Travel

And so the Grand Adventure Comes to an End…

dinner group at beach in Strandhill, Co. Sligo

Hey all yous, I type this post with mixed feelings. Tonight marks the end of my stay in Maynooth. Tomorrow I will catch a cab to the airport with two fellow SMC girls and head back to the States. It’s a bittersweet moment. I have learned and grown so much being here in Ireland and going on all these completely crazy and wonderful adventures not to mention the friends that I’ve made here and the people that I’ve met along the way.

It’s so weird to think that this time tomorrow I will not only be back home but that I also will not see everyday the faces that I’ve become used to seeing. My dinner group and Irish friends that we hang out and hit The Roost with. Well, actually this time tomorrow (about 1am Irish time) I will be asleep but that’s beside the point.

I was just chatting one last time with my friend Bridget in her room and we were talking about everything that’s happened this semester and reliving different crazy moments. Valentine’s Day. The Harlem Shake guy that I ran into. Various outings at The Roost. Our trip to Budapest. Our trip to Poland. Just so many different memories that we’ve created over the course of the last 5 months.

In all honesty, the whole prospect of leaving tomorrow morning just feels so surreal still. I know that it’s actually happening, I’m actually going home but I still can’t completely wrap my head around it. Even with my room looking so empty and sad, it still doesn’t seem real. I was telling Bridget that it probably won’t sink in until I either switch flights in Dulles or until after I get home. She won’t even return to the US for close to another month as her family is flying over and she’ll be traveling around Ireland with them for two weeks or so.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am happy about going home. To be able to see my parents face to face instead of just on Skype and to see my friends again, I can’t wait. I’ve just gotten used to living here. Though there are a few things from home that I’ve missed besides the obvious (family and friends). Like actually knowing what/where things are in the grocery store. We got pretty adept at finding our way around Dunnes and Aldi but knowing what certain things are called here or even knowing if they exist here was another matter. For example, the Irish don’t have alfredo sauce. They don’t know what that is. Or jelly. Jelly here is called jello. What do they call jello? I don’t know. Or how they don’t necessarily refrigerate eggs. We all found that kind of weird but that could just be an American thing. And showering, I can’t wait to take a nice shower in a big shower. That was maybe the only thing about our rooms that took some getting used to was the fact that the showers in our little bathroom were just that, little. I couldn’t take a shower without the shower curtain sticking to me if I turned around. So I definitely won’t miss that. At least, I don’t think I will.

But Ireland had really nice parts too. The landscape was always pretty. And the accents. Loved the Irish accent. I feel that’s going to be a bit of a jolt, to go back to strictly American accents. The drinking thing was kind of cool too. I won’t have too long to wait once I get home as I’ll turn 21 in a few months. But beyond that, just going to the pub for a drink is a good cultural experience. Depending on what night you go, it’s a calm, fairly chill affair. However, The Roost on a Thursday is guarenteed to be interesting. In Maynooth at least, it seemed that the students had an unspoken rule as to what establishment was what night. There was Mantra Mondays, Brady Wednesdays, and The Roost on Thursdays. Tuesdays were reserved for quiz night at The Roost if you chose to go and then most Irish students went home for the weekend. We really only went The Roost but that worked just fine for our group. There was a live band every week with good music and dancing.

Ah, there are so many things I could say. I can almost guarentee that we will all take home some of the Irish vocabulary that we’ve picked up here. Things like:

oh, for fuck’s sake

fecking

what’s the story?=what’s up, what’s going on

ah, it’s grand

cheers

shift=kiss

Those are probably the most common/popular ones that we’ve picked up.

I think that maybe the thing I’m most worried about going home is driving again. Not because I think that I’ve forgotten how to drive or anything but because I’m slightly worried that I’ll go to drive somewhere and start off on the wrong side of the road because I’ve gotten so used to the cars being on the left instead of the right. Hopefully that doesn’t happen but I guess we’ll all find out soon enough.

And as I sit here, reminescing over differents parts of the last several months as I type, I still can’t believe I’m leaving. I do so hope to come back someday. If I could travel to any country in the world, Ireland was my top choice. And I’m so thankful that I was able to come. I can’t thank enough those who helped me get here as well as those who I’ve grown close to this semester who’ve helped to enhance the experience.

As our friend Clayton has liked to say over the last few months, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.

And let me tell you, what a journey it has been. Definitely not one that I’ll soon be forgetting but definitely one that I’ll remember and cherish for years to come.

❤ Rachel

PS- And don’t worry fellow readers, you’ve only heard a smidgen of my adventures so far. Rest assured, I’ll continue them after I’m home.

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2 thoughts on “And so the Grand Adventure Comes to an End…

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