As I sit back in my parents house in a small town in Ohio I am at a loss for words when it comes to describing my time in Ireland. Ten months living in Ireland provided some of the greatest memories of my early 20s. After college I was feeling a little lost as to what I wanted to do or where I wanted to live. My friends all moved out of their parents houses for good and started their lives of careers and adulthood. The thought of this terrified me. I truly respect everyone who chooses this path, but I just knew it wasn’t for me. So now was the time to decide where I wanted to move. The idea of moving to Ireland has always been in the back of my mind. I adored the culture there, one of my best friends happened to be from there and said I should move across the pond. To me this was the perfect idea, I mean who doesn’t want to spend a year in the Emerald Isle drinking pints and experiencing the magic that is Ireland.
So it was settled. After Hawaii I was going to move to my favorite place to my favorite for the better part of a year. I was going to live and work in Dublin and cruise around the countryside to my heart’s content. Going into this journey in January I had no idea what to expect. I went in not having a job or a home. I went in only knowing one person in the city I was moving to. The last time I had lived in Ireland it was as a student so this time was a completely different vibe. Though I was terrified I was stoked. I’m the type of person who can go into a situation with no plan and come out semi okay. In January I was so elated to start this next leg of my adventure. I was stoked to live in my first foreign country post college. I was so excited to fully immerse myself in the Irish culture. Now that I am on the other side I can look back on this experience and confidently say it was one of the best of my life. I learned so much throughout the course of the last 10 months.
Upon moving to Ireland for a second time I relearned that this place is a pretty amazing place to live, even if it is only for a short time. Ireland is such a tiny island which makes it incredibly easy to get around to seeing almost the entire country. From running a marathon in the southern most part to hiking up in the northern most part I’ve seen almost every county. (Waterford will forever by my favorite.) I mean for starters their GAA teams are a little less than stellar much like my beloved Cleveland teams, and they have a tower that dates back to 900AD that has been in constant use! It is way too cool! Living there for such a longish period of time I was truly able to develop an opinion of the place. I was no longer a visitor. I considered Ireland one of my homes. I was able to poke fun of people who were from the boondocks and able to have an opinion of which county was the best at the various sports.
I think, however, the most important lesson I learned when moving to Ireland is to ALWAYS go for one. Some of my favorite nights were when me and my coworkers would go for one pint after work. Obviously it would never be just one, that just isn’t in the Irish vocabulary. We always had the best banter and made some A+ memories. Even if it was only a few of us going out after our free pints after work we always had a fantastic time. Shout out to my Captain’s crew for providing dozens of laughs during my time there. Lastly, you must learn to always say YES. For the longest time I was Cameron in Ferris Bueller’s day off. It took ages to convince me to go out. I would dip out of plans constantly and just chill by myself. (If we’re being 100% honest I still do this.) However, living in Ireland I only had a few months to pack everything in. I had to make my time count. If an opportunity arose I had to say yes. If someone wanted to hike in Clare on a weekday you bet your sweet ass I would get on a bus and go play in nature. Who knows when I would be back so I had to get my fill of the beautiful place I called home.
Ireland has provided some of the best memories that I won’t forget for quite sometime. I was able to work in an incredibly fun environment, see some pretty cool sights, and party with the grooviest people. To everyone I met who made this experience unbelievable, thank you. All of you will forever be in my heart. To Ireland as a whole, thank you for the good vibes and the gorgeous views. Thank you for gibing me mountains to hike and beaches to stargaze at. Thank you for trying to teach me that an episode of Father Ted is all you need for a good laugh, and letting me find my claim to fame by living where Connor McGregor is from and where the fabulous Love/Hate was filmed. Thank you for being a place full of kindhearted humans. I won’t forget you anytime soon. Its not goodbye, but see you later.