Social Challenge: Dream Trip - Scotland and Ireland (and the benefits of staying in one place)

Social Week is over, but I'm still thinking about the dream trips I asked people about. Turns out I asked more people than I had time to write about. 

My coworker Colin would like to go to Scotland to research his heritage, and another coworker, Jess, would like to go to Ireland to do the same. I know next to nothing about researching lineage, so I'll stick to the travel. 

Jess also said the first place on her list was Australia, but she's been there. Australia is definitely somewhere I'd like to go, too. 

Although I'm a big fan of going one place and staying there for a while, it sure seems like this would be a good opportunity to see two or three countries in one trip. I'd love to see London, so if this were my trip, I'd visit three countries, at least. 

Scotland, England and Wales make up Great Britain. The United Kingdom includes Great Britain and Northern Ireland. I find it all very confusing and not worth the trouble of figuring out. You'd never know I took a geography class in college, would you? It's not my strong point. 


If you Google "what to see in Scotland in 3 days," you'll find a bunch of results telling you you can't see much in 3 days. Apparently, you'll need at least a couple days in Edinburgh. You can probably skip Glasgow (although that is the last name of our friends Matt and Lynda!). Then there are the Highland, the islands, the scotch, the Loch Ness Monster... 

Stirling Castle, one of many sites to see in Scotland

Stirling Castle, one of many sites to see in Scotland

Maybe you should just go to Scotland and come back later for the rest. 


It looks like you can't see enough of Ireland, either, in a few days. Not even in a week. It seems you're going to have to move there if you really want to experience Ireland. 

This website says you're going to need at least 10 days just to do a southern loop. This blog post from uncornered market covers a LOT of territory in just seven days, but sounds hectic. 

Just thinking about seeing that many sites in seven days makes me dizzy. 

So what was that I was saying about London? That it can wait for another time? Yes, that sounds about right. 

One place or many?

I think about this question every time I think about travel. Is it better to go to one place and stay a while (we did this in Antwerp and it was great) or to see as many places as possible? 

When we were planning our trip to the Netherlands and Belgium, my instincts were to see and stay in as many different places as possible, but my mom wanted to pick a "home" city and stay there for a while, taking day trips out to see other places. We picked Antwerp and stayed there for over half of our trip. We spent a couple nights in Amsterdam and then again in Stampersgat (a small, rural town in the Netherlands), and one night in Chimay, too, but most of the time, we were in Antwerp.   

And we ended up loving it! Antwerp might not have even been on our list, except that as a place to travel from, it was centrally located. It's a really neat city with a lot to offer, but part of the reason we loved it was because we had time to get to know it. We learned our way around. We got to know the guy at "our" corner market. We could go back to the places with the best beer selections. 

None of the pictures I took really capture Antwerp, but this is one of my favorites. 

None of the pictures I took really capture Antwerp, but this is one of my favorites. 

Not that we didn't enjoy our short time in Amsterdam and Stampergat , or our shorter time in Brussels and Chimay. We just didn't experience those places on as deep a level as we did Antwerp. 

That approach could totally backfire if you didn't like the city you picked for some reason. But at that point, you could check out of your hotel and move on. 

With the short amount of time most of us have to travel, it's natural to want to see as much as possible, especially if a long flight is involved. 

But staying in one place is certainly something to consider. 


Week Eighteen: Social - Dream Trips

  1. Oaxaca, Mexico
  2. Rainforests of Brazil
  3. Scotland and Ireland (and why you might want to pick just one place)
  4. "Lots and Lots" of Africa
  5. China and First Class Travel