Award-winning Irish Youtuber, Clare Cullen, better known online as Clisare, has been treating us to some of the best sights and stories Ireland has to offer us over the last few years. And now, she’s looking forward to turning said cherished material into a form of travel book. I caught up with the ‘Irish Bucket List’ creator to chat all things Youtube, books and cúpla focail! ;)
Interview with ‘Irish Bucket List’ Youtuber – Clisare!
The Irish Bucket List series obviously grew popular on Youtube as it went on, but starting out, how did the idea spark? Was it to do with you having come back from Australia and just rediscovering the country again or did you actually believe it could go somewhere as a series?
I came home the year of the Gathering and there was such exciting things on all year that I knew it would be great fun and I could create some great content for my YouTube channel. I didn’t know how long I would do it for or how much fun it would be. I initially said it would be two years max and when that deadline passed, I decided I didn’t want to stop!
So, it started as a two year goal, to tick everything off. Now it’s just until there’s nothing left to do pretty much… was that a case of ‘I’m having too much fun’ or just the fact it was actually going somewhere and you saw the vision of more than a Youtube series at that point?
It was too much fun to stop. It gives me the drive and excuse to do things, gives my friends and I a reason to organise things. It’s such a source of motivation and some of my best memories in the last 2-3 years have come from doing things for it. It also found an audience – I don’t make money on the series, it’s not sponsored and I pay for quite a lot of the things that I do, so it’s not about that. I really love it and I think it shows in the videos when I’m passionate about what I’m making. I’m much more into the real-life, first person narrative than many of the sketches and skits.
Let’s talk about the book! … The big news. Congrats firstly! When did the idea come about and how did you start to go about materialising it and actually rurning it into something doable?
I decided over a year ago that I wanted to make it into a ‘quirky, coffee table travel book’, inspired by the Waterford Whispers book. Since then, it’s been all about trying to make that into a reality and thanks to Blackwater Press, it finally is one!
Have you got any material written for it yet or is that the next step? Is it daunting moving from a camera to words, or do you have experience writing in some way?
It’s all written in my head and all the pictures are on my computer – the next step is to put the words to paper and get the pictures in the right places! It’s not daunting, my degree is in journalism and I’ve been working as a journalist alongside YouTube for almost three years.
What kind of style are you planning to take with it – is it gonna be quite similar to the Youtube series or a downstep in comedy and more informative style or what way do you think it will go? I presume the material will have to slightly overlap in terms of places to see etc, but I’m sure there’s plenty of new things to go in as well?
The book is going to have a short, first-person experience piece for each activity, a ‘tips and tricks’ piece for the insider information, details on price and how/where to book, and a number of activities along the same lines. So, for example, if there’s one featured cycling activity there will be list of other cycling activities you might also like. There will be total 100 activities in the book, I’ll have done around 50-60 of them in the book plus more on YouTube. There will also be sections, so I’ll have a whole section on Game Of Thrones-related tours and activities!
It’s going to be a travel book essentially – is the plan to just release it in Ireland at the moment or is it heading for international release? ‘Cause it could probably make a great advertisement for Irish tourism!?
It is being released internationally – it will be in all Irish bookshops and available online worldwide. A lot of the audience is actually coming from America on YouTube, and the idea of the book is to both promote Ireland to Irish people but also to show tourists that there are much cooler things to do in Ireland than have a pint of Guiness! Although, they’ll of course have to do that too.
Seeing as a large amount of the deals I feature here are staycation deals across Ireland… I’m just gonna ask you a few quick fire questions in relation to the Emerald Isle…
Top 3 bucket list things or places you’ve ticked off so far!?
1 . Wrestled an alligator in the Reptile Zoo in Kilkenny
2 . Etihad Sky Walk in Croke Park
3 . Guinness World Record attempt for more ‘Clare / Claire / Clair’s in County Clare
Top 3 places to go out in Ireland!?
1 . Camping and surfing in Sligo – Sit around the campfire on the beach with some beers
2 . Johnnie Foxes in the Dublin mountains for dinner and the show
3 . Carlingford… it’s actually wild!
Top 3 Cúpla Focail!?
Ok, so my top three are all actually curses…
1 . Póg mo thóin – the most obvious one. Easy to learn but everyone will know it!
2 . Cic maith sa tóin ata de dlith air – ‘he needs a good kick up the arse’!
3 . Is cuma sa toll feisithe liomsa – IDGAF!
Donegal accents are the sexiest, in my opinion! Mayo accents are obviously the best otherwise. No bias whatsoever!
And finally, can you give our readers any advice on getting the most out of Ireland, or any little break/getaway really?
Start google searching ‘things to do in…’, ‘things to during [month]…’ and dive deep in the rabbit hole to find some really different things. Subscribe to email updates from deal sites like Groupon to get cheap and fun deals from around the country. Book during the week to save money (most hotels give midweek deals) and personally, I’d often camp instead – both to save money and have more fun. Most of all, relax. We’re a very laid back little country when we want to be and just letting things happen is how you’ll have the most fun. Oh – and talk to strangers! We’re great ones for the chats.
Flying the flag for the nation really, informing us doing the same route to college and work every morning that there’s a lot more to Ireland than the M7 and Coppers! ;) So to keep up to date with Clisare’s Irish Bucket List journey, or her Youtube channel in general, just click the links below.