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One of the wonderful opportunities in being part of a global association is the chance to meet and build relationships with others around the world.  Through Salveson Stetson Group’s affiliation with IIC Partners, we have joined annual meetings in interesting places; last year, our meeting was in Thailand, and this year we met in Ireland.

I was excited about visiting Ireland, as I heard it is called the Land of 1000 Welcomes.  I thought that was just a nice slogan made up by a marketing firm, but I was wrong.  It truly is very fitting!

I’ve highlighted a few thoughts on what I learned during my visit in Ireland:

  • Yes, it does rain or drizzle often, which makes the landscape very green.  However, the sun does shine as well!  We were fortunate during our trip to have enjoyed sun-filled mornings.
  • The pubs are the best places to meet people.  Of course, we had to test this out, and test we did.  The locals go out of their way to talk to you, give you suggestions of places to visit and are filled with pride to show you the country.  They are great ambassadors.
  • Irish dancing truly is what it’s cracked up to be.  I was amazed at how exciting it was to watch them.  It looks like a great form of exercise, but I didn’t want to embarrass myself so I only observed – maybe next time.
  • The taxi drivers in Ireland are friendly, helpful and great tour guides. We even had several drivers who turned off their meters and wouldn’t charge us for a short ride. They went beyond the call of duty!
  • If you are having a bad day, go and join an Irish “sing along.”  It doesn’t matter if you can sing in tune or not – just join in, and you’ll feel like your day has turned around.  It is fun, and you will begin to wonder if you may have some “Irish” in your blood after all.

If you have an opportunity to visit Ireland – either exploring Dublin or the beautiful countryside – you should not pass it up.  When you raise a glass at a pub, be sure you say “Sláinte” to endear yourself to the locals.  They will appreciate you speaking their language and will invite you back to visit.  After all, it is the Land of 1000 Welcomes.

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