My transition period from routine college athlete, to real-life adult human being started about three months ago. Standing on deck at my last go-around of my college's Conference Championship swim meet, waiting to head back for some rest after the completion of the first session of the multi-day event, my phone buzzed--an email from IES Internships. All I had to read was the word 'Congratulations!" at the top of the message to realize that though one huge chapter of my life was about to end, another is now about to begin. It's funny how poetic life can be, right? I had just committed 17 years of my life to my sport and my education, and now that retirement was hours away and graduation was weeks away, I have now been presented with the amazing opportunity on the horizon to flourish in a whole new way, in a whole new place. And as an extra bonus, I finally had a solid answer to the "What are your post grad plans?" question that seemed to work its way into most of the conversations I had while home at Christmas break.
Now, I am about three weeks post-graduate, and heading off to Dublin, Ireland for an exciting and meaningful internship, where I will finally be able to see what all of the raving study-abroad kids come back to the states raving about after a semester overseas. There is no way I would rather kick off--or defer--entering adulthood than to travel to a new, beautiful, and welcoming country. I must admit though, the pre-departure jitters have set in. Traveling abroad on my own for the first time is no doubt an intimidating feat. I have had an incredible amout of help and support from my friends, family, coaches, mentors, and the whole IES Abroad staff in guiding me along the way, with tips and tricks hidden in everyone's experinece and advice. The act of spending time in a different country has a way of bringing people together, from what I have recently taken note of. Reconnecting with old friends, receiving recommendations about hidden hotspots, getting travel advice from anyone and everyone who knows about my trip--and I haven't even stepped foot on the plane yet.
Dublin has always been at the very top of my list. Cool, laid-back people, gorgeous landscapes, and overall atmosphere are the things that drew me to this location. Not to mention the fact that every single person I knew that had either visited or studied abroad in Dublin had not one single bad thing to say about it, and more often than not, asked to come with me and experience it again. Needless to say, I am beyond stoked to get across the pond to learn, appreciate, and soak in as much of the Irish culture as I can while attending my interniship and seminars during the week, and exploring anywhere and everywhere possible in all other waking moments.
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<p><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif"><span style="color:#212121">Welcome to an inside look at my adventures abroad this Summer! I'm originally from the California Bay Area, and recently graduated as a student-athlete from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. Here's to a two-month adventure in Dublin! </span></span></span></p>