Tales of Travel Bloggers

Lyn and Fin Travel Ireland

By this point in my blog, you should know that I love sharing travel stories. One day, as I was mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, I stumbled upon a post of only words. So, obviously I read it. The author of this post is a good friend of mine here in London, Lyn. Lyn has a beautiful soul full of wanderlust and adventure, so I knew whatever this post was, it was going to be good.

I hope this tale of travel in Ireland inspires and moves you as much as it did for me.

“Tuesday, 2 April, 2019. I wake up in Killarney still not quite sure if yesterday was a dream. Here comes a story that will make you fall in love with Ireland…

When my friends told me I wouldn’t spend 10 minutes alone in an Irish bar without someone talking to me, I thought it was an exaggeration. I’ve spent many awkward evenings drinking in bars with nothing more but my own boring company. So, how could I believe that Ireland would be any different? Twelve hours in Cork proved me wrong. First thing is first, you need to understand and please not judge that I travel on a one meal a day budget and lager is lunch. So, yes, I had a couple of pints before I stumbled into Sin E on Sunday evening. I sat down at the bar, barely had one arm out of my red raincoat, when the stranger next to me asked if I enjoyed the music. I explained it was the reason I came to this pub while the cute Irish bartender served me my dinner. Dinner meant discovering Murphy’s Beamish, and Guinness on an empty stomach. In my books, that’s a Michelin Star meal.

If it wasn’t the look on my face that gave away that I was a tourist, the greasy hair and smell for days must have. So not long after, the questions started to flow. “Where are you from? Where are you traveling to? How’s Cork treating you so far?”

The 60-odd-years old man listened carefully to that same old story of the Belgian farmer’s daughter lost in London. And so our conversation went from life to work to family to love and all that is in between. I’ll spare the details of our drunken talk and how one thing led to the other. But after listening to the why’s and how’s of my solo travels, this man who was still pretty much a stranger, offered to drive me along the East Coast the next day. That was the moment I figured it might be wise to ask for his name.

As Fin went on about the stunning scenery along the Wild Atlantic Way, I had the ringing of my mom’s voice in my ears warning me not to get into a stranger’s car. (I’m sorry, mom. To make the situation a little less reckless, I activated my Follow Friends app, wrote down his registration plate, and warned Marine to be worried if she didn’t hear from me for 24 hours.) I took a liking to this man, but cautiously tried to get to know as much as I could about his personal details. Long story short, the next morning I got into his blue jeep. Both of us with heavy heads, wondering how we ended up here, but off we went.

One car, two strangers, ten hours, six hundred kilometers and one thousand thank you’s to Fin who showed me the Irish landscape while sharing stories about his life, his family, and the places we passed by. Beautiful stories, sad memories, wherever we went he had something interesting to tell.

From Cork, we drove to Killarney. Fin told me about losing his brother in Tralee. We ate fish and chips in Dingle. We cruised the Wild Atlantic Way to the Ring of Kerry. We stretched our legs at An Chonair and drank coffee in a quaint little place in Waterville. We breathed in the cold air at the Kerry Cliffs and drove kilometers and hours along Ballingskelligs, Portmagee and Cahersiveen. Ten hours later, Fin dropped me off at my hostel’s doorstep and as we hugged goodbye, I promised to name my firstborn after him.”

Not only did this story bring tears to my eyes, but it also inspired me to broaden my search for travel tales. Social media is such a huge platform these days for sharing our lives. So, I thought, why not search for more stories through these social media pages? I’ve been reaching out to fellow travel bloggers for their surprising stories of adventures. I’m excited to start sharing these with you shortly! Keep an eye out for Tales of Travel Bloggers.

Check out Lyn’s travel blog here and give her some loving:

https://lynschalk.wixsite.com/lynschalk/travelthenwrite

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11 Comments

  1. Josy A

    May 22, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    I love this story sooooo much! And yet, it doesn’t surprise me at all, as Ireland really can be one of the friendliest places on the planet.

    We used to regularly pick up hitchhikers when I was a child (we always lived in Ireland in the summer). My mum still writes to some of them. My strongest memory was of some German hitchhikers who had left East Germany for the first time after the Berlin Wall came down. It was fun to hear their stories, but it’s mad to think that a quick lift in Connemara would lead to a lasting friendship.

    Btw, I asked other twitter-folks to share their stories of the kindness of strangers a while ago, and sooooo many people had mini versions of this kind of story. There is a whole lot of sweetness in the world when you go looking for it. <3

  2. Carly LM

    May 22, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    What a lovely story! I love when I meet a kind stranger along the way who helps me see a destination in a completely new light! I also love that Lyn took a “risk” and accepted a ride from a stranger – I have actually done this lots of times (obviously only when things “felt” safe) and have met awesome new people, seen cool new places and shared stories from around the world.

  3. Brittany Hay

    May 22, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    Oh, I love the way this is written. It’s so short yet I feel like it tells you so much. What a wonderful story.

  4. Aisha

    May 22, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    It looks beautiful! Wet, but very green and lots of natural, open spaces. I’d love to see more photos.

  5. Aditi Sharma

    May 22, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    What an amazing story – it’s so well written! The many joys of traveling – connecting with kind people across different countries. I’ve not been to Ireland yet but it’s definitely on my bucket list Thanks for sharing such an amazing post.

  6. sam topping

    May 23, 2019 at 8:46 am

    wow what a great story! I have heard people form Ireland are really friendly- I guess you just need to trust your instincts in every situation.

  7. Olivia Rutt

    May 23, 2019 at 11:18 am

    A lovely story! In today’s climate, we’ve been told not to hitchhike and talk with strangers. But, not every person in the world is bad. I’m so glad this story is a positive one.

  8. Adele Gee

    May 23, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    I am going to Ireland next week. I hope I have Lyn’s luck and meet with kind strangers along my solo travels. I have heard about the friendliness of the Irish but didnt think it would extend so much. This is a lovely story that tells how the world is still alive and well with good people.

  9. umiko

    May 23, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    I enjoyed reading the story! I don’t know much about Irish, but Lyn was fortunate to meet Fin while in Cork. Fin didn’t only take her around, but he filled her in with personal stories he experienced in those places. So sweet!

  10. Samantha

    May 23, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    This story is why I travel! Meeting locals and making friends along the way is so rewarding, especially when it is a chance encounter. This was such a lovely story to share!

  11. Ashton Daniel

    June 5, 2019 at 7:31 am

    Awh the Irish are the best! Also, Fin! What a guy. What a name 😍 love this story! 💕🍀🚙

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