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Dublin Trip Cancelled

For Wayne's Birthday on Friday, I bought him a surprise 5-day trip to Dublin. It's his 30th birthday so I wanted it to be special and he's always wanted to go to Ireland. I booked one of the best hotels in Dublin and have been doing research for weeks on what to do while we were there.
About a week ago, someone suggested that I look into whether I have the right visa to come & go in and out of the UK. To which I replied, "I thought Ireland was in the UK" - well, it's not. Northern Ireland is a part of the UK not Ireland as a whole and as it turns out, I can't go in and out of the UK as I please (well technically I can but last time I did, they threatened to send me back until I got a settlement visa). So, I had to cancel the trip for now. In September, we're going back to America to apply for my visa and until it's sorted out - No Dublin for me!
I'm embarrassed by my ignorance, but it's not like I was a big world traveller before Wayne came into my life and I guess I didn't pay attention in school the day they covered the UK and Great Britain.
I've been told by a few British people that they think the reason I didn't know that Ireland is not a part of the UK is because as Americans, we don't
pay attention to the rest of the world. Is this true?? Are we really that self-absorbed? Or is it that I really was more interested in the love affair
with my first love while in high school than I was Geography?

Anyway, instead of Ireland, we're going to explore more of England for a few days and making a long weekend of it. I'm looking forward to it - we always
have such a good time together.

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