Cheers to Ireland and London
I was only in Prague for two days for classes after I got back from Amsterdam to go to Ireland to visit my friend who was studying abroad there at Limerick University (Go Wolves!). I made sure to stop in London too! The best thing about this trip is that I was not expecting to go to both of these places at all because I thought it would be too expensive, it would be too much of a hassle to plan and I would just have to go another time in my life, whenever that would be. My choice to go was actually unexpected- my friend told me, so when are you visiting Ireland? Like I was definitely going to visit, I just didn’t know when. I put the idea of me actually going there out of my head because I didn’t think it would be possible even though I knew that I really needed to go to these places at one point in my life! So when she asked me that question, I thought that maybe I should look into it and see if I could do it. I am really glad that I decided to go because I stopped in London on my to Ireland so it was less expensive if I would have done the trips separately.
I traveled to London on my own and that was the coolest experience that I’ve had so far studying abroad. I felt the freedom of what it truly means to me on my own. I have to admit though, there were moments when I felt so completely worried and out of my element that I was just about to give up and just collapse into a ball. London, in itself, is extremely expensive because they’re on the British Pound, so that was constantly dreading handing over money whenever I needed to buy something. Also, I had no idea where I was going and I had no idea where I wanted to go. I knew of certain places but where those certain places was foreign. However, I reassured myself that I’ve got this and that I am capable of doing whatever I set my mind to. So I bought a map. And I glanced, stared, had the map fully extended outward to the size of the length of my arms. I looked like an absolute tourist but I wasn’t lost anymore. And I stopped worrying about the money because I am here in the now and I just needed to enjoy where I was because who knows when I’ll be back. I found myself getting lighter and the heaviness in my stomach faded and I was able to enjoy the beautiful city of London!
Then, I met my friend in Dublin where we stayed for that day. We ended up going on a tour bus to Northern Ireland. I was not expecting all the bright green grass and invigorating air. It was so refreshing. We went to the very northern point of Ireland where the ocean was and I was not expecting that the wind would knock me over. It was so strong and powerful! And I realized what my friend meant when she said the weather is ever changing is so inconsistent that there will be four seasons in a day. (I thought New York was bad, but it’s got nothing on Ireland!) My favorite part of this trip was going to the Cliffs of Moher, which was named after an old fort that used to reside there. It is absolutely breathtaking. We spent our whole day walking along the cliff’s edge, gazing out to the beautiful blue water. We got lucky because it was a sunny day and didn’t fluctuate with rainy weather which is rare. It felt great to get out in nature and hike and I felt so revitalized after being in the city for so long!
I got to see Limerick University which I was jealous of because it’s a campus unlike Prague which has building scattered all throughout the city. It was nice to be back in an enviornment that reminded me of New Paltz. I can’t believe how much I miss it!
If you have friends who are studying abroad, it makes it that much easier to navigate your way around the city or country because they know so much about it from living there! Take advantage of the places where your friends are studying and visit them and have them visit you. You will get so much out of the experience than you would if you just went by yourself. And it’s fun to see you friend again after being apart for so long!
I am glad that I went with what I truly wanted to do and planned this trip. Even if you have doubts and don’t think you should do something because you think it’s not worth it, try and see! Plan it out. While I didn’t get to do everything that I wanted when I was in London, it was definitely a learning experience of being on my own that I wouldn’t take back for the world.
Northern Ireland at Giant’s Causeway
Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland used in the Game of Thrones
Flowing with the Wind at the Cliffs of Moher
Trinity College Library in Dublin
Big Ben in London
St. Paul’s Cathedral in London