I have been away for THREE whole months now! Some days it feels like I have been away for a long time and some days it doesn’t feel like long at all. This is, however, the longest I have been away from home ever. When I did my exchanged to France (in high school) I was away for just under three months, so I have now surpassed the mark!
I have learned so much in this past month in Dublin – I am so lucky to be living here and so lucky that this first month has gone so smoothly. Here are a few highlights of the past month:
- I have never ever not lived at home so not only am I renting for the first time but I am renting in another country…thousands of miles away from home! I have bills to pay. I have to budget. I have to learn what it is like to be all grown up. So far, so good!
- I love my house and housemates. I like that I live super close to the city centre but that I also get to come out of the city each day and live in “Ireland” versus living in the tourist hub. It is nice to come out of town and feel like I am really and truly getting the experience of being Irish.
- I have made some great friends. As I have said before, it is the people, not the places that really make traveling. The same is here too, I am so lucky to have met such nice people!
- I have found two jobs (yup! I got a Christmas Retail position yesterday) and though I would rather not have to work (who wouldn’t?), I have thoroughly been enjoying the chance to go into different work places and meet different people. My first job as a temp. was working reception and boy oh boy was that a good lesson in learning the different accents of Ireland 🙂
- I had my first visitor! My co-worker from back home, Sandra, was traveling Europe and was able to drop by Dublin for a few nights. It was so neat to see someone from home and comforting to hear a familiar accent! What struck me the most about her visit was realizing, that as a tourist, you really get to see so little of any given city. While I was traveling I was usually staying around three nights in each city, not a long time. I saw all the highlights (and don’t get me wrong – I had an incredible time!) but seeing a city in a few days is not really getting to know the city. After having been in Dublin for one month, I have learned so much more about the city, the country, the people, than I could ever have learned in a few days. Having my first visitor was definitely an eye opening experience and not one I was really expecting!
The past month has been amazing and I have so much to look forward to…
One of my oldest and best friends, Ashley, booked her flight to come visit me in March! She is coming over for five weeks and we are going to tour Italy and Greece together. So excited! My family also started booking their trip to come visit me in July. And, there is the possibility of me seeing a few other people from home. The Spring and Summer are going to be so much fun!
BUT what I keep thinking about is that I need to cherish each and every moment here in Dublin. It is easy to think of and get excited about the big stuff, the trips, the visitors, but it is also important for me to really soak in the everyday. Last week, while I was commuting to work, I was thinking about how annoying it was to stand in the bitter cold waiting for the bus. But then, I looked up and realized something. I was standing in the cold, yes but I was standing in the cold in IRELAND! As I looked around, I realized I was in the heart of the city, overlooking the river in an absolutely beautiful location. That was one of those moments I hope I will remember forever. It is the little things like that are so special.
I do miss home a lot. I really, really do. I miss my friends and my family. I miss the comforts of home (I miss my bed so much!) but I truly love it here. So for this next month, I am going to concentrate on enjoying the little moments and soaking up the everyday 🙂
And, because every post is so much better with a picture, here are my KEYS! The lovely key chain is a Swarovski Crystal with my initial, that my friend Erica brought home for me from her travels in Europe during the Spring.