I know exactly what it will feel like to come home. It will be past midnight, and it will be a quiet, warm, humid Tacoma night. I’ll lug my heavy suitcase, which will be full of the smell of Dublin, to the backdoor of my house because I never learned how to open our wonky front door. In the kitchen there will be an abundance of new plants that my one of a kind roommate Aidan will have curated. Every piece of furniture in the house will have a new location. I will open the door of my bedroom, flop onto my Costco mattress, stare at my second-hand bike, which has been renting the room since June, and think, “What in the……just happened."
To say this experience flew by is an understatement. It was getting away from me from the minute in began. I am old and wise enough now that I knew this would be the case, but I’m still reeling now as my depature approaches. I am furiously typing my final essays, trying to hit all of my favorite spots, and even squeeze in the few places that never made it off the bucket list.
Did I do it right? Did I see enough? Did I make enough friends? If I could do it over would I do anything differently? All these questions make me feel like crying and laughing and crying and cackling and running around a track a couple times.
Ireland has wormed it’s way into my wee heart and I would honestly be thrilled if tomorrow someone told me flights were canceled and I had to stay another six weeks.
Something I’ve been reflecting on is how I ended up here. I discovered this program almost a month after the deadline to apply had passed and I easily could have moved on with my life and ended up somewhere completely different. But I had a gut feeling! It’s a feeling I’ve had a couple times in my life where I just know that if I push a little more, if I put myself out there, I will get where I want to go. So I didn’t click new tab and keep searching for other programs, I slammed my computer closed and booked it to my schools study abroad office. What could I do to make this happen? It took some persistence, but I made it here, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
For any future Dubliners, here is a list of musts from a someone who will literally have to be dragged by my feet to the airport:
- Books Upstairs! A cafe/bookshop with immaculate study vibes.
- Memas! Unbelievable wings and cocktails and gay vibes.
- Sandymount Beach/Forty Foot/Dalkey! You can't really go wrong with any of the beaches you can get to from the DART. Just swim in the ocean, at least once, for me!
- St. Stephen's Green! Lovely urban park. Great for reading and people-watching.
- Dublin Zoo! Enormous park with lots of lovely animals.
- Howth! Beautiful views, delicious food.
- Dingle! Literally heaven on Earth. Refer to Danglin' in Dingle.
- Gallery of Photography! Cool spot with interesting exhibitions, friendly staff, and dope gift shop. Also free!
- Pablo Picante! Burritos. Nothing more to say. I wouldn't have made it six weeks without these burritos.
- Blas Cafe! Delicious food and perfect study environment.
- Lovinspoon! Best Irish breakfast in Dublin.
I have loved this experience so much. Grateful.
Off we go!
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<p>Hi, I'm Gaby and I'm here to tell you all about my summer in Dublin! I'm a writer, artist, and full-blown human being who was born once and now is walking the cobblestoned streets of Dublin with an eye for all things tasty, beautiful, gross, and enlightening. Originally from Portland, Oregon, I'm part amphibious and am anticipating fitting right in to Ireland's cool and damp climate. I'm passionate about unfolding the most out of an experience as possible- come along with me as I make mistakes, learn, grow, and eat a shepherd's pie or two.</p>