by Katie Tooze
It almost doesn’t feel like it’s been a whole six weeks since I arrived in Ireland. To say that it has been the adventure of a lifetime is quite the understatement. In this relatively short amount of time I have already learned, seen, and experienced so much. I’ve gotten settled into the townhouse, essentially mastered Dublin’s public transportation, been getting comfortable at my internship, and been on two weekend excursions to Galway and Dingle (with more to come), not to mention the language barrier! Around here crisps are chips, chips are fries, and if you hear someone talking about craic (pronounced crack), it’s not what you’re thinking. Craic is the Gaelic word for fun or entertainment. Needless to say, I’ve had a lot of craic in Ireland!
One thing that has caught me a little off guard here is the astounding beauty of Ireland. I knew that Ireland was beautiful, but I am surprised how often I am just awestruck by everything. Every landscape feature is incredible, I promise not one picture does Ireland justice. I’ve seen several incredible landmarks including St. Stephens Green in Dublin and the Cliffs of Moher, but I have to say that the most spectacular place that I have been to so far is definitely the Dingle Peninsula. One year National Geographic voted it the most beautiful place in the world. Not to mention we got to see Skellig Michael, the island filming location for “Star Wars” where Rey finds Luke Skywalker. I could write so much more, but I think I’ll just leave it there.
I often wonder how I got so comfortable here so quickly. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my routine that I almost forget that I’m 3,743 miles away from Dubuque. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel a random pang of homesickness every now and then, but one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far is to not let anything keep me from enjoying every second of my time here. Along with that, the best piece of advice that I received before coming to Ireland was to say yes to as much as I reasonably can (thanks JP). Saying “yes” has kept me so busy that even when I am missing home I can shift to thinking about all the wonderful memories I’m making. It also helps that my family and friends are only a FaceTime away.
To all Duhawks both home and abroad, I encourage you to make each day memorable (yes, even the average ones), continue being curious, and keep saying yes! Have a great semester!