The past few years we've come to really appreciate staycationing here on our little island. Groups from all over the country – be it friends or family – have been exploring parts of Ireland in ways they have never before. There is a feeling of togetherness and unity in this mass exploration, as if we have all decided to go on the same adventure. Here are 35 ways you know you are on a holiday in Ireland…
1. You continuously update your weather app the week before you depart, with the location set to your destination.
2. You tell everyone that you don’t care if it rains for the rest of the year, as long as your week away is dry.
3. You have come to terms with the fact that your holiday will be unpredictable weather-wise, so you pack everything from shorts and swimsuits to winter coats and snuggly socks.
4. You find you have packed more than you ever would have because you may as well fill the car.
5. You have raided the middle aisles of both Lidl and Aldi for outdoor supplies and have made more than one excessive purchase.
6. You have sat in awe at the stunning Irish landscape, in a state of disbelief that this magical place exists right on your doorstep.
7. You have stood eating sandwiches in the rain and enjoyed it.
8. There is sand in your hair and clothes right now.
9. You have squealed while dipping your toes into the almost-frozen water, only to attempt to convince someone else that the water is ‘lovely’ five minutes later.
10. You have pockets full of shells.
11. You have a tan or burn line in the shape of your sandal straps.
12. Your freckles have ‘come out’ more than once in the last few days.
13. You say ‘look at the horse’ every time you pass a horse in a field.
14. You are fully converted to the whole day-drinking-on-the-beach thing.
15. You started the week wearing makeup and now you don’t even bother brushing your hair after a swim.
16. Your skin tastes like salt.
17. You still can’t believe how stereotypically green the Irish landscape is.
18. You keep seeing those hairy caterpillars everywhere.
19. Your car is full of sand and muck from beach-side afternoons and morning hikes.
20. You are officially obsessed with lighting campfires.
21. You have given up complaining about how quickly the weather can go from roasting to Baltic.
22. You’ve noted that baby seagulls are so much better than adult ones.
23. You’ve threatened to permanently move to wherever you’re staying a number of times.
24. You can’t remember how to cook on anything other than a barbecue.
25. You have stood over coastal cliffs feeling terrified and impressed all at the same time.
26. You’ve beckoned everyone to come and see a seal bobbing its shiny head above the waves.
27. You honestly forgot to take photos for social media because you are living in the moment.
28. You have wrestled to dress yourself underneath a towel.
29. You have written your name or someone else’s name in the sand with a stick.
30. You have seen stars like you have never seen before.
31. You have never eaten more crisps and ice-cream in your whole life.
32. You have heard someone randomly play guitar or tin whistle in the last week.
33. You have been called on to inspect a jellyfish on the beach at least once.
34. You spoke Irish when you saw a sign indicating a Gaeltacht area.
35. You are unbelievably proud to call this gorgeous island your home.