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Ireland: Can you handle me?

Dear Ireland,

 

You better be prepared for what is about to hit you. I am visiting Cork Ireland for about a month and I can’t wait. It will be the longest time I have been outside the United States. I have had a couple of trips across the Atlantic before but only a week to two weeks at a time, plus they were only touring the country so I never really got to know people there. Not to say I didn’t have a great time, but I never got an in-depth look at the modern culture like I wanted to.  A month in Ireland gives me time to go visit the local sites, meet the local people, get to know more about it as a country and I can’t wait.

 

I am excited the most to see things and meet people I am not even expecting. I wonder how strong the accents will be. I know they speak Gaelic but does everyone speak it or just some people? I read somewhere that only a small percentage actually speak it but everyone is taught it. What if I meet a best friend? What if something happens and I find a job by some off chance? These are legitimate worries of mine. I know crazy, but I am excited to even have the possibility of something like this happening.

Ireland be prepared, a curious person is coming.

Arriving in Cork

  Leaving the airportAs of today, I have been in Ireland for 11 days. From the Thursday I arrived it has been a nonstop journey.

Here is just a glimpse of what my days have consisted of.

  • Saturday, June 8th
    • Hop on/Hop off tour of the city of Cork
      hop on hop off tour
      During the Hop on/Hop off tour of Cork
  • Sunday, June 7th
    • Went on a Paddy Wagon tour to the Cliffs of Moher (one of the tops tourist places in Ireland)
      Cliff of Moher
      Sitting on the edge of the world 🙂 Cliffs of Moher
  • Monday, June 8th
    • First day of Irish History Lectures
    • Visit St. Finn Barre Cathedral and The Elizabeth Fort
    • Movie night with the class, “Waking Ned Devine”
  • Tuesday, June 9th
    • Lectures during the morning and afternoon (all day)
  • Wednesday, June 10th
    • Daytrip #1
      • Kissed The Blarney Stone and enjoyed the nature of the park
      • Ran in to Madison’s Momma 🙂
      •  Walked the Pier at Kinsale (Probably my favorite Irish City I’ve been to)
      • Toured & Explored the beauty of Charles Fort
        charles fort
        At the top of Charles Fort
      • Celebrated Jacob’s birthday at Chamber’s (Free cake & Sparking Grape Juice)
  • Thursday, June 11th
    • More lectures (I’m going to tell you every time I’m in class, just so you think I’m actually learning, in which I am… It’s just a lot more fun!! :P)
    • Travel to Edinburgh, Scotland for the weekend

The first week, as you can see, there is barely any time for sleep!

Let the Games Begin

Arriving in Ireland and spending about a week here has already exceeded my expectations. Over the weekend I visited the Cliffs of Moher with a group of people I am studying with and it was absolutely breathtaking. It was by far the neatest and prettiest place I have been. I still have 3 weeks left to see Ireland and travel to different places and I could not be more excited. Exploring the town of Cork is awesome because it is so different from home. Everyone is so friendly and they are very helpful in situations for instance like getting lost and not knowing how to get back to your apartment.

For me it is already hard to be away from home and my mom but this is a once in a lifetime experience and I am so thankful to be here. Getting homesick is a normal thing but the friends that I have already made on this trip has made this journey easier. On a trip like this it is very easy to make friends. Most of the people come over here not knowing anyone like myself so I have had the opportunity of getting to meet 14 other students and potential friends for years to come. This experience is out of my comfort zone but it has already broken me out of my shell. I am doing things I did not think I would be able to do because of my anxiety. It does take a little time adjusting to a new culture and just a new environment in general. I have been here about a week and this experience is already eye opening to me. Being able to experience another culture and learn their history is an incredible opportunity and it opens your eyes to the world outside of America.