And Finally, Ireland!

American Expat Dual Citizenship Travel to Ireland
Ireland from above: green, green and some more green.

So I’m just back from some spectacular–though embarrassingly long overdue– travels to Ireland. It was a dreamy few days, but not long enough and I’m already trying to sort out the next few weeks so that I can return STAT.

For all the times I’ve traveled to Ireland, I’ve never “done Ireland.” I’ve been to Dublin and Leitrim, however the Ring of Kerry, Cork, Galway, the Cliffs of Moher, the fabled North and more are waiting to be seen, and there’s a Blarney Stone waiting for a kiss. Since living abroad,  I have always had my mind set on doing a big Ireland trip and coupling seeing the unseen with quality family time. Alas, that hasn’t happened and–especially since my quality family time was six years and counting in the red–I couldn’t wait any longer and booked a flight.  It was so darn easy and I should have just done it sooner. All week, I have been kicking myself for taking so long to travel to Ireland.

As you might know, I’m half Irish and hold dual citizenship through Ireland, so needless to say I couldn’t wait to travel to Ireland and enter with my Irish passport. I landed in Dublin Airport, trekked the seemingly endless schlep through Terminal Two and arrived at immigration where a painfully long line for “EU Passport” holders stretched before me. To my right, however, there was nary a soul on the Non-EU Passport Holders line. Since I have no patience (and also because the lengthy Terminal Two schlep was a hindrance that I had not anticipated), I asked myself, why wait on this line if I don’t have to? So I begrudgingly retrieved my US Passport and presented it to the gentleman inside the Non-EU passport holders booth. He glimpsed the maroon cover of the EU passport in my hand and asked politely, “What do you have there?”

“I also have an Irish Passport,” I responded.

“You do,” he half-asked/half-affirmed as he reached for it.

“Yes, my mom’s Irish,”

“Why don’t you just use that?” he asked obviously confused as to why I would show another passport when entering the country that had distributed one of mine. “You can just go right through.”

“I can?”

“Sure.”

“Thank you!” Then I gave him a song and a dance about how I thought the line was for non-EU passport holders only so I opted to use my American one because of the queue for EU passport holders.

He shook his head, smiled and waved his hand to indicate that I should go ahead and proceed into Ireland on my Irish passport. Three steps forward later, I was in!

(Note: I would just like to point out that for bureaucratic reasons, Italy would have never let me enter with an EU passport on a non-EU passport line.)

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