I have always been someone who needs to live in the city. I love being able to walk to anything I could need, I love the sounds of sirens and helicopters and car horns, and I will take some of the dangers of living in a city over the seclusion of a rural area any day. That being said, I NEEDED to get out of the city life of Dublin and our trip to Wicklow and Kilkenny were perfect for this. Our walk through the woods in Wicklow that led us to two lakes was a wonderful change of scenery from the city streets of Dublin and all the people that are constantly around. There was a calmness in the air and in the people that we have been lacking in the city and it was a great escape after a busy first week in Ireland.
In terms of the culture and communication in the urban area of Dublin compared to the rural areas of Wicklow and Kilkenny, I didn’t notice too much of a difference. The rural areas we visited were more tourist attractions and have adapted their cultural and communicative aspects to match this. Because of this, I think we were still very much seen as tourists who wanted to visit the famous sites and not just travelers who are looking to explore a culture by fully immersing themselves in it. This tourist area mindset also led to many of the businesses we interacted with being tourist focused. There were still many souvenir shops and other stores showcasing items that are unique to Ireland in order to draw in tourists. I think it is difficult to have a non-tourist experience in just a two-week trip to Ireland. There are so many destinations that draw tourists in, and the only way to get begin having a more local experience would require a much longer duration to discover the hidden restaurants, pubs, and businesses or take more time in a truly rural area of Ireland. Now that we’re back to staying in Dublin, I will continue to keep an eye out for any cultural differences that I can compare to the ones we had this weekend on our day trips to the countryside.