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Journals from Galway, Ireland

2013-05-25 The Return Home

 I remember rolling my eyes when the study abroad returnees told me time and time again before I departed, “enjoy every minute, because it is over before you know it." Now, however, as I find myself on the flight home reflecting on my own study abroad experience, I realize I understand exactly what they meant. Time really does fly!

After weeks of European travel, I returned to Ireland to spend my last week abroad back in Galway where the whole amazing adventure began. I was fortunate enough to have my mom join me for this last leg of my semester. During the week I had the opportunity to not only revisit all my favorite Galway places, but also to share these special places with my mom! In the week we had, we did Galway right with essential visits to the Saturday market for a fresh doughnut, the Crane bar for a traditional music session, Salt Hill for a beautiful view of Galway Bay, and Shop Street for final souvenir purchases and shopping amid the energetic street performers. It was wonderful to be able to show my mom where I had spent my semester and to introduce her to the people who had shaped my abroad experience.

In addition to taking the grand Galway tour, my mom and I also dedicated two days to seeing Northern Ireland—an area I had not yet visited. It was an absolutely incredible trip! The drive North was a continuous display of some of the most stunning and rugged coastal views Ireland has to offer. The landscape at the Giant’s Causeway was the stuff of fairytales with its strange, but beautiful, arrangement of hexagonal rock formations. I was so glad to see a new side of this beautiful island before heading back home.

After our trip north and a day of cleaning and preparation, I set out to the Shannon airport to board my flight back home. It seems like just last week I was on a flight heading the opposite direction over the Atlantic with a belly full of butterflies, a mind full of uncertainties, and a heart full of hopes. In many ways, the experience was nothing like I expected; my time abroad has exceeded all dreams I could have ever imagined. I will treasure the memories from this experience forever!


One last cheers,


Final Irish Phrase of the Week:

Slainte: Cheers! 

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