Leap, Co. Cork; Finding Little Homes

Isabel Fernandez
December 11, 2021

I have fallen in love with the city of Dublin whole heartedly. I love the Georgian buildings and the trains and the strange variety of dogs. I like the noises of what is a relatively quiet city and the sense of movement. But I also know that a bit of time away, especially in a bit of wild nature, can completely reset the psyche. After discussing the iconic countryside getaway taken by Lord Byron and Mary and Percy Shelly that resulted in the first draft of Frankenstein, some friends and I decided to have our own writer's retreat of sorts. One AirBnB reservation and some hectic meal planning later and we were in Leap, a small town in Cork in the South Western region of the country. 

This is the Ireland of ballads and brochures. Farmland saturated with color, friendly herds of cows, a house with creek and a chicken coop, and cool misty weather. We spent the weekend curled up in the living room around a small wood fire and eating our host’s fresh baked bread. We played cards, told each other secrets, composed poetry, both good and bad. 

One of the trickier parts of study abroad is FOMO. The nearly unbeatable fear that you are missing something, whether its back home or something happening on your program. There’s always so many things happening, its inevitable that you have to make choices between experiences, and sometimes you do miss out on things. The key I’ve found to conquering, or just living with, your FOMO is: 

  1. Accepting that you cannot have it all. You can miss out on things and your life will go on without them and realistically, it won’t make that big of a difference with time. 
  2. When things pass you by, there will always be more fun to have later. 
  3. When in doubt, it is worth it to take a step back and miss out on something to take care of yourself and keep your mental and physical health in check. Yes, that does count catching up on sleep, nice try getting out of that one. 

When I went to Leap, it was the break I needed. I passed up other trips on weekends when I was simply too tired or didn’t want to leave the city, and this experience came at the right time instead. I went out into nature, took a deep breath, and soaked it all in. My relationships, writing, and energy was better the following week because of it. 

I found sanctuary in that little house and peace and acceptance and it will stay with me as much as a grand adventure to an iconic landmark or time in the city. Home is what you make it, try to find it in unlikely places and it will give you little bits of joy back.

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Isabel Fernandez

<p>Hello! My name is Izzy (they/them) and I’m a senior studying anthropology at Indiana University. Within anthropology, I’m particularly interested in storytelling, intersectionality, and modern concepts of gender. I am studying overseas as a part of the IES Dublin- Irish Studies program in the Fall of 2021. I’m excited to share my adventures and discoveries during my time in Dublin. In my free time, I enjoy listening to alternative music, reading the same 4 books over and over again, and attempting to learn random languages before getting distracted after a few weeks.</p>

2021 Fall
Home University:
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN
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