Journals from National University of Ireland, Galway
2009-05-28 Saying Goodbyes to Galway
In preparing to leave Galway, I tried my best to fill up my week. I didnt want to be mopey, or sad, I just wanted to stay present and enjoy my time with friends. For one day, I was extremely homesick; I was dreading the idea of all the traveling and effort it takes to just get home. I didnt want to leave, but at the same time I wanted to magically transport myself home.
Ive never been homesick at Linfield, so I experienced for the first time a real homesickness. I missed my younger brother (15 years old and growing) and was missing being part of my older sisters wedding planning. I disliked the inconvenience of calling home"having to wait until the weekend to call, just so that I could catch my family at home during the late morning. (Or else Id have to call in the late-late evening to catch them at home after work.)
But I was determined not to think about home, to focus on the people who were there. It was really lovely to connect with a few Irish there. I met up with my friends, Dani, Liam, and Donal, and tried to spend as much time as possible with my roommate, Susie. They were casual meetings, a coffee, a lunch, or a couple beers. There were a few almost-tears but the goodbyes were casual See you laters and I am confident that eventually I will see them again.
My Irish roommate, Susie, spent lots of time with us Linfield students before we left. She came to the bus station on our departure from Galway to wave goodbye. Several of us cried (especially me) but since Ive been home Ive Facebooked her, emailed her, even been texting with her. Having all of these ways of communicating help me feel less far away.
Its not necessarily Galway that I miss, at least not yet, but the people. I miss Susies cooking, guitar-playing, her snuggles. I miss Danis laugh and knack at story-telling. I miss talking with Liam and Donal and comparing Irish and American cultures. Its hard being split from friends. But just as you make friends at Linfield and are able to be away and keep a friendship, Im sure these friendships will continue just as well.
Its extremely bittersweet to leave and go home. I loved Susie so much and I almost felt guilty for leaving, telling her I was going home. Because for five months, Galway and Ireland was my home. How could I abandon it so easily?
P.S. Songs to get you in the mood for Ireland:
Caledonia (several versions, pick any one. My favorites are by Amy MacDonald and Emer Dowling)
San Diego Song by The Coronas (Irish pop band"theyre awesome!)
Everybody Knows You Cried Last Night and Chelsea Dagger by The Fratellis (the latter songs tune is sung all the time by drunken groups.)
And anything Irish/ Pub songs. Its not dorky to learn them. Actually, I highly recommend it, because my Irish friends loved to play traditional music and youll want to sing along.