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New Experiences and Northern Ireland

It’s pretty mind-blowing how quickly time whizzes by when you're abroad.  Every once and a while I have to consciously remind myself to stop and reflect on the irreplaceable experiences I am gathering.  Of course being away for a few months with no comfort of any familiar faces, homesickness may pop up out of nowhere.  But whenever a hint of homesickness kicks in, I just remind myself how absolutely incredible it is that I am here, and how lucky I am to be able to take advantage of this opportunity.  Not to mention it is already more than half way over.  

I am really allowing myself to appreciate 100% of this experience, especially those moments where I feel truly challenged and on my own.  I can tell I am growing from this experience, and building upon everything I learned in my college experience.  This country has blown my expectations out of the water in all aspects.

As I explore and experience more and more, I naturally am learning things about myself along the way.  I have had plenty of instances here that require the practice of patience both with myself and with others.  Being in a literal foreign environment is a bit of a shock to the system no matter how subtle the cultural differences may seem at first, and self-awareness has now become a daily habit.  

We recently spent a long weekend in Northern Ireland.  Though not my favorite place from the trip, our time was definitely well spent there.  My favorite activity we did was definitely the Giant’s Causeway.  GORGEOUS.  So worth the wind and borderline unbearable smell.  The views were incredible.  Just being in these different beautiful places and soaking in all their magic is my favorite portion of my time here.  The nightlife scene was very small-town and I absolutely loved it.  We went to the same restaurant/bar/cocktail lounge/pub both nights.  The live music made for an awesome atmosphere and being there with the great company of new friends in a new place made it even better.  

Something I did learn unexpectedly both by talking to Irish people as well as traveling around to different places within the country, something that makes Ireland so uniquely cool is that there are so many variations of the Irish accent that if you take 20 steps to the right, you may hear a completely different accent than 20 steps the opposite way.  Accents so different that even Irish locals have a hard time totally understanding through the thick differences.  I really did not expect such a wide range of differences in such a small country.  There are a lot of intricacies and variations all over the place and it is interesting to get to know these differences as I am spending more and more time here.

Let the journey continue!