Susan FitzGerald

I'm Susan FitzGerald.

I do this website because I love sharing the special places & things to enjoy in Ireland (where I live,)  London, and other places I visit. I adore hidden gems and off the beaten track & more unusual things to do, as well some more widely known. My aim is to give you information you can use to plan your own visits, as well as travel inspiration and photos & videos you'll enjoy.

I'm not a luxury travel blogger, because I can't afford it! I think most people can't, either. Sometimes we can afford  a special occasion splurge- but those are always good value special offer deals, so you won't be reading about totally pie-in-the-sky posh sponsored trips here.  Also, my travel style is eclectic; I love a good hostel, an out of the ordinary holiday rental, or a wonderful welcoming B&B  as well as that great value 4/5 star splurge in a boutique hotel-  but wherever I stay, I love the special & unique.

I'm not one for taking loads of sponsored trips, and if I am ever sponsored on/by anything, I will let you know!  You can be assured that my recommendations here are genuine & cannot be bought-- the fact that readers can trust what I write is paramount; otherwise what is the point of recommending anything?

If you want to know a bit more about me:

 I write, talk, photograph and go social media ga-ga about fantastic things to seedo, & eat, and special places to stay in in Ireland, London, and beyond. I travel solo as well as with my husband or with friends.
I'm a cultural omnivore &  I love the outdoors (I'm also a horticulturalist,) so you'll find info & photos on all sorts here.
I love good food, &  though I'm not chef-y, my hubby Terry is; so as well as great places to eat you'll find I share wonderful local food products & (coming soon) a few of Terry's recipes.

You can follow me by clicking any of the social media site buttons over to the right of this post, and if you'd like to email me, you can do so at hello@vibrantireland.com.

 Want to know more?

I'm originally from America, but I visited Ireland 18 yrs ago and fell in love. Not with a person, but with the country! I returned to the States, sold what little I had & came back.  I did eventually fall in love with & marry an wonderful Irishman- the aforementioned Terry! I started writing & tweeting Vibrant Ireland in November 2010, when it seemed that there was only bad news in & about Ireland. Of course, the fantastic scenery, nature, heritage and friendly folks were still here, and very interesting things were happening in arts & culture, food, & outdoor pursuits- but they weren't getting much airtime. To help rectify this I started writing about things in my local area, and tweeting interesting things from all over Ireland.

Now  I am also lucky enough to travel outside of Ireland tooand soon you'll also find my travel tips for London, Norway, and more on this website.

Here are some of my travel loves & dislikes- what are yours?

 Oh YES!   
I want to experience:
Arts, craft, culture, nature, new ideas, old traditions.
Character- across a wide range of styles.
Great design, and/or handmade items.
Good value- across any price point.
Friendly people, community-based projects, and organizations/companies with a positive ethos.

Oh NO!
I don't want to experience:
Places that are soulless, bland, cookie cutter or dirty.
People/orgs/companies that are disrespectful of difference, careless about peoples' safety, are rude, or just in it for the money.
Loud drunks, Ryanair, or food poisioning.
Yeah, I know, some of these are inevitable.

I especially want to share the hidden gems, whether those are places, events, food, or people making wonderful art, craft, music, writing- whatever! If that sounds like something you know of, or do yourself, please let me know!

So, if you know of or have a special Oh YES type of event, accommodation, restaurant, or relevant product you would like to me try, I am happy to consider to doing so, though of course I will be honest when/if I write about it.

You can email: hello@vibrantireland.com, comment on a Vibrant Ireland blog post, or tweet me.

 You want to know one more thing? How about my OTHER passion

Dogs! 1-Our dogs in the snow Ireland

 Terry and I have 4 rescued dogs of our own, and volunteer as transporters for A Dog's Life.ie as often as we can.
Unfortunately, Ireland has an overwhelming unwanted dog problem. Clicking on the A Dog's Life link will tell you more. This charity works to re-home Dunboyne pound dogs whose time is up. Failing that, they find places in, & transport to, no-kill shelters for as many as possible. One of these is our local, Inistioge Puppy Rescue, where we adopted our wonderful Rottweiler.

Dogs feature in my photos from time to time, & if you are a dog lover you may enjoy seeing them.
By the way; I also love cats, but some of our dogs don't- so we just enjoy other peoples' cats.

PS: a there is a fantastic, free service available if you have lost or found a pet in Ireland. Lost and Found Pets  list pets online, and have a free mobile app for Android. This is all done by a web designing dog lover, for free! Thank You LostandFoundPets.ie

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