By Lisa Burwell
My first trip to Ireland was in the summer of 1977 with my sister Laurie. I remember it vividly as it was the same summer Elvis Presley died. We were in a store in Galway City with our Irish cousins Peadar and Anne Marie Ryan who were showing us around the Salthill Promenade area when the news was announced over the radio. It was a shock that echoed around the globe—even in remote regions of Ireland, which seemed so far away from my home. The trip that summer was the first time my sister and I left home for such an extended period. The moment I heard the shocking news that the King of Rock ’n’ Roll died, it shook me to the core. I wanted to be back home to be in the comfort of my loving family, friends, and familiar surroundings.
One of the many heartwarming memories I have from that summer is that nearly everyone we met, either familiar or stranger, greeted us by saying, “You’re Welcome Home.” At the time, I found it to be a peculiar custom since it was obviously not my home, but the Irish are hospitable that way. Maybe they knew something that I didn’t at the time because many years later, I now consider Ireland my second home. So, when I travel there now and hear those words, they give me joy and comfort in a place where I now do feel like it is my home. I’m not sure if it’s because the Irish heritage is part of my DNA or if it is merely a feeling that I get when I’m there, but I cherish this custom of greeting that I once found to be odd. Others have told me they, too, feel at home when visiting Ireland, so it may just be the country’s magical forces at work.
Speaking of home, we have so many beautiful homes and places to reveal to you within this issue and hope that you marvel at the attention to detail and the talent of the architects, interior designers, developers, and visionaries that are showcased. Many of the stories you will read are about our advertisers who have partnered with VIE through the years. I’d like to extend a huge “thank you” on behalf of the team to all who have aligned with and supported us in creating something unique.
The feeling of safety and security that a home conveys is a primal human emotion, and it can never be underestimated. Over the years since that first memorable trip to Ireland, I have learned that “home” can be almost any place where one feels safe and welcome—even in the most remote locations far away from your hometown or within a sea of strangers in an active city. I can’t get it out of my mind these past few years how grateful I am for everything but mostly just that I do have a home, friends, and family. That is all one needs to be happy. So, as you peruse the pages of this issue (and future issues) of VIE, imagine that you hear the words “You’re welcome home.”
— V —