Ireland, has taken the top spot in the 'Fitting-in' category of the 2019 Annual Global Retirement Index, scoring 98 out of 100.
“Fitting in isn’t just about making friends with locals and expats,” says Jennifer Stevens International Living’s Executive Editor. “It’s also about feeling at home.
According to the judges:
'Ireland really is just how folks imagine—green fields are hemmed with little stone walls, cheery farmers wave from tractors, and narrow lanes are the haunt of stray sheep and cows. You are never far from a beach, a fishing spot, a golf course, or a literary gathering.
It comes with a storybook landscape of castles, sheer cliffs, and swans gliding across looking-glass lakes. There are old-fashioned horse fairs, cozy pubs where fiddle music rings out into the night, and seaside towns with houses painted all shades of the rainbow. But it’s the people that make it distinct—full of mirth and music.
“Along its southern reaches is the Dingle Peninsula, the westernmost tip of Ireland,” says Judy Garrison, IL contributor who highly recommends Dingle in County Kerry as one of the most welcoming places to sample authentic Ireland.
“Hearts began to melt, when in 1970, the movie Ryan’s Daughter acquainted the world with its shore of lush landscapes and jagged coastlines. And then there was Far and Away, and soon, the world couldn’t help falling in love with this emerald gem.
“With over 30 pubs on the Dingle Peninsula, you’ll never go thirsty. Make your first pint (remember it takes about three minutes to pour a perfect pint—and a pint is always a dark stout Guinness unless you ask for something different) at the South Pole Inn in the tiny village of Annascaul, County Kerry. Antarctic explorer Tom Crean and his wife opened the famed pub in 1927.
“Inside the intimate pub, a sizzling coal fireplace and warm handshakes greet visitors, walls and shelves are dressed with historical artifacts of Crean’s South Pole journeys. Look for the bright sea blue building.”
The culture and tradition passed down through the generations makes Ireland special.
“No visit to Ireland is complete without bringing home traditional Aran wool,” says Garrison. “Named for the islands off the coast of County Galway, the Aran wool sweater, a symbol of Irish heritage, has been worn by fishermen and farmers for generations. Each stitch weaves the family legacy of an Irish clan, and owning an Aran Sweater is an acquisition that will stand the test of time and cold weather.”