With almost three weeks behind me, there’s so much that I have learned about studying abroad and about myself. I broke my laptop week one of my trip, so I have been disconnected from all of my responsibilities and a little more distant from the outside world. While attempting to find a solution, one of the people helping me asked: “Why can’t she just use her phone to write papers and use it as she would a laptop?”. In my head I was thinking, wow this man is crazy. We’ve grown accustom to having both a phone and a laptop that can connect us with the outside world and just one isn’t good enough.
So, what have I been doing for these past three weeks? I started in one of the most beautiful country in the world, Ireland. Dublin was very similar to a lot of the cities I’ve been to in the past. And for the longest time we felt as though we were still in America because of the language and the city as our backdrop. With the one difference that when we turned some corners there were huge castles…
Traveling from Philadelphia to Dublin was one of the longest journeys of this trip. My flight was delayed and they had to change my connecting flight from London to Dublin to 4 hours later. At the time, I was so nervous because we had a reservation at the Guinness Factory only 2 hours later and I did not think I would be able to make it through customs, change, and arrive on time. Honestly, everything happens for a reason because I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the London Heathrow Airport but it is HUGE. When I mean huge I mean you have to go in a 10 minute shuttle from one section to the next. After this we were in lines for hours and had to go through security again in order to get to our gates. If I’d had my first flight with only one hour in between, I wouldn’t have made it through. Best part about being delayed? I got all of my meals paid for in each of the airports. I’m talking at least $15 worth of vouchers for any restaurant I wanted. I still have some of the snacks I bought because I’m saving them for a rainy day.
As luck would have it, I arrived in Dublin with enough time to get to our reservation 3 minutes late. If you could have already guessed it, the people at the Guinness factory could not care less if you are 3 minutes late to a reservation. We walked right into the tour with no problem at all. The entire tour is self guided and has different floors where you could learn about the different aspects of the beer. For instance, one was about the ingredients, the taste, the ads, the pouring, etc. The whole time the best part of the tour was learning how to pour a perfect Guinness and being able to go to the skybar and see Dublin from above.
We made it to the Skybar and through the entire house with about 10 minutes
before the Skybar closed and we had to leave. We made our way through Dublin to a little part called Temple Bar which was where we were told to go out and eat. Apparently this was where all the young people were. We explored Temple Bar and found a castle that was so beautiful and massive, finally bringing us out of what we already knew and making us realize where we were.
We walked around with no real destination, just knowing we wanted to eat very soon and found a little street filled with music and dancing. We picked a restaurant on the block and enjoyed our first authentic Irish meal.
If there is anything I could advise from just this first day, it’s to explore. We knew the area we were in was a safe one so we decided that it was the perfect place to begin to explore and find new things on our own. Getting lost and finding your way back is the best feeling in the world. This allows for the best adventures and creates better memories than the planned ones.