I hopped off the airplane and stepped onto American soil today. I had feelings of happiness, to see my family, and sadness, knowing that my European adventures are over for now. I spent three weeks traveling throughout Ireland with one of my University’s faculty lead study abroad programs. When I was getting ready for this new stepping stone in my life, I was so nervous for it was my first time flying alone and out of the country. I was also imagining so many memories that I would create. What I ended up experiencing, would be something amazing and unimaginable, surpassing all expectations.
What I was most anticipating was seeing the gorgeous landscapes that I have seen in pictures. You know those pictures people take that never do the moment justice? That’s how I felt when seeing the entire countryside. My favorite part of my journey was going to Co. Wicklow. Our tour guide took us on an amazing hike through the woods that ultimately led us to an astonishing view one would not get staying on the standard path. On top of seeing Co. Wicklow, I got to see the Cliffs of Moher, Powerscourt Gardens and the Connemara Mountains near Galway.
Throughout my time in Ireland, I also got to learn a lot about the history of the country. From its Viking roots to the 1916 Rising, I got to not only learn in the classroom but see historical sites that people from thousands of years ago made with their own two hands! In Dublin, I got to see Dublin Castle, the National Museum of Ireland, a 1916 walking tour, and I got to live in the dorms of Trinity College, Dublin. For one of my Independent traveling weekends, a few other people in the program and I went to Galway and we experienced life on the other side of the Island. At Co. Wicklow, there is a town called Glendalough that is home to the ruins of St Kevin’s Monastery. While walking the grounds, a feeling of awe came over me knowing of the rich history surrounding the place.
This will be an experience that I will never forget. I got to see a totally different culture, make new friends and be immersed in history dating before the birth of Christ. I do not know if any other trip that I will have will ever come close to this one. I hope someday I can come back and have more memories in this great country.