During my time in Ireland, the experience was coined by lots of good food, late nights, and climbing mountains. We began in Dublin, Ireland and became acquainted with the city on a hop-on-hop-off sites seeing bus, where we got to see many historic sites in Dublin, including the home of the president! The next day continued the theme of learning more about Irish history, as we visited EPIC, Dublinia, the Book of Kells, and the Guinness Storehouse. On the second full day, we took part of a hike in Glendalough National Park, that was probably the hardest thing I have ever done, it was almost 10 miles long and took around 7 hours, but it was so worth it. Learning to push myself was a crucial part of this experience. The trip continued into Wexford Town, where we visited the Irish Heritage Center, Raven Nature Preserve, Tintern Abbey, and the Hook Lighthouse (which is a great location for whale watching!) From Wexford Town we moved to Killarney, where we visited the Rock of Cashel (a historic Irish landmark with a very interesting history involving St. Patrick) and toured the Muckross Farm (a farm designed to resemble a traditional Irish farm, complete with freshly baked bread.) After departing from Killarney, we took a scenic tour in our bus around the Ring of Kerry, which was a nice break from the constant walking. From the Ring of Kerry we arrived in Doolin, and the following morning planned an excursion to the Aillwee Caves, and we also got to do my favorite thing which was visiting the Raptor Center which was located there. I got to hold a Bateleur Eagle named Batty! Once we were done at the caves we had a free afternoon in Doolin, and I went with some of my friends to golf along the coast before we had a cliff walk along the Cliffs of Moher. The cliff walk was incredibly cool, but also a little creepy due to the fog and the inability to see the ocean, only being able to hear it. After the cliff walk we came back to a pub called McDermott’s where we got to hear some traditional Irish music, but we had another big hike the next day so we didn’t stay out too late. I really enjoyed hiking the Burren, and getting to meet our tour guide, Tony. Because we were thrown in the deep end on hikes at the beginning of the trip, I felt more prepared for this one and was able to enjoy the the scenic landscape more. Most of us were worn out by the hike, but we still ended up back at McDermott’s for more music anyways. Early the next morning we boarded a ferry to the Aran Islands, specifically Inis Mor. I think the accommodations we had on the island were my favorite due to how different it was from anything I had stayed in before. I went on a short bike ride with some of my friends to get used to riding a bike on the island when I wiped out and scraped my leg a good bit, but it’s ended up being a fun story to tell! The following day the island had no power, but all of our plans were outside as we biked along the island to Dun Aengus, a ruined fort on a cliff by the sea. I was secretly hoping the power would stay out long enough to delay our leave from Inis Mor, but unfortunately that did not happen. The next day was spent in Galway, a town that is largely considered one of the largest culture centers in Ireland. We had a free day to roam around, which made it nice to explore the city at our own pace. That evening we got to see Trad on the Prom (a showcase of traditional Irish music and dance), which was very entertaining, albeit the bathroom was the hottest bathroom I have ever been in my entire life. The hostel we stayed at in Galway was also very interesting and I really liked how the bunk beds were set up, but by this point in the trip I was really missing air conditioning. We were able to spend the next morning in Galway (where I and then took off around noon to spend the next couple of nights in Clifden). Once we arrived the group took an excursion to Kylemore Abbey, where we got to see beautiful gardens, have amazing ice cream, and get a sneak peak of the hike we were doing the next day. The reality that the trip was ending soon was beginning to set in, so my friends and I spent a lot of the evening just hanging out before getting some rest in preparation for our last hike. We woke up early the next morning to get a head start on our hike, which was the Diamond Hill Trek in Connemara National Park. I think the moment that we reached the summit of the mountain was the most emotional part of the trip for me, because it really felt like I had conquered a part of myself that I hadn’t known was there. Getting to share that moment with my friends who had been strangers at the beginning of the study abroad was very special, even though we got absolutely drenched on the way down from the summit. The next morning we hopped on the bus and drove back to Dublin, where we spent our last day sight seeing, holding pigeons, visiting cafés, and buying last minute souvenirs before attending our final supper in Ireland. It was nice to have a last meal together before parting ways for the remainder of the summer. After our dinner, most of us went to play trivia at the bar we visited the first time we were in Dublin, and it was nice to end where we began. We made it back before Trinity College’s curfew, but some of us stayed up talking because going to sleep meant that the trip was over. Getting on the bus to go to the airport was harder than anything else I had done so far, and as soon as I got home I was ready to step on another plane and go straight back.