The GoGlobal Blog

Highs and Lows

Highs and Lows

It’s hitting me that I’ve been in Ireland for almost two months, and before I know it I’ll already be home. I know, I know – it’s still October, how can I be freaking out about leaving in December? But how can I be okay with leaving a country I’ve never felt more at home in? How can I relax when every second flies by and before I know it I’ll only be left with memories? I want to hold onto this feeling for the rest of my life, I’m not ready to go. When you study abroad, you have to accept that there will be highs and lows. The highs are very high and the lows are, well, extremely low. For most people, including many of my friends, the lows are homesickness and missing family and friends. For me, it’s homesickness for a country that I have not even left yet. It’s homesickness for a country that has only been my home for such a short amount of time.

My imminent fate of returning to Chicago hangs over me like the clouds that are all too prevalent in the Irish sky, but the highs outweigh the lows. I can’t be sad for too long because I’m too busy having the time of my life exploring the pubs of Dublin or green hills of Kerry. I can’t linger on the idea of leaving when I’m learning how to Irish dance with locals. And I definitely can’t get distracted while I’m in my classes at University College Cork, because – let’s face it – school is the only thing I don’t love about Ireland. Everything is different but, for the most part, everything is good (besides the exam I have coming up this week).

Over the past month, I have spent every weekend taking trips all over the country, which is something I had not intended to do before I came. Ireland is a fairly small country so I assumed once you see part of it, you see it all. I could not have been more wrong and I’m so grateful to have dedicated my first half of the semester solely to Ireland. From Northern Ireland’s Belfast to the “South City” Cork, I have traveled far and wide to see as much of it as I can. I might be biased, but Cork is my favorite out of all of the cities I’ve visited, which is funny because Cork was not my first option to study at. Fate works in really weird ways, and I was really bummed when I realized I couldn’t afford Dublin, and now I could not be happier. I loved every second of my trip to Dublin but Cork is farther outside of my urban comfort zone which has really changed the way I view the world. Everything here is so much simpler and I want to live this lifestyle forever.

As some of my bigger trips to other countries in Europe are approaching, I hope that I still have plenty of time to find the hidden gems around Ireland. One semester is not nearly enough time but I think I am making the most out of it. I’m really excited to leave the country and go visit some other countries, starting with Switzerland this weekend! I know I’m going to have so much fun but deep down, I also know that nowhere will feel like home just like Cork.

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