I call it Wet n Cold, Soggy, Wet Cat, Drenched, and Soaked to the Bone.
I call it Another Walk Home in Ireland.
This leads us into a discussion about the essentials when packing for Ireland, if you ever want to visit.
1. Rain Jacket
When you invest in a rain jacket, it should be one that will not die easily. And by die easily I mean, the zipper break should not break, the material of the jacket should not rip, it should be big enough to layer underneath, the jacket must have a hood, and it needs to be long enough keep your entire upper body dry. Two months in Scotland cost me two rain jackets. The first thing to die on both jackets was the zipper, blasted thing. Mama bought me this rain jacket about a month before I left home, and it’s still going strong!!
It rains in Ireland year round, but rain here is different. In Georgia, we are used to monsoons, which last about five minutes, and then the sun comes back out to dry it up like it never rained at all. That doesn’t happen here. The rain is a constant pelting from the sky. It is neither strong enough to be called a downpour nor it is weak enough to be called mist. Irish rain is some cold, pelting, crap that falls from the sky and manages to seep into everything. Your rain jacket will never keep you completely dry, but you will fare better for having one.
Slight anomaly: Irish people don’t wear rain jackets. They walk around in their wool winter coats or hoodies like it’s not a big deal getting soaked through to their skin. Have they not heard of pneumonia? Whatever.
Many people overlook the value of a good hat, but in my bag everyday is my blue Life is Good hat. When it’s storming out like it is today, that hat keeps my hair out of the wind, and the bill keeps the rain off my face.
I couldn’t tell you how many times, I’ve just given up and pulled my hair into a messy bun because the wind is so bad. It blows in all different directions hitting my eyes, getting in my mouth, and turning into a mess anyways. But when I wear the hat, I pull it through the hole in the back, put my scarf over it, and it stays perfectly in place. My hair might be a little flat by the time I arrive at work, but I would rather have flat hair than, wet, windblown, tangled hair.
The bill is clutch. Like I said, the wind blows in every direction, which in turn blows the rain in every direction. When I turn my head down a bit, the bill protects my face from the full force of the wind and rain. The ice-cold pelts still get to my cheeks, but not as often as they would if I just went with my hood. When you wear just the hood, it leaves your face completely vulnerable to the elements. The bill of the hat will protect you from them.
The boots I have on here have been through the war, and no body is signing a treaty anytime soon. They’ve been rained on, snowed on, alcohol spilt on, walked on, run on, crumpled into my book bag, and superglued back together four times now. I love them and the day I have to throw them out, I will probably cry a little.
I would recommend boots as a necessity to anyone who wants to travel. Maybe not knee-highs like I wear, but definitely ankle boots. Boots are essential because they are useful in almost every situation. Here, I wear these boots all over the city. They are my walking shoes because these boots have a good rubber sole. The rubber grasps the slick stone sidewalks and doesn’t let me slip and fall. Because they are knee-high, they make good rain boots. The back splash of walking (or running to catch the bus) doesn’t get all over the back of my legs.
Alas, these boots are about to see their last of Irish rain. Like I said, I superglued them back together, meaning I superglued the soles back on them. Water leaks in from the sides that refuse to stay glued together, not to mention the cracks in the boots on top of the foot. I think they will make it through February, but not much longer after that.
Peak winter like it is now, I would recommend a thick wool or knit scarf. During the warmer months, if it’s a cool day (which happen often) I recommend a light scarf to keep your chest and neck warm. Scarves go with any almost any outfit, and they are warm. At home, I have a collection of scarves in just about every color, pattern, and fabric.
Like I said earlier, I use my scarf to keep my hair contained as well as keep myself warm. I have one knit scarf that is a tri loop, which comes in handy on especially cold days. That particular scarf can be pulled up over my nose to help keep my face warm.
Or as we call it back home, a sweater. The key to staying warm on a freezing cold, rainy day like today is the jumper. I have added to my jumper collection and I am in love with them all. Multicolored jumpers, a Christmas jumper, and a crop top jumper are just a few of the ones I’ve gotten so far.
Cardigans line my closet for warm days and knit sweaters clump together for the cold ones. Layers, layers, layers. They are the secret to keeping warm in such a dreary climate.
Now, I can neither guarantee that these things will be needed nor that they will keep you dry. But each of them will help to make your time in Ireland that much easier.