Before arriving in Dublin, I initially imagined Ireland to be a very green, natural country. I’ve seen countless photographs of hillsides and mountains and beautiful trails. However, when I first arrived, Dublin seemed more familiar than I thought. I’m used to Philadelphia and the city life, so Dublin was not too much of a surprise for me. After two weeks had passed, I became a bit discouraged by the lack of scenery in Dublin. Don’t get me wrong – I love Dublin, and I love how much it reminds me of home, with few small differences. It has been almost four weeks now and I think it’s safe to say I find Dublin to be a second home for me. However, to be honest, it wasn’t what I was looking for.
Two weeks after our arrival, my friends invited me to a little weekend excursion to County Kerry. After finding out the entire trip would only cost me about 50 euros, I immediately agreed. Twenty-four hours later, we’re in the Killarney National Park.
After settling into our hostel and walking around the town, we took a long (very long) walk through the Killarney National Park. Everything was absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful. The weather was perfect, the people were friendly, the grass was the greenest I’ve ever seen, and the view was just incredible. I had never been to such a pretty place before in my life. After a long day at the Killarney National Park, we went back to our surprisingly nice hostel, went out for the night, then woke up to take the Dingle bus tour. The bus tour was just as amazing as the day before. I spent the weekend in awe of the town.
I feel as though Ireland is a country that not enough people think to visit. Before learning of the Freshman Frontiers program, I never saw myself coming to Ireland to visit or study. However, I’m extremely glad I did. I get to live in Dublin – a city similar to home – and travel around the country to see places I’ll never find back in Pennsylvania.