Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

December Musings Pt. 1

December is here!

I can’t believe, it’s the last month of study abroad, it feels like time just flew by so quickly

and before I know it I’ll be in the thick of finals. (aaaaahhh)

This December entry will consist of two parts, one focusing on personal reflections and what I love about December in particular, and the second about traveling, frugality and the future.

I thought I’d begin this part of my entry with a fun fact.

December in Irish is Nollaig, which has its root in the Irish word for Christmas, and you can certainly feel the Christmas spirit in the air everywhere!

I’ve loved going into the city lately, because it’s awash with lights and Christmas trees, even if the sun is setting ridiculously early. Campus has also been particularly lovely, with lights everywhere you go, and events that offer mulled wine and mince pies! It’s been very hard not to buy all the beautiful and tempting Christmas food and merchandise on sale. The following are some pictures from my recent festive experiences:

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My first Starbucks Christmas blend of the season, not featured: all the other cool Starbucks flavors that seem to be Europe-specific!

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A  mince pie that I tried while in Galway where I was surprised to find that mince pies were actually a dessert. Mince pies are a common sweet here to have with mulled wine.

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some of the bright Christmas lights in the nearby mall

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each area of city centre has a different lighting design that welcomes you. This was one of my favorites

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a cute little gingerbread man I got at a university event. The buttons are made of smarties.

I also had the opportunity to see how different parts of Ireland have different festivities when I went to a recent trip to Galway. Galway’s Christmas market was full of all sorts of sweets, arcade games, and a Ferris wheel.

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One of the meals I got was a hot dog where they put a ton of cheese on it. Not very kosher, but very good

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An area dedicated to Oktoberfest! (They do realize it’s over…right? Perhaps the spirit of Oktoberfest is eternal)

Enjoying all these beautiful things is bittersweet knowing how little time I have left. I’ve been checking and double checking all my “to-do before I leave lists”, and I finally feel that I’ve got a sense for navigating the streets of Dublin (if only because I know how to find Bachelor’s Walk, which is the stop for the bus that goes directly to campus).

If I had to reflect on something important that I’ve begun to realize from this experience, it’s the importance of finding beauty wherever you go. City Center is lovely right now because of all the lights, but it’s also lovely during every other season. And I’m so lucky to have seen so much of it.

One of the most moving experiences I had was when I walked out to the Blackrock Station by the water at night, and watched as the trains passed by. It was strange how a sight that was ugly by the day was so ethereal at night, the trains sparkling as they brushed by the swathes of dark blue sky. Dublin is a city that I’ve begun to love the less time I spend looking at Trip Advisor and the more time I spend walking and waiting for something to jump out at me.

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I look forward to returning to Waltham and Boston, because I want to see the cities with new eyes, like I have Dublin while time is still on my side.

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