Slán go fóill, Ireland. Thank you.

I’ve been putting off writing this post for at least five or six days now. It’s the last one I’ll write from Dublin, and I feel this strange kind of pressure to make sure it’s a good one — to have some kind of magical epiphany about life and travel and wow you all with my new-found wisdom.

But I’ve reached the final hour. The clock is ticking on my last day in Dublin. So this blog post is being written, epiphany be damned.

Here's a picture of Peacock Green instead. They make great vanilla chai lattes.
Here’s a picture of Peacock Green instead. They make great vanilla chai lattes.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be catching a flight from Dublin to Boston, where my family will be waiting. At Terminal C. At 6pm. Hopefully. (Are you reading this, Mom? 18:00 means 6pm. Not 8pm. Please don’t come at 8. I’m sure Logan Airport is lovely, but I’d rather not spend two extra hours there.)

As lovely as Logan may be, it's no Irish coastline.
As lovely as Logan may be, it’s no Irish coastline.

After four months abroad, I’m really looking forward to heading home. There’s a lot that I’ve missed, my family and my cat most of all. And now I get to go home to a new little friend, too. My sister somehow magically convinced our mom that my darling Zoey needed a buddy, and so Emmie joined our family a few days ago. She’s an adorable little black kitten with green eyes — I can’t wait to meet her.

Meet Emmie, world!
Meet Emmie, world!

But as excited as I am to return to the States, I’m still incredibly grateful for the experiences I’ve had this semester. In many ways, Ireland is a lot like the US. I mean, they still speak English here after all. And yet even so, there’s a lot that’s different, some of it so seemingly insignificant that I’m not even sure I could I could pinpoint what it is.

Either way, I’m leaving Dublin with more perspective than when I arrived. I’ve seen more of the world in the past few months than I’ve ever seen in my life. From Belgium to Denmark with quite a few stops in between. Europe has taught me to open my eyes. To say yes and take in everything.

Most of all, I think it’s taught me about myself. I’ve always been shy and a bit self-conscious; I think many of us are. But studying in Dublin has given me confidence. I can live in Ireland, navigate foreign airports, and explore foreign cities. I can climb to the top of the world in Florence, Rome, Brugge, Copenhagen. I can do so many beautiful, amazing things. And I can do it on my own if I have to.

I also ate some good food. This French toast hit the spot.
I also ate some good food. This French toast hit the spot.

Luckily, I often had friends by my side. Two girls who I hardly knew aside from constantly thinking they were “cool” from afar have suddenly become two of my closest friends. I can’t imagine traipsing around Europe with anybody else. We finished off our trip back where we started, grabbing brunch from Elephant & Castle. Tomorrow Apartment 29 will fly home. To Midlothian, to Merrimack, to Saratoga, and to Galway.

I adore these two.

I think its been a very befitting last week. Over the weekend I volunteered for the last time at Fighting Words Dublin, we visited the zoo and I saw six elephants, we sat in St. Stephen’s Green, read books and sipped lattes in a cafe, saw a movie at an Irish cinema, ate a picnic lunch in Phoenix Park. On Tuesday after class Abbie, Sarah, and I took the DART to Howth to hike the cliffs, catching one last glimpse of Ireland’s beauty. I’ve treated myself to extra lattes and we’ve watched movies in our apartment at night, laughing about something ridiculous each time.

I couldn't get close enough to the elephants for a good picture, so here are some giraffes.
I couldn’t get close enough to the elephants for a good picture, so here are some giraffes.

Right now, home seems like the perfect place to be. But give me a week. I promise you I’ll miss all of this. Excuse my cheese, but Dublin is always going to have a little corner of my heart. For that, I’ll always be thankful.

One thought on “Slán go fóill, Ireland. Thank you.

  1. The sights and sounds you have done and shared will stay with you, but I am glad you are returning to the states and glad you are bringing with you great experiences and new friendships. Be safe grand-daughter and travel well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s