My feet were hanging over the edge of one of the cliffs in Dún Aonghasa. The wind was rushing past my legs and face, pushing my hair back, making me look absolutely ridiculous. The waves were violently crashing 100 meters beneath my feet as I sat carefully teetering between sitting and falling off of the edge. At that moment I had a certain realisation. I wasn’t thinking about what papers I had to write, what I was going to have for dinner, or how much money I had left in my bank account. I wasn’t worrying about my future, what job I was going to hold, what I was going to do with the rest of my life; I was thinking about one and only one thing – where I was. I was on a cliff that was older than anything I had ever touched, saw, or experienced. I was in a country with a rich, and troubled history. I was in a structure that was built in 1100 BCE. I looked toward the horizon and saw the vast blue ocean, it started to really hit me: I was not in America anymore. Dublin had been quite easier to adjust to. It is a modern city, with the same concrete layout, the same sort of buildings, the same sort of hustle and bustle there is in any of the major cities I’ve been to. Things were familiar here, sure they may not have some of the shops and products they have back home, but it’s pretty darn close. But on that island, on that ancient stone, next to the ancient fort built hundreds and thousands of years ago, I was not home. It seems like a silly realisation, but I feel like I absolutely needed it. Not only am I here to “do school”, but I’m here to experience this utterly new place, to gather as much as I can, to learn as much about myself and another place as I can. And I can’t say that I’ve been more excited than ever.
– Daniel Lim