The GoGlobal Blog

A Thank You Letter to Ireland

A Thank You Letter to Ireland

I know I was supposed to write a blog post about my two weeks of travel that I returned back to Cork from on the 20th. Those weeks were two of the most fantastic I have ever experienced, traveling to Copenhagen, Berlin, Krakow, Prague, Vienna, and Budapest, opened my eyes to so many new cultures and new experiences, I am forever thankful that I was able to travel. My travel companions were perfect as well, handling every sleepless night and travel slip-up along the way with ease, grace, and a laugh. However, when I arrived back in Cork, I couldn’t bring myself to write about all of the exciting adventures I had just experienced because I was too overwhelmed by the fact that I only had 4 remaining days left. And today, marks the last day in both a country and city that has seamlessly become my home. So for my final blog post, I want to write a thank you letter to Ireland, the country that has been my home for these past 5 months, the people I have met during my time here, the memories I have made, the places I have visited, and all of the love that I have in my heart for the most amazing study abroad experience I could have ever wished for.

Dear Ireland,

I don’t know how I can express the love I have for you. This country has welcomed me with open arms, from Seany B. the butcher, to Conns man the produce shop owner, to the wonderful professors at UCC, to the Aircoach bus drivers who have aided me in almost every travel adventure, to the workers at Jackie Lennox and Cissie Youngs, and of course to all of the Irish friends I have had the pleasure to meet throughout my time here. Every person I have met along the way has made my day a little bit brighter and only made me fall more in love with this country. I can’t thank Ireland enough for making me feel right at home and having a culture that encourages the development of a person I only wish to become—someone friendly, funny, open, accepting, relaxed, and just taking the piss out of life. I hope to thank Ireland by continuing to grow and promising to return.



Thank you Ireland, for becoming not just my home, but also my launchpad for traveling the world. While Ireland, and both the Cork and Dublin airport, have led me to Amsterdam, Scotland, England, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, and Hungary, I have never forgotten that Ireland is my home. I have been from Belfast to Dublin, the Ring of Kerry to the Dingle peninsula, the Cliffs of Mohr to Giants Causeway, from castles to harbors, from the busy cities to the quiet countryside, I have traveled throughout Ireland and only continued to fall in love. Maybe it was the color of the grass and trees, because it’s true, the color green in Ireland cannot be found anywhere else. Maybe it was the millions of sheep and cows I have seen as I look out windows. Maybe it’s the people, who always greet you with a smile on their face and ask if you need anything. Yes, Ireland has helped me see many other countries and cultures, but the one I return home to every time is that Irish hospitality which simply cannot be replaced.


Thank you also, to a number of things that have helped me along my study abroad journey. Thank you Dunnes frozen pizza (yes, your 3 for €3.79 pizzas) you have always been the light that welcomes me home from a night out, or helps me get up the next morning. Thank you, to my combat boots, which have literally seen the world with me and not fallen apart. And even though the zipper on the back of the right shoe unzips itself while I’m walking and drives Savannah crazy, you have endured the worst. Thank you, to my Dunnes booties that I bought only the second week here, I have worn you out practically every night. And while I cannot compete with the Irish girls and their heels (which I will forever be impressed with) you did make me feel a little more put together. While you cannot make the journey home, both because you are falling apart and there is no room in my suitcase, you were a true godsend that taught me the importance of a good pair of booties. Thank you to all of the Irish dairy I have consumed this semester, I will never have the same yogurt or spread of butter again, but I will always remember your goodness, especially the butter since I have been to the butter museum in Cork. Finally, thank you to the Centra chicken roll. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t eaten my first chicken roll that fateful afternoon during RAG week, but you have opened my eyes to the simplicity and deliciousness of a €3.50 sandwich that cannot be beat.


I of course have to also thank my parents. Without their love, support (in more ways than one), and continued acceptance of my crazy antics and adventures that have grown throughout this semester, I would not be here. I am so happy that they were able to come and get a small taste of all of the wonder that I have been experiencing for months. And even though I am not really excited to go home, I am excited to see them and tell them about all of the adventures that have taken place these last 5 months. I am also thankful to return to my mom’s home cooked meals, but I need to put that last so she knows that I appreciate her for many reasons greater than her cooking skills.


