At home…and missing Ireland more than ever!
I have been home from studying in ireland a full two weeks now, and life still doesn’t feel the same. I almost feel a little bit like I did when I first arrived to study abroad in Ireland because it takes a lot of adjusting to the time and surrounding s to get comfortable. There also come the difficulties of trying to get into a routine. Being back at home doesn’t require the same kind of adjusting because everything mainly needs to be refamiliarized rather than entirely different. It’s mainly been about trying to go back to my normal life now similar to how it was before I left, but I also try to incorporate aspects from my lifestyle in Ireland. Some changes that I have made are things like bringing my own bags to the grocery store (because it’s what everybody does in Ireland), having tea and biscuits often, and preparing myself for the weather on the days that it feels like rain. These little things are great additions to my life back in Minnesota, and I feel it’s a way for me to not fully lose the person that I became while in Ireland.
Since coming home I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my experiences this past semester. It all seems to have gone by so fast, and I can’t even believe that I was gone for a whole four months. In that time my life changed completely because I went to Ireland not knowing a single person and having not lived a very independent and adventurous life. Within those four months I created a totally new life for myself with friends, classes, and other activities to consume my time. It feels amazing to think that I could immerse myself into a new place and make myself feel at home even though I was well separated from my real home in the States. The friendships that I made in Ireland will last me a lifetime, and even though I’m separated from all my friends that I made, I know that I can still keep in touch and try to plan visits for the future.
Leaving Ireland was one of the toughest experiences of my life. In such a short time I had created such a wonderful new life for myself, and I was in no need to leave. Meanwhile, I had lots of people who really missed me at home and couldn’t wait to see me again. I knew that it would be a sad day when I left, and I would be difficult still when I got home. However, I came home and realized that there was no way that I could ever be prepared for how I was going to feel. When I got home I felt so lost for a while because everything though mostly familiar, but it was I was used to in my recent life. I could no longer hang out with my friends that I had made or take a walk around campus just to enjoy the surroundings. All of that has become easier to deal with as time has past because I have been able to busy myself with finding a new job and trying to catch up where I left off with some of my friends from home. Everyone wants to hear about my experiences in Ireland, and I love to be able to share all the amazing stories from my time there, but it sometimes also triggers the sadness that I’m back here and not there. Ireland has become my favorite place in the world, it literally won my heart, and I know that I will go back the first chance I get!