Upon arrival to Dublin, Ireland, I was underwhelmed. It just seemed like any other city. It wasn’t until I started to explore the city and the landmarks that I realized how unique it truly was. The more places we visited, the more I enjoyed them.

Our itinerary consisted of several hikes and lots of time outdoors, as well as lots of traveling. The longest we spent in one city was only 3 nights. Though I didn’t take traditional classes, I learned a lot through our activities. I was constantly asking questions about things around us and the answers were fascinating.

The locals were very interesting. As a whole, Irish culture is very laid back. They also seemed to like Americans, so I did not feel completely alienated. I was afraid of being perceived as glaringly American, though that wasn’t the case. All the locals were very excited when I told them I was from Alabama. Many echoed the states name in the most southern accent they could muster. It was very funny!

Although most Irish people only speak English, all of their signs are listed in Irish first. It was a bit strange to have to look for English words in public places. There are some English words that do not have an Irish equivalent. Because of this, when I heard locals speaking the language, there were some English words sprinkled in. This made it hard to tell exactly what language they were speaking. Sometimes I had a little trouble understanding Irish accents, especially when they were speaking quickly.

While there, I saw some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen. The whole country looked like a movie set. there were fascinating formations that were exclusive to the country. It was amazing to me that places like that existed naturally.

As I prepared to return home, I realized I didn’t want to. I had just begun to feel normal where I was. It finally felt normal to travel all the time and to live out of a bag. Not to mention I had just gotten acclimated to the cooler weather. I realized that I would miss Ireland more than I thought I would.

Glendalough, Wicklow Mountains National Park
Biking to Dún Aonghasa on Inishmor
Kylemore Abbey