Visiting a country as a tourist can feel quite strange at times. You feel as if everyone knows it’s obvious you’re an American based on the side of the street you walk on, how you phrase demands to workers, and the inability to take in the beauty with your eyes but rather your iPhone camera.
During the long bus ride back to Dublin, I was reflecting on my day. Visiting the Cliffs of Moher was a surreal experience, as I’ve never seen a coastline of cliffs. Until now, I didn’t realize my thoughts were actually judgments of tourism. As much as I appreciated this day, I couldn’t help but think about how I hope to visit a “hidden” place like this. I’m not sure why, maybe it was the woman who posed with frustration, waiting for others to get out of her shot. Or the man who decided not to go into the tower anymore, because based on another expressing dissatisfaction with the ability to see out of the room, he realized he then wouldn’t get a good photo. I thought, so freaking what!
I then pulled myself back into appreciation. If it wasn’t for tourism, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity. It actually made me have deja vu, from the time I was visiting the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. My sisters and I recalled the time on Keeping up with the Kardashians when they too visited the Blue Lagoon. The rise of tourism in Iceland is fairly recent, and we wondered whether the exposure from celebrities drew people in. If we didn’t have the “tourists” who at times seem obnoxious, these places of great beauty would go unnoticed, and fewer people would be able to share this experience with others. Everyone deserves to travel and see the world for what it is. As Covid slowly recedes, my hopes are that as many tourists as possible get to live out their desires once again and make memories like I have today.