My Bonnie flew over the ocean

I am sorry that I could not write this sooner, but I did not want my sister to find out I was coming home earlier than planned. I ended up surprising her at dinner before her graduation. Now that I am home in Philly again, I wanted to give some last words and reflections.

I think the hardest part about leaving any semester of college is that the last week is surrounded by stress. You have four or five finals and packing. It consumes so much time, that you do not really have time to be sad until the day you leave. It did not hit me that I am home sitting on my couch watching That’s 70s Show yet. Taking the flight felt like another side trip and I feel like I am returning to Plassey Village in a week.

I learned through this experience that Ireland is a magical place. Yes, the green, flowers and castles make the place look mystical, but it was the feel of Ireland that could pull you in. The people were so welcoming and friendly. Life was simple in most places and people were happy. I realized how materialistic America could be.

Over the past months, we have lived with 8 people in one house, with one frying pan for 8 people, with hot water only at certain intervals and no wifi in our own house! I can admit the first weeks this all freaked me out, but now I would give anything to go back and live with these 8 people in these conditions again.

Of course I will miss the side trips to other countries and the cheese store downtown and the Milk Market and the iced coffee place near Plassey, but I will miss the people I have met the most. We have all met people from different countries and different states, that I would probably have never met unless we all came to Limerick. I mean I cannot stop thinking of all the steps that needed to happen for all these people to be in Limerick at the same time as me. I feel so lucky to have met everyone that was there. Every person has made an impact on my life and I hope that we can all keep in contact and visit each other in the coming years.

Now I won’t get too sappy or sentimental here, but I will leave with you with one of my favorite quotes about travel…

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I think anyone who has had the opportunity to travel should take this to heart. While abroad you will see beautiful sights and natural wonders. Everyday will be exciting and new. Then suddenly in the blink of an eye, you are sitting on your couch, staring out at American suburbia, wishing to jet set to Paris on Ryan Air. The important lesson is to not let the beauty you witnessed go to waste. Find the beautiful at home. Continue to grow. Start meeting new people, plan a journey around the States and keep doing things that frighten you.

I also want to take a moment to thank everyone who made this journey possible! First of all, thank you to all my teachers who worked endlessly to make sure my credits and scholarships would follow through. My advisor, Maya, walked to every academic building with me just to help my case in making sure these credits would count. I cannot thank her enough! Also to all my teachers in my program who sent letters on my behalf to the dean proving that these credits should all count. Because of all this, I can graduate on time.

Secondly, I would like to thank my family. They have been my support system through health issues and finances while abroad. I cannot thank them enough for allowing me to go on this journey and helping with finances. They encourage me to travel on the weekends and take chances everyday. My grandparents, parents and my sister especially, thank you for everything you do for me!

Lastly, thank you to everyone I have met in Limerick and other places who I can now call some of my closest friends. Thank you for acting as my family while abroad!

Now I truly lie over the Atlantic Ocean again, and I cannot wait to take on my next adventure…NEW YORK CITY!

Here are some of my favorite photos from the trip. Enjoy!

When I climbed the I AMsterdam sign
When the fam jam got to experience Killarney with me
When a local dog gave us a tour of the Aran Islands
When I became a typical tourist day one
When we took our first photo abroad in the London Eye
When we got beers in sweatpants and sweatshirts
When I was running late to get ready and was swarmed by a bunch of girls who banged on my door
When we split drinks, but ironically I was always holding another one in my other hand
When I took my first side trip in Ireland to Galway
When I tried my first hot cheese plate
When I visited the Dingle Peninsula and discovered how beautiful Ireland really is
When we became dance buddies for life
When we mingled in Dingle
When I would not stop clogging around
When we became cheese mongers
When I discovered my favorite study and hang out in Limerick, The Stormy Teacup
When I became official
When we took it back to the 90s
When I discovered I would do anything for these girls
When I visited Wroclaw, Poland
When I realized how much I love bloody marys again
When I rode on the top deck
When our house had enchilada night because we all missed Mexican food so much
When I climbed a tree and then fell into the Torc Waterfall
When I climbed to the highest peak in Ireland
When I left my tag on the Lennon Wall
When I CZECHed the time
When I found my house in Budapest
When I saw the most beautiful waterfalls in Croatia
When I took the road less traveled by
When I metaphorically threw my second show into the waterfalls
When we ate gelato after every meal
When I chilling in Zadar, Croatia
When I watched the sunrise over the Danube in Budapest on a rooftop jacuzzi
When we became hoodrats and threw bottles at an abandoned castle on campus
When we took a picture of the group at the Lennon Wall
When I saw how gorgeous the University of Limerick campus was
When I ate real Belgian chocolate, Belgian beer and Belgian waffles in Belgium
When we celebrated our two year anniversary in Bruges
When we spent all our fridays at TGIF International Night at Stables
When we attempted to take a cute photo at the Cliffs of Moher
When I crossed the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge
When I saw Giant’s Causeway
When I fell in love with a potato in Northern Ireland
When we became artists in Glasgow
When we were tricked into doing a Dungeon Tour
When we hiked Arthurs Seat
When we became optical illusions
When I cried saying goodbye to all my amazing room mates #house44
When we took our last Ryan Air flight back to Ireland
When she announced her love for me
And when I enjoyed my last Guinness in Ireland

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