Thank you, Ireland

Christina Hui
July 24, 2018

Wow, I can’t believe that in a few short days, I will be on a plane on my way back to the United States. It’s crazy to think that I’ve been in Ireland for eight weeks, so practically my entire summer. I’m not going lie, time went by really slow the first few weeks to the point where I felt like I could watch paint dry. However, as the weeks progressed, I found myself losing track of time through my travel adventures and increasing work responsibilities. I’m so grateful for all the experiences, challenges, and everything in between that I have been exposed to during my time here. As I reflect back on my eight weeks, here are some things that I will miss about Ireland:

1. Money

This might sound really weird but including the tax and knowing the exact price of everything here is so convenient. Back in the States, I would just guess how much I would end up paying and end up digging my pockets for spare change. Speaking of change, €1 and €2 coins are so handy compared to carrying around single dollar bills. Something about finding some coins in your pocket and realizing that they aren’t just a few cents, rather a total of €5 is such a satisfying feeling.

2. THE VIEWS

Oh my gosh, the views I’ve seen in Ireland are some of the most beautiful scenes I’ve ever seen, straight out of a National Geographic magazine. From the bigger tourist destinations such as Cliffs of Moher and the Giant’s Causeway to the smaller locations like the Bray Cliff Walk, everything has been stunning. There is greenery as far as the eye can see. One thing I was looking most forward to when I came to Ireland was the nature views and scenery and I am not disappointed.

3. My Internship

Yes, it was a daily struggle to get up in the morning for the commute and sometimes the hours at work seemed to drag, but I’m actually kind of satisfied with my position. I didn’t have high expectations when I came into this internship, so I was pretty open minded to whatever tasks I was assigned. This internship has pushed me out of my comfort zone, especially in videography, which I had no experience in before. I filmed, produced, and edited my first ever lengthy videos; which I feel like is an achievement within itself. I don't know when the videos will ever come out, but I promise you I did something. Shout out to my boss, Shane, who was MIA a lot, but encouraged me to think outside the box and gave me creative control of videos. Also, a shout out to my co-worker, Elliot, who kept me entertained with his stories of living in Chicago and his hurling stories. [Fun fact: I took the headshot of my boss that might potentially be on their new packaging, fingers crossed that everything goes well.]

4. Walking Everywhere

Ok, this one I have a love/hate relationship with. I’m the kind of person that will always suggest walking everywhere and Ireland is definitely a place you can see by foot. Places are relatively close to each other and it saves you a couple euros on the bus ride. There were those days where I felt like my legs couldn’t handle just standing up, in fact, I think the most I’ve walked in a day was about 15 miles. I can’t remember where I walked to, but I remember looking down at my Fitbit like “Wow, I think I’ve done enough walking for a while.”

5. So Many Independently Owned Coffee Shops 

I know, I talk about coffee too much, but despite the lack of iced coffee at some places, I really enjoy finding and hanging out in small coffee shops or locally-owned businesses. The customer service is usually fantastic and the conversations I've had with the owners have been really nice and engaging. Something about Irish people and hospitality are just wonderful. Tiny coffee shops are also the best places to get work done; just give me a flat white with almond milk and I can be editing on my laptop for a few hours. As much as I love my Starbucks, trying new places around my work place for that much-needed morning coffee has turned into a hunt on Yelp for "best coffee in Dublin". Some of my favorites near my workplace in Stonybatter are Love Supreme and Urbanity. 

I can’t say that I’ve emerged from Ireland as a completely changed person, but something about living abroad for a period of time has had an impact on my personal character development. I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten slightly more patient, which is a skill that is useful in multiple environments, especially in an Irish workplace. Having international work experience has shown me the importance of learning how to adapt to sudden hurdles and cultural differences. I came to Ireland open minded and I'm leaving again as open minded, but maybe with a new perspective and a new found appreciation for start up businesses. As much as I will miss my life in Ireland, I’m ready to go back to the States and indulge in some Portillo's, and an abundance of iced coffee and air conditioning.

Thanks a million for the memories, Ireland.

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Christina Hui

<p>I am an ambitious marketing major at the University of Iowa with the dreams of pursing a career in the cosmetics industry. During my free time, I enjoy taking Instagram worthy photos, drinking overpriced iced coffee, watching investigative journalism shows and lifting heavy weights at the gym. If you ever need to find me, I'll either be at Starbucks, sitting outside on a picnic blanket or strolling through the aisles of Target. While interning in Dublin, I hope to gain real life marketing experience, explore all the major foodie locations and make demonstrate my leadership abilities regardless of my skill levels.</p>

Destination:
Term:
2018 Summer 1, 2018 Summer 2
Home university:
University of Iowa
Hometown:
Naperville, IL
Major:
Marketing
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