Driving along the Dingle Peninsula with no real sense of direction, my family and I learned that some of the true gems of the Emerald Isle are to be discovered off the beaten path. An internal compass guided us toward the prehistoric Dunbeg Fort. It was advertised only by a weathered sign on the side of the road, but the beautiful view rivaled any other we’d seen in our journey so far.
The thrilling sensation of being so close to such a fall was only matched by the cataclysmic rush of waves breaking against the cliffs. In such close proximity to the echoes of the ancients, I felt sure they shared in this eclipsing feeling of awe as they watched over the waters. Likewise, those that witness this breathtaking panorama in the future, maybe even you, will experience a profound appreciation that would be cheapened by words. This moment of clarity and wonder made the fortress seem as much a sanctuary to me now as it was to the people of the past. The experience was only heightened by the circumstances of our accidental discovery.
There is an Irish proverb which I feel best captures the essence of the experience: Your feet will bring you to where your heart is. The opportunistic traveler is rewarded with memorable adventures when inspired by the spirit of exploration. Any deviation from your itinerary should never be dismissed as a waste of time, but rather seen as a detour on the path of discovery.