Week 6

It’s hard to think that week five have already passed me by, and I’m embarking on week six. My journey is almost half way over and yet I feel like I’m just beginning. I had this ideology in my head of what studying abroad would look like and if I’ve learned anything over the last few weeks, it’s that things aren’t always how they appear.  Although I’m an introvert who doesn’t drink, I imagined that would suddenly change while I was here. That would suddenly go out to parties all the time, meet new people constantly, drink in bars till all hours of the night and that regardless of what I was doing, it would always be an adventure. That too is not the case. Studying abroad has been a beautiful experience, I’ve met new people, I’ve had adventures, but I’ve also spent quality time inside, with my self. I haven’t drank or gone to bars that many times while I’ve been here, and though that was how I imagined it to be, I’m okay that it’s not.

The last few weeks have been stressful, hence my lack of writing on my blog. I’ve more or less quit my job back home, have been applying relentlessly for new ones, while also trying to find a new place to live (bless my sister’s heart who has taken the reigns on finding me a place to live and moving me in while I’m gone). I was also offered a job, but because I’m in Ireland I had to decline. I’ve felt as though my life was passing me by in Oregon, and here I am in Ireland unable to do anything about it. I almost began to regret traveling abroad. I’d see pictures of my friends back home and I so desperately wished I was with them. It was as though I was trying so hard to live my life as if I was back in the states, that I forgot about the life I have here in Ireland and the incredible opportunity I have to be studying over here. A friend of mine has a tattoo that says, “breath in the moment”. I use to mock him relentlessly for it, but now I finally understand the meaning behind it. It’s the idea of being present wherever you are,to soak in and appreciate the here and now.  Since coming to that realization, my outlook on this experience has certainly changed.

This last week I decided to take full advantage of being in Ireland. My roommate and I visited the sweet little town of Ennis on Friday which is about an hour away from Limerick.  My favorite part about visiting new towns is the bus ride getting there. I love driving through Ireland and seeing the beautiful scenery. Ennis was a picturesque town with colored houses and adorable shops. Everyone was so nice too. Correction, everyone in Ireland is nice period, not just in Ennis. We visited a small coffee shop that had drinking chocolate. {if you don’t know the difference, I highly recommend you try it. It’s like hot chocolate but it’s made with real chocolate. Once you try it, you will never drink regular hot chocolate again}. The owner also set out complimentary blankets outside so you could drink your beverage outside and still be warm.   On Saturday my study abroad program went to Kilkenny which is about two hours from where I live.  There was only 2 people from my school going (the rest go to Dublin University so the taxi driver was so thoughtful and made stops along the way so we could see more Ireland. We stopped at a couple of castles along the way, which was fun. In Kilkenny we went to Kilkenny castle which a phenomenal sight to see. We also visited the Smithwick’s brewery. Smithwick’s is a very popular beer here. Personally, I thought it tasted like Bud Light, which is gross. No thank you! We did however get a free pint so I don’t have much to complain about (: The great thing about doing a study abroad program is that there are trips included in the cost. It really gives you the opportunity to see places that you may otherwise not have the chance to see.

I’ve made it a point to start exploring more of Ireland. It hit me the other day that I only have two more months is this beautiful country. The way of life is just completely different. It’s a slower pace, people are so friendly, friendly, generous, and always happy to strike up a conversation. People are traditional in their ways, and the kindness that is shown to strangers is unreal.  I’m feeling nostalgic for it and missing it already.

The most adorable little coffee shop in Ennis.
The most adorable little coffee shop in Ennis.
The sweet little town of Ennis.
The sweet little town of Ennis.

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I have never seen anything as beautiful as Ireland in the Fall.
I have never seen anything as beautiful as Ireland in the Fall.

A few of my friends from Dublin University. It's crazy to think that at the end of this journey I will have friends froma all over the word.
A few of my friends from Dublin University. It’s crazy to think that at the end of this journey I will have friends froma all over the word.
Smithwick's brewery. The beer wassn't so wonderful, but it was awesome to learn about its history see the facility.
Smithwick’s brewery. The beer wassn’t so wonderful, but it was awesome to learn about its history see the facility.
Killkenny Castle
Killkenny Castle

Rolling hills of Ireland. This is exactly how I imagined Ireland to be. The pictures don't serve as justice to how beautiful this country is.
Rolling hills of Ireland. This is exactly how I imagined Ireland to be. The pictures don’t serve as justice to how beautiful this country is.
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