This will be my last week as a resident of Northern Ireland. Come this Saturday, I am moving out of my rental house and on to my next adventure. After almost exactly six months here, I feel like it is definitely time to move on. But before I do so, I think it is worth reflecting on my time here, both the good and the bad, and all things I have learned.
What I will miss:
- my new found friends
- road trips through the rolling green hills
- reliving my wayward youth; the all-nighters; the tequila shots; the random make outs
- the glorious sea; the sandy, seaweed covered, windswept beaches; the salty air; the soaring cliffs
Ireland is an absolutely beautiful country with so much natural space and stunning landscapes. The farm lands are filled with happy cows and sheep living the way they should. The people I’ve met and the adventures I’ve lived will stay with me forever.
What I will not miss:
- the cold, damp weather and the inefficient indoor heating
- the lack of dryers leaving your clothes damp, crispy and smelling of mildew
- the ineffective indoor plumbing resulting in poorly functioning toilets and extreme water temperatures
- the lack of recycling and the litter-filled the streets
- a generally grumpy populous that yells, scowls and insults
Many of the things I disliked were ones I noticed right away. And unfortunately instead of reducing, they just compounded to make me detest them. I know some of it is European, but other parts of it just feel like total disregard and disrespect.
Most importantly, what I will take away:
- roommates are tricky, they are awesome friend network but you get little personal space
- working from home can be great but can also be awful if you live somewhere ugly, messy, busy, and cold
- screens are required on windows even in countries without mosquitos
- dryers are a luxury good that should be standard
- weather makes a huge difference
- travel is phenomenal
- no matter what, be grateful
I am so incredibly lucky for these past six months and I feel blessed to be given this opportunity. It wasn’t all rosy, but overall, I am glad I came. I was given the time and space to being to move on from my past, I have seen a fantastic country that I may never have visited. I’ve saved enough money to travel for the next few months. And I have made friends who welcomed me into their lives and filled me with joy. It definitely was not perfect, but I am ready to start the next phase of my adventure with a fresh perspective and for that I am grateful.
Today I say yes to experiences that help you grow. Yes to making new friends. And yes to being grateful.
May all your trails be crooked, winding, dangerous, leading to the most amazing views…where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you. – Edward Abbey