You never forget the first time you visit Ireland (unless you were an infant, in which case it’s slightly understandable). The smell and texture of the air as you leave the plane, the kindness of the people if you need advice or directions, the overwhelming beauty of the landscape as you journey on to the cities, towns, family members, nature trails, ancient castles, cozy pubs you came to see.

We at IrishCentral know what a special experience it is, which is why we want to hear about your first trip to Ireland. The person who submits the winning story, judged by our team of editors, will receive an award of $300.

To be in with a chance to win, send the following to no later than 11:59pm EST on February 17, 2017

  • Approx. 500 words about your first trip to Ireland. We want to know: when you went, why, what your first impressions were, what you did while you were there, if you left with any great stories, and if you’ve been back since.
  • At least three photos from your trip (but you’re very welcome to send more!)

The stories of the top four runners up will be published on IrishCentral February 25 - 28. The winner will be announced on March 1, 2017, at the start of Irish American Heritage Month, and will have his or her story published on IrishCentral that day.

Best of luck to all of our readers! We can’t wait to hear about your visits to Ireland.

Read more: Announcing the winner of IrishCentral's flight to Ireland giveaway