I’m not sure people still check out my blog, or if this my temporary hiatus was too long to hold the interest of any reader at all. Now that the holidays are over and we have entered a brand new year, I thought a final blog post would do nicely to mark my short but eventful stay in Ireland. Initially, I planned to write this on the 31st of December (2013, if that wasn’t clear, haha), so I would leave the blog in the “correct” year and yada yada, but as we all know nothing turns out the way you plan. Too much to do and enjoy during Christmas and New Year! I hope you all had a nice and cosy time. I said goodbye to my brother today, who is going back to his work up the country, so now it’s just me and my parents here.
On my last night in Dublin I couldn’t sleep at first, so I crawled up in bed and wrote down stuff and thoughts about my visit in Ireland. Such notes always sound so good in your head in the middle of the night. When you take a look at it the morning after, most of it tends to look like total gibberish. Kinda like when you’ve taken notes about a dream right after waking up. However! I am gonna write some of it here, the parts that did not go into some weird sleepy sentimental rant about Dublin.
“My last night in Dublin, at least for this time. I hope there will be many more to come in the future. No one knows and that’s the beauty of it. It’s impossible to tell what will happen in the years to come and that is exactly how it should be. I guess you could say ‘unpredictable’ is one of the words I will remember this journey of mine with. It has now been four months, more or less, since I set out on this little adventure. Pretty much nothing turned out the way I had planned in my head. Well, except for the end. I did sort of build up a scene where I would leave Dublin behind with all these new experiences in my back pocket, ready to use whenever I needed an anecdote or if someone would ask me where I’d been the autumn of 2013 (I have no idea why anyone would do that, who does that?). It’s not a great story with a lot to tell, where I changed anything in particular or did much memorable things (to the outside world anyway). Not when you look closely. I didn’t make tons of friends. My accommodation left a lot (A LOT) to wish for. Stress fried my brain long before finals was even considered. I felt homesick more often than I care to admit. The list goes on. And when I look at it that way, I easily forget the big picture. I did gain something from this experience though. I may not have made a lot of friends, but I did make friends and met interesting people, no matter if this was the only time we ever saw each other. I may have lived in the house of nightmares, but it only shows that not everything can run smoothly but you still have to deal with it in the best way possible (of course, the fact that I only had to stay there for one semester made it a bit easier to handle). I was stressed most days and missing home made it worse to cope with. A lot of this had to do with the way we were living. But you know, the whole thing challenged me and I realized that there was no way of going back or just ‘not doing this’. The only way was forward! And we all have bad bad days, just as we have days when everything just feels right. I did have many of those latter days. And this blog is a written down proof of that. It has been a fine journey which let me discover new things about myself, and that must be the ultimate reward travelling can give.
It’s the 23rd of Deccember and I’ll be going home to Sweden today. I would have been home days ago had I chosen to stay in Sweden this autumn. But I didn’t. Instead, I can now tell you about that time Frida and I, right in the beginning of our Erasmus semester in Dublin, stayed on the bus all the way into the bus terminal because we didn’t understand the system and how or when to jump off.”
If you have read my blog, you should know what kind of obvious advice I am now about to hand out for anyone interested in this wonderful city. If you are going here on Erasmus, be early out on accommodation. I know people who went to Dublin months before the semester started to check out places. I thought Frida and I did good by arriving two weeks before the actual lectures started, but as you could see, it was a tough hunt! Also, it’s quite an expensive place for students. The final advice I have, is probably.. ‘do whatever you feel like’. You’ll be in a completely new place, with new faces, new voices, new scenery. I don’t really want to speak of regrets, but if there is one thing I regret, it’s missing out on many of the things I had in mind because I couldn’t decide what to put my time in. Now, it’s alway easier to say that in retrospect when you’re not swamped with assignments and literature to read, so all I’m gonna say is: if you think you have the time, set aside some of it to get involved in the socities and/or sport clubs. I think that would have made it easier for me, as an international student, to make some Irish friends.
So that’s that. 🙂 I hope my blog has given you some insight to what my stay was like, and that I have inspired future visits to this lovely island and its people and nature. Thank you all for reading, it has truly been uplifting and a pleasure writing knowing you’ll be here. 🙂 Until next time, goodbye!
Whiskey In The Jar – The Dubliners