I’d always planned on traveling but when explaining my decision to study abroad I consistently led with “I want to LIVE in another country.” At the time it wasn’t easy to articulate what that meant exactly. I wanted to not be tourist somewhere that wasn’t in the same region of the country I’ve lived in my entire life so far and probably will live in for the rest of my life. I wanted to really understand the culture, but that was just a vague thought. I wanted those “new eyes” all those romantic travel quotes were talking about. So as a girl who’d never flown nor been to Canada, which is basically my backyard, I applied for a passport, packed up and placed my life on hold while I spend three months in another world.
Well, after my trip to the North, while sitting in my Irish Life and Cultures class listening to Allan talk about “The Plough and the Stars” and how the Irish finally saw themselves in the rebellion (and didn’t like it) I had a realization. I have actually accomplished what I set out to do by living in another country. After months of this Irish Life crash course and a powerful trip to the North, along with daily interactions, I actually feel like I understand the entirety of the Irish psyche in such a complex way that I couldn’t exactly put it into words- which is exactly what I wanted. I didn’t want something I could’ve just read off a page, I wanted a true understanding. And I’ve definitely gained “new eyes” from the view from across the pond.