My final thank you, will probably be the hardest, and even though it’s already begun, I have to thank and say goodbye to all the friends I have made here. Viva la Ocelot, you guys have helped make this semester unforgettable. I have travelled all over the world with you all, explored Ireland, had many crazy nights out, and so many laughs just thinking about it makes my stomach hurt. You all have been some of the most genuine, caring, funny, smart, and simply amazing people I have ever had the pleasure of becoming friends with. Thank you Kristen, for always being there for a laugh or a crazy story (maybe like that time you spent the half of the day an hour off and didn’t realize it?) I can’t wait to see you in Chicago. Thank you Mathilde, for letting me borrow your UCC ID (even if I was called a liar, liar pants on fire one time I tried to use it) and for your amazing crêpe making skills. Thank you Colin, for always being down for a drink and tagging us in all of those Instagram pictures, I can’t imagine a semester without you and your go-pro stick. Thank you Cody, for your incredible literary insight and your impeccable fashion sense. I can only thank you for all of the laughs and great pictures we have taken (that I can now tag you in on Facebook because I don’t know why you thought you could ever survive this semester without one). Thank you Eric, for the knowledge that your eyes are beautiful and the Irish flag is gorgeous. Thank you for always being there to debate the founding fathers and listen to Taylor Swift until your face turns redder. Thank you Corey, for your Irish writers playing cards (that you left in our apartment by the way) and eating half of my chips at all of our Wednesday lunches with Marypaz. Thank you Casey, the true life force behind our group, or I should just say life because I’m not sure if we would all be here if it wasn’t for you. Thank you for your cooking, your map skills, your willingness to watch The West Wing, and always being there for anyone who needed you—thanks mom. Thank you Savannah, the best roommate anyone ever could have asked for. Thank you for being supportive when I just needed to binge watch Netflix for a few days, thank you for dealing with Marypaz and I’s Beyoncé addiction (I know you got a bit tired of it in the end), thank you for being the friendliest person I know and always being upbeat. No matter what happens in your life, wherever you go or whatever you do, I know you will succeed because you have the best heart of anyone I have ever met. Thank you for being you, I can’t put into words how much you mean to me (you and your stinky). Finally, thank you Marypaz, I know most people think of us as a unit (and I’m not even mad about it) but I honestly can’t imagine this semester without you. You have been there to full my love for Beyoncé, my love for politics, my love for cheerleader, and my love of Ireland. Thank you for encouraging to really look at everything the world has to offer and to not take anything too seriously. Thanks for dancing with me to Anaconda, getting kicked out of McDonalds and Abrakebabra, making me fall a little bit in love with the EU, for making me watch shit English TV, and for everything. I can’t even think about what my life would have been like if I hadn’t met you, but thank GOD we have Chicago to reunite us. S/O TO THE CRAIC PATROL, ya’ll the real MVPs.


Thank you Ireland, for inviting me in to your wonderful country. Thank you for an incredible 5 months. Thank you for bringing all of these wonderful people into my life. Thank you for showing so much more, and see what it is like to be truly embraced in another country (even though many of the Irish make fun of the pronunciation of my last name). Thank you, thank you, words cannot express the love I have for this country, its hills, its people, its beer, and its love for me. While I will be returning in the future, I know it will never be the same.


I end my final post with a quote I found in a book while I was waiting about in a hostel in Krakow. The book was titled Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks and after reading the back, I immediately skipped to the last page where I read this final quote that brought me to tears.


“By the time I reached the taxi, my eyes had welled up with tears.

‘Are you all right there?’ said the cabbie as he opened the door for me.

‘Yes, I’m just happy.’

‘Oh right. Where to?’

‘Dublin airport.’

I was leaving Ireland. The affair was over, but the friendship had just begun.”

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