This past weekend I traveled to Cork, Ireland with a small number of my Northeastern classmates. It was a voluntary trip that we could chose to sign up for if we wished. When I was leaving to come to Ireland, my Nanny whom is from Ireland said to me “make sure you kiss the Blarney Stone!” I always kept this in the back of my mind and when the opportunity for this trip came along I jumped on it. The first thing we did on our trip was go straight to Blarney Castle and I went straight to the stone without hesitation. this is when an elder man instructed me on what to do when kissing the stone. I had to lay down and grab the whole poles above my head and trust him with my life as i stretched my head down into a gap between wall and floor and touched my lips to a stone. While this may not be one of Ireland’s smartest traditions, it did help me feel like I’m properly visited Ireland’s tourist attractions. After I kissed the stone, I walked away and remarked to my friend next to me that I was ready to go home. However I am glad that we did stay the night in Cork and visited the village of Cobh the next day. I had no idea what we would be doing in Cobh and was pleasantly surprised to hear what Cobh was known for.
From 1848 to 1950, over 6 million adults and children emigrated from Ireland – over 2.5 million departed from Cobh. My Great-Grandmother left Ireland during that time and it meant a lot to me to be able to visit the last place she was in Ireland. I wasn’t able to meet her but i still felt connected to her and my ancestry. During my time in Ireland, I have felt very connected to the past generations of my family and am glad that I have been able to visit the places where they lived and grew up. I look forward to bringing my family members from the United States to Ireland in the future so that I can share all the amazing things that I have done and seen.
I am glad that I decided to take the journey to Cork and Cobh. I now feel pride with what I have accomplished and visited during my time in Ireland and look forward to sharing my experiences with my family and friends when I travel back home to the United States.