"Ní bhíonn in aon rud ach seal..."
Dia Dhaoibh a cairde agus fáilte thar n-ais ar feadh seachtain eile don mblog ‘Tales of a Tourism Officer’ – Welcome back to yet another week of ‘Tales of a Tourism Officer’. I hope you are all keeping well in the current climate, I find that simply taking it day by day is the best way to handle it all at this time! There is certainly enough doom and gloom in the world at the moment, so this week I have decided to write a blog post full of hope! Having had a few weeks now to settle back into work and start looking at the year ahead, I’ve found in the past week or so that I am feeling more hopeful about things to come….
While the 2021 tourism season will undoubtedly once again be very different, as it looks like we’ll still be unable to welcome our international visitors back, I am looking towards the year ahead with optimism at welcoming many Irish visitors to our beautiful Dingle Peninsula. There are several reasons for my newfound optimism, however! For one, there days are finally beginning to get longer. As we say here in Ireland, there’s ‘a grand stretch’ in the evenings! It makes such a difference when it doesn’t get dark so early – we now have daylight until 6 o clock in the evening, and that is a guaranteed mood booster! I felt that with the arrival of spring on the 1st of February last week, there was a new lease of life to things….The daffodils are out, the days are longer, the weather is getting better (subject to interpretation!!). Either way, I think there is a feeling of hope in the air, but perhaps I’m the only one that feels it at the moment!!
Aside from all the little things that are making the days more pleasant, from a tourism point of view I am also optimistic. Though we are still in lockdown, and the chances of international travel are still non-existent, I am hopeful that with the combination of lower case numbers and ever-increasing vaccinations in the country, the Coronavirus situation can only get better. If we persevere for a little while longer, fingers crossed, when everything is allowed to open once again, it will be for good. I hope that this time, when the doors of our local businesses open, they are allowed to stay open.
But most of all, I am hopeful that before long, we will have visitors back on our beautiful Dingle Peninsula, experiencing all it has to offer. To have people back making the nerve-wracking drive over the Conor Pass, or taking in the unique sights that are only along Slea Head Drive. I can’t wait for people to once again walk the Dingle Way, or explore Glanteenasig Forest. To swim in the Atlantic Ocean and walk along the soft sand at Ventry Beach, Fermoyle Beach or Inch Beach. I look forward to hearing the screams of delight as children and adults alike experience sea life up close with Dingle Sea Safari, or stand in awe as they set foot on the Great Blasket Island.
I can’t wait for people to sit down to a meal of the freshest fish, in one of the Dingle Peninsula’s many fantastic restaurants. I look forward to pints of local beer being poured as visitors sit around in a cosy pub and listen to traditional Irish music, performed only as it can be, by a local musician and friends. To see the glint in the eyes of an old group of friends as they squash into a snug. I look forward to seeing groups of people touring the Dingle Distillery and experiencing the product right at its root. To seeing golf balls fly high in the air at Ceann Sibéal, and surf boards hit the waves in the Maharees. I can’t wait for the streets to be full of people, taking in the colourful buildings, and for the hills and mountains along the Dingle Peninsula to once again welcome hikers and guide them on their way. It is often said that the true magic of the Dingle Peninsula is in its people, however, a lot of those people are our visitors. Without our visitors, there is a missing element of what makes the Dingle Peninsula the very special place it has become. I can’t wait for the day where the Dingle Peninsula is alive again with the sounds of laughter, happiness, discovery, awe, magic, appreciation, exploration, experience, enjoyment, fun and lots of craic! Though we may not be close to that day just yet, knowing that times like these will return provides its own comfort.
Though there are lots of bad things to get caught up in at the moment, if we chose to, we can also look at all the reasons we have to be hopeful. There are certainly lots of them.
I saw a saying last week that went ‘More days behind us than ahead of us’…We’ll get there. As my favourite Irish saying goes ‘Ní bhíonn in aon rud ach seal’ (nothing is permanent).
Have a wonderful week filled with hope and happiness.
Until next time,