Lots of travelers who visit Ireland see the popular sites that have been beefed up by the Irish Tourism Board so that they can comfortably handle lots of people at one time. These are the famous attractions - The Cliffs of Moher, Newgrange, Blarney Castle, Kilarney, the Ring of Kerry, the Burren, Connemara. And these are most worthy sites.
THIN PLACES TOURS ARE DIFFERENT My tours are a bit different. The focus of my tours is "thin places" or places where the veil between this world and the eternal world is thin. These are mystical places connected to heroes, legends, stories of people from the Otherworld. These sites have been sacred for thousands of years. They are often part of "hidden Ireland." The part of Ireland that isn't in the guidebooks or on most of the coach tours.
THE GATHERING - 2013 For the year 2013 Ireland is welcoming all the Irish, Irish descendents and those who are Irish in spirit to come home to Ireland. Villages, towns, cities and rural areas will be readying their homeland to welcome you for The Gathering. Our Thin Places Tour of the North in September 2013 will be part of that celebration.
While our tour will include well known sites such as the Antrim Coast, St. Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh, Belfast, Derry and Donegal town, it will also include some of the most rugged, stunning scenery in the world, and will include a full day on the holy island of Inishmurray. The sites will include stone circles, passage tombs, druid sites, sacred hills, holy mountains and monastic ruins. We will cover the six counties of Northern Ireland and Donegal (part of the Republic of Ireland). Guests will have me as their full time guide and be escorted to remarkable places.
This tour will be a life-changing experience. You will never be the same - you'll find something in Ireland - something that is specifically for you.
The complete information on the tour, itinerary, list of sites and registration is on the Thin Places Tour website. Please visit it and consider "coming home to Ireland."
Follow the Travel Hag
In an effort to consolidate her
travel writing, Mindie Burgoyne has launched a new
Travel Hag - specifically focused on travel
suitable for older woman who may not be skinny and
always energetic. Sites cover historic small
towns, mystical places, and outdoor activities such
as camping and kayaking. While Mindie's focus
is on Maryland and Ireland, she will also include
posts on Maine, Savannah, Salem, Connecticut, Outer
Banks, and the Blue Ridge Mountains this year.
I have over 211 Facebook friends who are writers. I
have personally met only 56 of them - most only once
or twice at a conference or seminar where I
presented. Out of the 211, I would call about 30
personal friends or people I would miss if they
weren't in my life. If any one of these 30 writers
asked me to spread the word about a new publication,
or highlight an event, or help with making some
connections - I would do my best, and be happy to
help. I am a strong connection for these folks - as
they are for me. The relationship with 26 of these
30 friends was developed and strengthened through
Facebook - in some cases, Facebook is the ONLY
platform used to develop the friendship.
How long would it have taken me to develop
connections like that outside of Facebook? One good
friend is better than 100 acquaintances. Through
these friends and their connections, I've been
granted interviews, gotten introductions, connected
with agents and new publishers, and had doors open
for new opportunities both in writing and in
Here's 5 tips for Writers who want to make the
most of Facebook:
Keep the status' short. - Think of your
status post as a headline in a newspaper. What
is going to make people stop scrolling down the
newsfeed and read your post? If you continue to
offer posts people find interesting, they'll
make it a point to stop at your name in the
Newsfeed. The shorter the post is, the more
likely it will be read.
Comment, comment, comment - The most
powerful tool in social media is the comment
feature. Being able to talk back makes the
platform social. Use this feature 10X more than
the post feature, that is ... focus on others
10X more than you focus on yourself. Interest
in others builds strong relationships.
Do post links to articles, blog posts, and
interesting material on the web, but make it
only 1/3 or less of your total postings. If you
become a "one topic poster" interest in your
Facebook posts will wane. Your Facebook profile
should tell about you, the person ... who is
also you the writer.
Be mindful of how often you post - About 70%
of my wall posts are done from my phone, because
my job takes me on the road. You want to post
often enough that people remember you, but not
so often that your bore your friends to death,
or clog up their newsfeeds. If you cant think
of something interesting to put in your status
bar, then comment on others' posts. Make it
sincere. I try to post something daily... even
if only comments.
Use your sense of humor - If you have a
sense of humor, here is where you'll profit from
using it. People always stop and read the posts
of funny people. Humor gets the most consistent
exposure, and helps develop more relationships
with less effort.
Be conversational, interested in others, offer
some interesting content, but most of all .... give
your facebook friends a little insight into who YOU
ways or tips for getting the most out of your
Ireland vacation ...
1. RENT A CAR IF POSSIBLE: Many first-time
American visitors will use a tour bus for the land
portion of their trip because they are fearful of
driving in a foreign country, on the wrong side of
the road on the wrong side of the car. If you are a
good driver, you will be able to handle driving in
Ireland. If you're a little nervous, rent a car with
an automatic transmission. It costs more, but
shifting is one less thing to think about while
The flexibility of having your own car is twice
or three times the value of being dependent on a
second party. Also, it's often cheaper to make your
car rental reservations on line when you book your
airfare. I use Orbitz and Travel Zoo. You can
specify the size of the car, insurance choices and
standard vs. automatic, and it will be ready for you
when you arrive at the airport.
2. GET A GOOD ROAD MAP OR TWO: - I always
use two different maps - ....read full post.