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.
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.)
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.
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.
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 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.
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.