Traveling throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland has been one hell of a ride. Arriving in a foreign city with twenty complete strangers can be a little intimidating, but after an hour it’s like we had been friends for years. It helped to know that we were all filled with the same emotions of excitement and nervousness because we really didn’t know what to expect.
With the program name being Mass Media in the U.K. I was anticipating a lot of classroom time and visits to agencies and workplaces. I was not expecting to be hiking the the Slieve League Cliffs, Giant’s Causeway and visiting castles. Our three day bus tour throughout Northern Ireland, staying in hostels in small villages without wifi and singing karaoke with the locals were all things I never thought I would ever do in my lifetime. This trip has turned out to teach me a lot more than just mass media and it’s only been eight days.
In America there are advertisements everywhere for popular tourist attractions, national parks and fun activities. The Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park are known locations throughout the United States and even the world, but I’ve never even heard of the places I visited in Northern Ireland. It seems as if every time you are watching television at home in the States you see Pure Michigan commercials or commercials for other cities or states. I haven’t really seen any advertisements for the places we visited, maybe it’s because I haven’t been watching that much television. But I still feel like I would have heard about them more when we were in Belfast or from our hotel concierge. The commercials I saw on the T.V. were advertisements for food, drinks, household products or banks. Not many advertisements about the Slieve League Cliffs or the rope bridge in Ballintoy.
Hiking up the Cliffs and the Giant’s Causeway had the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen. Staying the night in Ballintoy, a town of 150 people, with no phone service was one of the best memories I’ll ever have. This trip has shown me places of the world I’ve never heard of and never planned on visiting. The lack of advertisement these places get is unfortunate, because these are places everyone should visit once in their life. I have never had the desire to go to Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland, and I think that is because I never saw these places in the media. I never knew they even existed.
Both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. It’s a shame most people in the world don’t even know about the scenic views and amazing culture these places have. I hope that I can share these pictures and experiences with people and encourage them to travel to these places they’ve never even heard of or scene. The world is full of hidden gems and now I know a lot of them are found in Ireland!