Lost in Ireland: A Nature Getaway for a Nomadic Soul

(Editing note: October 10 is the World Mental Health Day. This post is dedicated to women's mental health. As a new mom, self care and work-life balance are extremely crucial. Traveling is one of the best therapeutic ways to take care of both SAHM and working mom's mental health)

The first time when I went on a trip without Ollie was a couple of months ago. It was a 7-day trip in the Republic of Ireland. There was probably no such thing as "post babymoon", but if you were a tired and stressful mom, would you prefer to have one getaway, just for some peaceful time only focusing on yourself, your body and soul? As for me, this trip was also a goodbye to my stay-at-home-mom life and the beginning to a new me.

Ireland was such a "green" country with beautiful nature and scenery spots. Renting a car and rolling along mountains and small towns was a perfect way to discover this breathtaking island. Here are my top five places that helped me de-stress from postpartum life:

 1. Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher is ranked as the number one most visited spot in Ireland, a true natural wonder of the world. It is best known for its high altitude and steep shapes caved by clashing waves, and its panoramic view of the Atlantic ocean.
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
It was quite foggy and cold in the morning in Ireland. In order to have the best photography opportunity, I would suggest visiting in the afternoon or during sunset, when the cliffs faced right in the direction of the sunlight. Cliff climbing was an excellent exercise for a postpartum body. The sound of the tides and breezy wind from the ocean worked in the nature's way healing an anxious soul struggling with new mom life.

2. Skellig Island
You might have heard about Skellig Island because it was one of the film locations of "Star Wars: Force Awaken". To visit the island, you can book a tour that departs from the marina at Portmagee, Kerry. Whether you are Star Wars fan or not, this small island has a mystery history and a wealth of wildlife. Puffin is one of the popular birds on the island.
Skellig Island-"Star Wars: Force Awaken" filming location
Did you ever feel like a bird that just got released from a cage? That was me running down all the way towards the bottom of the hill, with bare feet, just to feel the sands going through my toes and waves clashing on my knees. Sometimes beach and sands could be a fast remedy to wash away your stress, like the waves coming at you with a strong force but slowly it would take away most of that stress and flow back to the deep dark ocean.

3. Powerscourt Estate and Gardens
When you needed a break form cliffs and islands, a royal garden called Powerscourt Estate, was located about 20 mins outside of Dublin. The free audio tour was provided at the entrance to guide you walk around the mansion and learn about the history of the estate and statues. Don't forget to take a stroll by the Japanese garden, golf course and waterfall. If you are planning for a wedding, apparently, Powerscourt is one of the top venues in Ireland.
Powerscourt Estate and Gardens, Ireland
I was a romantic at heart, but motherhood made everything too real and tough. As a new mom, it was not always easy to find desires to dress up and put on makeup (whatever fancy clothes will get messy in just a second anyway). Sometimes, I just needed a motivation to lift up and to feel happy again. As you can see in the picture, I couldn't help running in the center of the beautiful garden, smiling like a little girl with a pretty princess dream. 

4. Killarney National Park
The peaceful lakes in Killarney National Park, Ireland
Serenity, was the exact word to describe the lakes in Killarney National Park. It's one of the biggest parks in Ireland, with waterfalls, hiking trails and the most tranquil lakes that I've ever seen. What a great place to do yoga and practice breathing and meditation! To challenge myself, I also hiked the longest route all the way to the Gap of Dunloe (32K steps, almost 14K miles). It was the longest hiking workout since postpartum. My body was soft and weak, but the physical challenge gave me empowerment of courage and persistence. Setting a workout goal and trying everything to achieve it helped me re-gain determination and confidence.

5. Ice Cream at Dingle
Besides hiking and climbing, I didn't forget treating myself something sweet for all the hard work. Ireland is renowned for its dairy products, and the ice cream in Dingle is the best in the whole country. Imagine me indulging a scoop of ice cream from Murphy's, while sitting back and enjoying this scenery view. Life is a long journey with different chapters and challenges. I couldn't find a better way to rejuvenate than traveling, exploring and appreciating the beauty of Mother Nature.

Ring of Kerry, Ireland

What's your favorite place to help de-stress from new mom life?

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