Now back to travel writing. I had decided in March that I wanted to get a master’s degree overseas. I applied to schools in Ireland, Scotland and England. Out of the five schools that I applied to, I got into four; Two in England, one in Scotland and one in Ireland. It was a very hard decision to make. Each one of these options would lead to a different journey. I knew in my heart though that I would go to Ireland. I had visited Ireland when I was 18 on a family vacation. It was my very first time overseas and I fell in love with the country. So, after long talks with my parents and brother going over the options, we all agreed that Ireland was where I was going to go.
So, on August 25th I flew to Ireland. My mother and I landed in Dublin at an ungodly hour in the morning. We had a car waiting to pick us up and drive to us to Cork City, Ireland. I was so excited! Part of me thought I would never go back to Ireland but here I was in one of my favorite cities in the world. We got into the car and headed to Cork City. I fell asleep as soon as the car started moving. I was rudely awoken by my mother telling me to wake up we were almost there. I had never been to Cork City before and was very curious what it was like. I had thoughts of what it might look like from the googled pictures, but those never really give you the whole picture. The pictures made the city look like a cute, bustling place; but when we pulled into the city that was not the case. The buildings were run down and it felt very industrial. You could tell that they got hurt in 2008. However, there was a lot building going on everywhere, which did not add to the appeal. But I pushed these thoughts aside and told myself that once I get to know this place it would be different. Stay positive.
Once I was in Cork City for a few days I did see some of the cuteness. Oliver Plunket St, Patrick St, the main campus of University College Cork and the English market are all things that you should check out if you are going to Cork City. Another thing that I got to experience was watching Game of Thrones in a pub. Unlike in the states Game of Thrones is on TV on Monday nights. For the season finally I walked to a pub called Coatigan’s. In the back room was a projector, people filed in and took their seats. We all started to talk with each other and it turned out that we were all Americans. As soon as the show came on everyone was silent and all you could hear was the live band and the show.
Over the next few days I began to realize that Cork City was not my place. I was not going to be happy here like I thought I was going to be. I thought that I was just getting home sick and that I should push through it. But the more I thought about it and the more I talked it over with my mom, it was more than that. It was not the right fit, not the right program and not the city for me. People say that you should study abroad even if it’s not a good experience and that you should stay and fight through it. I personally think that is false. I do agree that everyone should try to do a study abroad but if it turns out it’s not what you want it’s okay to change your mind. The negative experience is not worth it to stay. You can always travel back because traveling to a place and trying to live in that place are two completely different things. I came all by myself, I did not know anyone. I did not have a group of people who I was going to be attached to. For some people that is okay but it was not going to be for me. I am glad I made the choice to come back home. Things are really working out well for me and I know that I can always go back and that I am going back.
I spent two weeks in Ireland. Cork City and University College Cork were only part of that experience. Once I left Cork City everything got better. I met family that I had never met before and did some more traveling around Ireland, which I will talk about in my next blog post.