Homesick for Dublin

24 May

Well… I have officially been back in the States for a month now. The time has just flown by, let me tell you. I cannot believe I have been away from my European home for so long! I still wake up some mornings thinking I’m back in my Dublin apartment, only to realize very quickly that I am in fact back in Indiana. It’s quite a shock to the system!

For the past four weeks, I have been keeping very busy. I celebrated Easter with my family. I took a trip to Iowa to see my cousin complete her 2nd year of Med school. I went to Purdue for a few days to catch up with friends during ‘Dead Week.’ I also just got back from Indianapolis where I celebrated one of my best friend’s 21st birthday. I think it’s these little trips that are saving me from completely losing my mind in the Midwest. My friends and family have been doing very well distracting me. My cousin was even so amazing as to get us tickets to go see Adele in Chicago next week!!! That will be the most amazing distraction ever!

Because my summer job doesn’t start until June, I have had time to work on my scrapbooks. Looking through all of my photos and memories of my time abroad, I realize how thankful I am to have had such a life-changing experience. I honestly cannot imagine my life without Dublin. It changed me so much. I am so much more independent and focused now. Thanks to my internship with the Abbey Theatre archives, I actually know what direction I want my life to head in after I graduate from Purdue next year. That’s a major relief considering I have two very broad majors!

I know I have to get back to Dublin and Ireland someday. I had such a strong connection to the country that I cannot imagine a future without it. Now I know that when I go back, it will be different. I won’t have all of my study abroad friends or the IES-Dublin staff with me all the time (which is sad because they were all so amazing). However, I know I will be okay. Dublin felt like home to me from the very beginning, and I don’t feel that way very often. I am not sure when I will get back, but I know that somehow my path will lead me back to the Emerald Isle. Until then, I will just have to rely on pictures and memories!

Here are a few of my favorite study abroad moments:

  • Going out to pubs and clubs to dance the night away 
  • Stepping into the most magnificent churches throughout Europe
  • Finding cheap flights for weekend trips to other European countries
  • Chatting with the Irish people… the taxi drivers always have a story or two about their country
  • Walking down Grafton Street and listening to the bands and buskers
  • Buying the most delicious hot chocolate & walking the streets of Paris
  • Eating Chinese food after a visit to Stockholm’s Ice Bar
  • Searching for Nessie in Loch Ness
  • Standing at the top of the Eiffel Tower at night staring at the lights of Paris
  • Seeing the various inspirations for J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels in Edinburgh
  • Standing outside of Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey knowing the Royal Wedding would take place here a few months later
  • Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in the Alps of Germany with my mom
  • Going to Belfast with IES staff to see firsthand the political and religious turbulence of Northern Ireland
  • Taking a very moving tour of Dachau, one of Germany’s concentration camps
  • Seeing a double rainbow in N. Ireland
  • Seeing the treasury at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden
  • Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin
  • Seeing beautiful architecture (& castles) everywhere I go in Europe
  • Going to see Glen Hansard perform in Whelan’s pub (Dublin)
  • Working with the Abbey Theatre every week & getting to know all of the wonderful staff
  • Seeing the Giant’s Causeway and walking across the Carrick-a-Rede robe bridge in N. Ireland
  • Exploring Galway with a friend one night and running into a stag party dressed as Willy Wonka & Oompa Loompas
  • Getting beat down by the Aran Islands with multiple bike mishaps
  • Touring the beautiful Dingle Peninsula with my mom & our tour guide
  • Working with the wonderful IES-Dublin staff who were beyond helpful
  • Meeting some of the best friends I will ever have

While I am still fighting the urge to jump on the next plane back to Dublin, it is nice to be back home with friends and family. If only I could just transplant them all over to Ireland….

Thanks for sticking with me and reading my blog! I hope you all get to have an experience as incredible as mine! If you have any questions, please let me know! I’d love to help convince you to go abroad! It’s the best thing I could have ever done!

 Mindy (mshull@purdue.edu)

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