Junior Katie Harris describes her long-awaited trip home to Ireland.


With so many vacations and travel plans cancelled last summer, junior Katie Harris couldn’t wait to take her long awaited trip to Ireland, where she was born. After not visiting for five years, Harris was very excited to see her extended family and all her favorite parts of the country.

“The best part was probably seeing my family and getting to see different types of scenery, like oceans and mountains, and stuff like that,” Harris said.

Harris was born in Ireland and moved to the United States when she was three years old. She has visited many times throughout her life, as Ireland is home to her extended family and many memories.

To get ready for the 10-hour trip to Dublin, preparation included research and lots of packing.

“We planned all the cities we wanted to visit, and how long it was going to take to get around to each of them and a lot of packing because we were gonna be gone for two weeks.” Harris said.

Dublin, Ireland. Photo courtesy Katie Harris.

She traveled with her parents and younger brother to Dublin. Once there, they met up with her aunt, uncle, and cousins.

“We spent a week in Dublin, and then took a week traveling to towns like Cobh, Cork, and Killarney.” Harris said, “The most memorable part was probably Cobh, because it’s like a sea town. So, there’s a lot of big ships, and brightly-colored houses which are really cool. And it’s really, really steep, trying to get up and down that road all the time. And, probably other than that seeing all my family I haven’t seen in a couple years.”

While in Dublin, their family stayed with her uncle’s family at their house. When they were traveling throughout the country, they stayed in numerous hotels. Harris said the only thing that was disappointing or out of her comfort zone was the cold.

“I’m fine with a little bit of cold, but I was wearing like three layers the whole time. But other than that it was great.”

Harris explained her favorite funny moment on the trip.

“Me, my aunt and my dad kept trying to take better pictures than each other. And so, after I would take a picture, my aunt would sneak up behind me and try to take the exact same one, just with a better quality phone, and we were trying to do that for the whole trip, which was just a disaster, but it was very entertaining.”

She also expressed how much she loves the foods they have in Ireland, and she brought some back with her to enjoy.

“I didn’t really get souvenirs because I already have a lot, but I got fruit pastilles, and some cadbury twirls. And teabags.” Harris said.

Although Harris has been to Ireland many times, she aspires to go back and explore more.

“I would want to travel inland to other countries other than just Ireland, because I’ve seen most of Ireland at this point. To maybe England or Spain, and probably just seeing more of the city. I’ve only really ever been in part of the city, mostly around Temple Bar and stuff, because there’s lots of little shops and stuff in there.”

When traveling, Harris loves to see local attractions rather than tourist attractions, especially when she’s been to certain places before.

“On this trip, when we were going to the other cities we did a lot of touristy stuff because we hadn’t been there in a long time or at all, but when you’re in a familiar place I like doing more local stuff, because I’ve already done the tourist stuff before, but if it’s a new place I kind of like a mix of both.”

She advises those traveling to Ireland only a few things: “Layers. Bring lots of layers, especially a raincoat. And, be open to trying things that might be a little bit different than what you’re used to. And, I would also say to take a lot of pictures because it’s going to be something you’re gonna want to remember.”