Emily Mathe

Napa, CA

Emily just got back from her fabulous Irish vacation! Read about her travels below:

Where did you travel to?:

What made you want to travel to Ireland?”
“I’d always wanted to visit Ireland, although it never really occurred to me to travel there until quite recently. The country has a rich literary and mythological history, which, along with the stunning landscape and beautiful cities, made me itch to see it all for myself!”

Emily exploring the grounds of Kylemore Abbey!

What was it like taking a solo trip abroad?:
“Traveling by myself was an exhilarating, unique, and sometimes scary experience. However, I’d recommend solo travel to anyone who feels ready for it. There really is something liberating about managing your time exactly how you want it…seeing exactly what you want to see…and, probably the most important, having to only decide for yourself where to eat!”

What were the top 3 places on your must see list?:

“At the top of my list of must-sees, I wanted to visit the Long Room and the Book of Kells exhibit at Trinity College in Dublin. I was able to spend as much time as I wanted wandering around the beautiful old library, and I would truly recommend it to anyone with an interest. Another other location I most wanted to see was the Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs surpassed my wildest expectations in their sublime magnificence. No photograph could really do them justice, though I certainly made an effort! Kilkenny Castle was another on my bucket list. The castle tour was very informative and interesting, and more importantly gives visitors access to the castle’s breathtaking interior. I especially loved the long portrait gallery and the many windows that provided a view of the sprawling castle grounds.”

*Tough question alert! What was the best part about your vacation?:

“The best part of my vacation in Ireland was not any specific sight (although those were certainly worth seeing), but the freedom of traveling on my own and having so much flexibility to choose what I wanted to spend my time on. I got to explore at my own pace, and because of that, I think I enjoyed my trip to the absolute fullest.”

Selfie with Kylemore Abbey!

What made you want to book your trip through Tenon Tours?:

“Tenon Tours was precisely the reason I had so much flexibility and freedom on my trip. Because they took care of my travel and lodging, as well as some of the attractions themselves, I was able to focus on seeing as much as I could. I think the type of tour they provided me was just the right balance of structure and mobility.”

Do you have any advice to offer up about the weather in Ireland?:
“It’s good to layer up, because the storms can depart as quickly as they arrive. So, a heavy coat in the morning might be torturously hot by the afternoon!”

Did you meet any friends along your journey?:

“One of the reasons I would highly recommend solo travel is the opportunity to converse with whatever strangers may cross your path. Although I didn’t make any lasting connections with others while in Ireland, I had some interesting and funny conversations with a lot of fascinating people. I had a long talk about language with a woman from Hungary while sharing gelato in Killarney. I got to swap travel stories with a couple from Texas while on the Ring of Kerry tour. Bus drivers, cafe owners, fellow tourists…everyone around me was a potential exchange of ideas waiting to happen. In the end, I didn’t come away from Ireland with a bunch of new contacts, but I did have a deeper understanding of how broad and fascinating the world is outside of my personal boundaries. That’s something that just happens when you travel, especially by yourself. And, although I met a lot of new people during my trip, I think the most strange and interesting acquaintance may have been the new version of myself who surfaced through my travels.”

What are your favorite souvenirs you brought home?:

“Since I had been traveling for a few months before getting to Ireland, there wasn’t a lot of spare room in my luggage for souvenirs. Most of my souvenirs are in the form of photographs, although I did buy a pin with my grandfather’s coat of arms on it!”

What destination is next on your list?:

“I’d love to take a trip to Iceland sometime in the future. It seems I have an attachment to places that begin with ‘I’.”

check out our Ireland Singles tours!

See what Manisha and Nicole’s other clients have to say about them!

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