europe to settle for a while, but definitely Dublin had never crossed my mind. After that first visit and how easily things happened for me here due to the generous help of many new Irish friends, the decision came naturally.
Dublin might not be a metropolis, buy you definitely have everything and anything you desire: richness in history and culture, sea and mountains, great shopping, international food and drink, security, varied nightlife, etc. etc. The best thing is that you have everything without the hassle and hectic system or bureaucracy of most other capitals. It is so easy to live in this wonderful city, I can’t think of anything I don’t have here.
Most people would say that the weather is crap, therefore it’s not so great to live here. For me this is very far from the truth. I lived in Belgium 3 years, and the weather there is much worse than here. The weather in Ireland is mild: no extreme heat and no extreme cold. It does drizzle, but it’s hardly rain, so it does not even bother me either. While many places in Europe have been suffering with snow, we had 15 days in a row of perfect skies and sunshine. No drizzle this month yet; but I hope it comes back soon, if it were not for it, this island would not be as immensely beautiful as it is, with all the shades of green you can imagine and can’t see anywhere else.
Everyone should come to Ireland for the craic, the best you will ever have. Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shona Daoibh! Eire go brea!