F[air]e thee well, my honey

I usually don’t throw out song requests at the beginning of my blog (because I don’t want to copy my girl Tirra), but for my last post I recommend queuing up this song while you read and cry or whatever emotions you wish to express:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQyPVBtLXk0

The time has come for me to say goodbye to this little green island.

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Say goodbye to the friends that I have made, the people I have encountered, and the lovely European sense of fashion.

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The time has come for me to pour my heart out in this wittle blog in the best way I know how. Lists and Pics. Because I can think of no better way to say goodbye than listing and visually showing some memories and things that I will miss.

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And yes, while this will be a list of things that I am going to miss, they are also things that I am eternally grateful for. Memories that will last forever in my mind. Memories that I hope to share with my own family some day.

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So here goes nothing:

I will miss…

*Hearing “thanks a million!” “oh sorry there,” “No bother!” etc. AKA Irish hospitality.

*European fashion

*European MEN’s fashion

*….European men?

*Scones

*Coffee dates with Mattie every Tuesday morning at 10am. (& trying out a new coffee shop every time)

*These three beautiful Americans that are *exclusively available in Ireland

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*Cheese and onion flavored chips whoops I mean **crisps

*Sharing happy meals with Anthony

*That hot chicken filled baguette at the Restaurant on campus

*Swedish hugs

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*All of Hannah’s one-liners that seem to fit effortlessly into all conversation

*The 40 minute Irish Mass and the congregation that claps for the singer at the end

*International Parties at the Old Oak

*Eating loquats in Greece

*My friends

*Tuesday nights at Voodoo with Paulina

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*APT35 Pre-Pre-Gaming

*Attempting to speak to Paulina in Spanish and sometimes failing miserably…

*Aer Lingus flight attendants

*Getting multiple free umbrellas because Ireland is TOO NICE and we were desperate

*Standing on the edge of the Cliffs of Moher (Tirra included)

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*Running as fast as we can back home at 2:00am in the pouring rain because umbrellas don’t work and who bothered to bring a rain coat anyway?

*Basically everything about APT35

*Speaking in Spanish with Paulina in front of our host family when we don’t want them to know what we are saying.

*Irish trad in any given pub on any given night

*Playing oboe in an ensemble with 98% Irish students and directors and consequently trying to understand their directions past the accent.

*Riding free water taxis in LEEDS while Ben Wu talks politics with the driver

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*Texting Paulina how hungry I am even though we are 5 feet from each other.

*My little 13 year old oboe friend who always has something exciting to share and who I can have a small conversation in Irish with.

*Laughing and embarrassing myself with my other classmates in Irish class and wondering if Sean is ACTUALLY speaking Irish or just very accented English, but DEFINITELY not being able to understand either.

*Early morning walks on the weekend to the bus stop when no one is out (which would be 9am) because no one wakes up early in Ireland.

*Spanish greetings ❤  (dos besos!)

*My friends

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*Giving bandaids out to girls in need and building friendships all the way to Australia because of it. (MOLLY 😉

*Giving and receiving hugs (like it’s the last time we will ever see each other) from Albin and Richard every time I enter and leave their presence

*Staring in awe at the color of the grass wondering if TRULY anything could possibly be THAT green (only when the sun comes out that is)

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*Listening to Emilee perfectly quote every single Miranda Sings line to date

*Playing matchmaker with everyone that wishes to find a match ❤

*Laughing, crying, laughing, traveling the world, sharing Spongebob quotes, loving popcorn, hating marshmallow flavored things, and basically accepting PowerCouple status with Anthony.

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*Taking flaming shots with Amina and Asta and Tirra AND the Garda in the back of Old Oak

*Making new friends wherever I go; the line at immigration, on a train in England, at Spanish clubs…

*Learning how to say “cheers” in LITERALLY (that one is for you Richard) every language

*Walking down Oliver Plunkett street

*Playing random French drinking games somewhere in Edinburgh and WINNING

*Eating at The Pantry in Kinsale on a rainy day

*Climbing mountains in Scotland

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*Riding the London Underground again and again..and again because the tube=love

*Climbing mountains in Spain

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*Seeing the Lumineers live in Dublin

*Eating Kebabs in Greece (and also in Cork, sometimes twice in one week…)

*Sitting on the steps in McDonalds contemplating life

*Walking 30 minutes up-hill in the rain with a fractured foot to a far off fort only to realize it was maybe the most dangerous thing we could have ever done

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*Did I mention my friends?

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This list could go on forever, but I’ll spare you. This experience has been truly life-changing, and certainly unforgettable.

I highly highly highly recommend studying abroad. This has simultaneously been the most fun and challenging experience of my life. I think people sometimes forget that studying abroad is not all fun and games, and can be just as difficult as staying in the states for a semester, but for different reasons. While being in the states I’m sure I would have been challenged a bit more academically, here I was challenged in different ways, from ordering pizza, to learning how to take the bus, to battling homesickness while simultaneously trying to keep up every friendship back at home.

I know that I run the risk of coming back to the states a ‘changed air’ . But the thing is, I would be more concerned if I DIDN’T change while studying abroad. I certainly didn’t come abroad to keep my narrow minded self the same and never think of bigger ideas and ways of thinking. I came abroad to LEARN. And while it may not have been the traditional kind of learning, I certainly learned a lot about myself and the world around me. I certainly learned that there is A LOT more out there than a population of 7,000 in a small town in Nebraska. But I also learned how much that small town in Nebraska means to me as well.

I hope everyone gets the opportunity to go abroad someday. Whether it be through school, work, or leisure. It is just so important to understand that we are not the center of the universe, and there is so much more going on. The world is so large and so full of culture and ideas, please go out and and explore it. Take all of it in, and respect it for all that it is worth.

While I will miss Ireland dearly, I am so excited to go back home. I am happy to see my puppy who is not really a puppy at all, I’m happy to see my parents that helped make this whole experience a reality. I’m happy to catch up with all my friends. I’m happy to watch my baby sister graduate from high school. I’m happy to enjoy choices and Chipotle and Jimmy Johns and M&Ms again. I’m happy to DRIVE MY CAR. I’m happy to help plan and attend the weddings of some of my dear friends and relatives (I’m talking about you Kat, Lisa, and Andrea ;). I’m happy to get a long awaited and much needed hug/head pet from my best friend.

Well, that’s a wrap folks. Are you crying yet? I am!

God Bless Ireland.

God Bless the U.S.A.

And to all the friends that I have made here?

Fare thee well, my honey,

fare thee well.

 

-air

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