If there was ever an article to convince you to go to the Aran Islands, this is undoubtedly it. 

"Part of the considerable allure of Aran lies in what it lacks," writes former Hollywood teen star and travel writer Andrew McCarthy.

For a recent piece in the New York Times, the "Pretty in Pink" actor headed to the three remote Aran Islands (Inishmore, Inishmaan, and Inisheer) - the predominantly Irish-speaking islands off the west coast of Ireland.

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McCarthy describes them as places where "there are no movie theaters and few cars; electricity only arrived in the 1970s."

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He adds that a local teenager, Thomas Kennedy, summed up one of the islands perfectly when he said, “There’s no facilities here; you rely on the people.”  

McCarthy, who also starred in "St. Elmo's Fire," decided to visit the trio of islands over the course of several months - hoping to find the same type of draw that W. B. Yeats and John Millington Synge did in their literary heydays.

“Live there as if you were one of the people themselves; express a life that has never found expression," Yeats allegedly told Synge.

Synge, author of the controversial play "Playboy of the Western World", spent most of his summers in his later years on the Aran Islands.

McCarthy could see the appeal of Inishmore, with its one shop, three pubs, one food store, one restaurant, and a small offering of Bed & Breakfast lodging.

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"The 12-square-mile island is home to roughly 760 people, most clustered around the main settlement of Kilronan, with the vast majority of terrain given over to small parcels of grazing and farmland, delineated by Aran’s most dominant feature, its dry-stone walls," he wrote.

He was also fond of the old-timeliness of the horse and trap rides and coffee carts selling local fudge.

An "outsider," an American woman married to a local man, hit the nail on the head when she told McCarthy, "You have to be ok within yourself to live here."

You can read the article in full here.

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