Sunday, October 11, 2015

10 Things About Ireland Nobody Told Me

I've had a great time in Ireland and for the most part, it is very similar to the US. People speak English, love coffee and are very friendly. There are just a few little things that are different that nobody told me.
  1. You need to get used to revolving doors. Learn to get through them with a rolling suitcase, backpack and 40 lb. purse if you want to go anywhere fun.
  2. Light switches are on the outside of the bathroom. Knowing this ahead of time will save you a good two minutes of panic as you dash to the loo.
  3. Also, here a "bathroom" is only in your home. Even though it may seem graphic to say, "I need the toilet." that's totally normal here.
  4. Most electric outlets have a switch. When you plug in your phone and it doesn't charge, don't sweat it. Just flip the switch and you'll be grand.
  5. On that note, no one here says good. Say "grand" or "brilliant" to avoid strange looks.
  6. Also, from experience, I learned when someone asks, “How did you find ____________ (the hotel, a person, event or city)?” They aren’t looking for an answer like “I googled it” or “we have a mutual friend.” In the US we would say, “Did you like ____________?” If you forget, they’ll probably laugh and clarify their question for you.
  7. Also, in the United States, we might say “that guy” or “that girl.” In Ireland, the phrase to use would be “your man.” For example, “Your man in that funny commercial.” It threw me off for a little bit, considering I had nothing to do with the person referenced, but after some help I began to catch on.
  8. If you travel to Ireland, be prepared they like to have fun and use plenty of sarcasm. Have a good time and dish it back or they’ll take advantage of the fact you’re a little gullible. You don’t want to be like the group of Americans who believed Irish cars don’t have reverse because of all the round abouts my new friend told us about.
  9. When your packing to come to Ireland, keep in mind, they don’t dress as casually as Americans. During the week I never saw the baggy sweatpants that people wear to their morning classes around campus. Over there, they aren’t as common and are called a track suit. Probably a good hint that they’re only appropriate for the gym. Dark jeans, a sweater and collared shirt with tasteful accessories is perfectly acceptable for everyday wear.
  10. Last, but not least, the attitude toward time is much different in Ireland. I don’t remember a single one our meetings starting less than 10 minutes behind schedule, and in that culture it’s perfectly acceptable. For people who constantly find themselves running 5 minutes behind, it will be a relief. For those who define late as less than 10 minutes before an appointment, it’ll be a good lesson in adaptability. ;)
I hope you get the chance to travel to Ireland and experience it for yourself. If you go, I'd love to hear about your trip and the things that caught you by surprise. Thanks for reading!


  1. I want to start saying, "Grand". How fun! I would love to go to Ireland one day and visit my Irish roots! These tips will help out.

    1. I know! I felt so sophisticated saying "brilliant" and "grand!" :) I hope you get to go, and be sure to share your experiences.

  2. Loved your comments and so glad you had such a brilliant time!