By Camille Douglas
May 18, 2016
Hi, my name is Camille, and I’m obsessed with being connected to WiFi. I like skimming through social media to kill time, being able to snapchat friends back at home, and knowing that my family is just one Viber message away. I didn’t realize just how addicted and reliant I was with WiFi until the three-day long journey across the Irish countryside on the Shamrocker Bus Tour began.
Northern Ireland is absolutely breathtaking, and being able to drive along the coastline and through several villages was an unbelievable once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. I was and continue to be in awe of the luscious deep green fields and mountains, the vintage architecture of buildings and the plethora of sheep (I swear, there are more sheep than people here).
I fell in love with the country, but not in love with the WiFi signal. With every quick stop in a small village or when settling into our hostel in Ballycastle for the night, the struggle to find and stay connected to Wifi was absolutely frustrating. In Ballycastle, a quant, little town of only about 100 people, the only place of WiFi that works is at the bar in the local pub. For almost all of us, WiFi was our only way of communicating back to our families and not being able to do so was upsetting. I have noticed that in almost every place that we go, we immediately look to see if WiFi is available. With every building we went in, we would all pullout our phones from our coat pockets. It was like we were all in a race to find WiFi.
It’s the brutal truth – a disappointing one – that we rely so heavily on it back at home in our daily lives. For us and for many, it is a means of communication. The tour guides, Daithe and Johnny all joked with us that we, Americans, are obsessed with WiFi, and they are absolutely right. It was eye-opening to see how Daithe, Johnny and the rest of locals we encountered along our journey were in no means stressed to connect to WiFi as much as we all were. It makes me question, what are their means of communication? From my observations, their communication, much more limited. It seems like their way of life is much more relaxed and simply. I admire their ways and lifestyle.
Though the lack of WiFi is new to me and a little frustrating, this trip has been incredible so far. I cannot wait for the adventures we experience next.