Ireland is one of those places listed on most people’s travel bucket list. Once visited it’s hard not to long for the vast green countryside and music-infused cities and the hearty welcome from the locals. If you take the leap or need a little push, here are 10 things you’ll get addicted to after living in Ireland.

1. Fields of green

Photo: Panimo

It may seem cliché, but the images of green pastures dotted with fluffy white lambs and bright wild flowers are actually fairly common in Ireland. A quick escape from the city and you will witness this scene unfold before your eyes, each twist and turn of the narrow road making your heart swell even more. Add in a castle or a dramatic cliffside, and you’ll think you’re dreaming.

2. A ‘cuppa’, day or night

Photo: alisaanton

Whether it’s noon or midnight, a freshly steeped cup of tea is almost mandatory. And the Irish have it down to a basic science, with each faithful sipper concocting a personalized tea to milk/sugar ratio. Order pot after pot in a cozy cafe and that chilly weather will almost vanish.

3. Sea spray

Ireland is home to over 3,000 km of coastline, meaning the beach is always just a drive away. You can do it all: surf, beach-comb, swim, hike, bird, boat, or contemplate your place in the world. Before you know it, you’ll soon crave the rocky shores, tranquil views, and that salty sea spray.

4. The craic

Your time in Ireland is guaranteed to result in some great craic. But make sure you surround yourself with some mates who are good craic. And if you can’t find the craic, just ask what’s the craic. And eventually you’ll not only understand the meaning of this word, but you’ll also use it effortlessly…while having the craic.

5. Pubs

Photo: R Barrison

Ahhh, the Irish pub. Never mind the clouds and drizzle, you’ll be safe and cozy in this warm and lively space. They’re usually sporting a rich mahogany, tall bar stools, stained glass, vintage lights, a handful of snugs, several taps, and the energy of a hundred mates laughing over a few pints. Sláinte!

6. Guinness

Photo: Ben Smith

The black stuff. The rumors are true: a freshly (and correctly) poured Guinness is definitely better in Ireland. It’s not mental, it’s all in the taste buds.

A traditional session

A traditional music session will have your toes tappin’ in no time. It’s impossible to avoid; the rhythm of that fiddle, bodhrán, and uilleann pipes can alter any mood. And with a little extra searching outside of the tourist zones, you can easily find a devoted group of local musicians jamming for the love of the jig.

7. Hospitality

Photo: Ben White

A home cooked meal at a friend’s house is pure comfort. Your adopted mammy will offer you more meat, potatoes, veggies, stews, and fish than you can handle. And she won’t forget dessert or numerous glasses of wine. And don’t even think about clearing the dishes; just come sit here on the sofa in front of the roaring fire and have another glass of red.

8. Humour

You’ve heard of the gift of gab, right? Well, it’s real, and that charm and glorious sense of humor never get old. The Irish are truly some of the most genuinely kind and witty people. It’s no wonder they are a country of a hundred thousand welcomes, making most every interaction one for the books.

9. The rain

The Irish culture is a product of its geographical location. It’s a rocky island located in the blustery North Atlantic Ocean. It’s no surprise that you’re gonna see some rain. But with the rain comes cozy pubs, pots of comforting tea, jolly traditional music, rich stouts, hearty foods, knitted sweaters, warm hearts, and perfect sarcasm. Plus, so many cloudy days makes the sun that much sweeter. So, if you love Ireland, you must love the rain too.

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