Yesterday, I was asked the same question twice in two situations. One was during a live webcam chat on blogtv.com. The second was during my weekly Wednesday night discussion group at the Presbyterian Center on campus. Both of them had the same gist of a different answer.
When I hear Irish music, or I read about Irish culture, or I learn about its history, I feel some connection to what I take in. You may immediately assume it has something to do with my heritage. Yes, I am indeed part Irish...but I'm also part English, German, Welsh, Spanish, and Scottish. So what makes Ireland different from the rest of my countries of origin. Ireland is not where most of my ancestors come from - England and Scotland take the cake in that respect. To my knowledge, there weren't many really notable people in my Irish ancestry - my German ancestors were royalty in some way or another. Wales and Scotland were both Celtic countries just like Ireland. I don't really dislike any of the music of the other countries of origin. I feel like marching every time I hear the bagpipes playing "Scotland the Brave," and England's The Who remains my family's favorite band of all time.
So what puts Ireland above the rest in my book? That's part of the reason I dream of going to Ireland - to find out. Could I be called to work in reconciliation mission work between the Catholics and the Protestants? I'm not on a record search to find my ancestors in Ireland, but I am trying to find that emotional, spiritual, and almost religious connection I have with the Emerald Isle. The mystery further expands the agony of the seemingly far away goal of actually going there.
...but in the end, it will make it all the sweeter.
P.S. My funds took a hit yesterday, due to some financial necessities. A pretty big hit, but I know I'll find a way to pull through it. Gonna be looking for a campus job soon.