– At the Bus Aras ticket office, they say they won’t give you a ticket if you don’t have your email print out, but they really will.
– It’s best to ignore the conversion rate between euros and dollars.
– A pint of Guinness can range from anywhere between €10 and €3,50, depending on how far from Temple Bar you are.
– You can go anywhere if you’re brave enough to buy a train ticket and a hostel room, and the internet makes both of those incredibly easy.
– If you’re running and you look like you’re dying, people walking on the sidewalk still won’t move out of your way.
– Student discounts are a beautiful thing.
– If you go somewhere and look like you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s okay. Nobody’s judging you, and if they are, ignore them. Nobody will always know what they’re doing everywhere, they’ll always feel unsure at least sometimes.
– You can go into nearly any pub/restaurant/cafe and get vegetarian soup and brown bread for about €4. When eating out, you walk into a restaurant and seat yourselves, and then go up to the bar to pay. And they will make anything vegetarian for you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to order the “ham panini without the ham, please,” and have the waitress laugh at me.
– The perfect travel attire is running shorts and running shoes and a rain jacket.
– NEVER ask someone for a ride.
– You can buy presents for everyone without stepping foot into Carroll’s.
– If you see a hill, climb it. Even in jeans or work clothes.
– Rain is not the end of the world, and it’s important to have a place to go with a noisy roof that you can sit under and listen to the rain crash.
– You don’t turn into brown bread if you eat it all summer :)
– Irish air is healthy. I can run farther than I ever have before, and I think it’s because of the air.
– There is exactly enough time in each day for things that are important to you.
– I spent the whole summer here and I still don’t understand totally what’s going on with the conflict with the North, and how people think of the Treaty and Michael Collins.
– It’s impossible to work when the sun is shining.
– To catch the bus, you have to throw your arm out. If you don’t, the bus won’t stop. Also, if you don’t have exact change for your bus fare, the bus driver will get grumpy.
– Cooking times for porridge depends on what kind of milk you use. Related: people in Ireland use whole milk almost exclusively.
– I need a job where I can talk to people all the time. The best part of my work here was the phone calls and client consultations.
– Sometimes, it’s important to not take pictures.
– Law is exactly right for me, and I want to be a lawyer . . . eventually.
– If you’re nice to someone, they’ll do anything they can to help you.
– Euro coins all look the same, and there are way too many of them.
– I’m a morning person.
– You can exist in Ireland and be fine even if you a) are a vegetarian b) don’t drink a whole lot and c) don’t swear.
– It is absolutely impossible to list all 50 states in one sitting. Impossible. Sarah, Stacy, and I all managed to forget the same state: Nebraska.
– Having thick skin and a sense of humor is crucial in everything.
– I don’t need as much sleep as I think I do.
– A prime lens is best for portrait photography (I have a 50mm and I’m obsessed), but impossible for landscapes. The best lens I found for photographing landscapes is an 18-270mm f/3.5-6.5 lens.
– I know what I’m doing.
– You’ll always feel welcomed by the Irish because they’ll always want to talk to you.
– It’s important to find a balance between getting too invested in work, and not being invested enough. Clients would come in and tell me their stories and I would have to maintain enough composure to take notes and fill out their forms and not give them a hug, but still retain enough humanity that I could put my hand on theirs and thank them, honestly, for talking to me, and realize that their words were a gift of trust. I wanted to feel it. There were times when a client would leave and I would need to just sit there and process what had just happened, but I needed to somehow sit up straight again and continue work. Balance is important.
– Boxing is the best Olympic sport.
– I can swim in any temperature of water.
– If you’re in rural western Ireland in a hugely Catholic household, you can’t talk for the minute immediately following 12pm after you hear the bells ring on the radio. This is called the Angelus and it’s a minute for prayer. If you do talk, especially about something mundane like eggs because you think it’s just an awkward silence, you will be glared at and most likely branded as a heathen.
– The only way to tell that you’ve crossed from the Republic into the North is that the dashed yellow line on the road turns into a solid white line, and the signs aren’t in Irish and English any more. Even still, the North feels like England.
– Irish and English humor is the best humor.
– People on the Aran Islands made soil by combining layers of crushed rock and seaweed for years until soil formed.
– If someone offers to pay for you, you have to argue with them about it for a good few minutes and try forcing the money upon them, but you ultimately always let them pay.
– It’s not the place, it’s the people.
– I have faith.
– Swimming in the rain in the Atlantic [Aran Islands]
– Conquering my fear of heights [Cork]
– Watching Katie Taylor win gold [Dublin]
– Learning to surf and eating meals cooked by my family [Kerry]
– Being the American stranger at a nightclub [Mayo]
– Learning to love my accent [Dublin]
– The first experience of travel and discovery alone [Bray]
– St. Kevin’s Cell [Glendalough]
– The Damien Dempsey concert [Aran Islands]
– The Old Library at Trinity [Dublin]
– Discovering the most perfect country road [Cork]
– Dancing at an 80s night club [Dublin]
– “Who’s Katie Taylor?” :) [Dublin]
– Lunchtime dates with the girls in work [Dublin]
– Seeing a sword swallower for the first time [Dublin]
– Seeing the Giant’s Causeway and Dunluce Castle (aka Cair Paravel) [Northern Ireland]
– Reading at St Stephen’s Green [Dublin]
– Seeing a real pub session [Galway]
– 99s [Kerry]
– Getting lost, and finding my way back again [Aran Islands]
– Running [Dublin]
– Making friends with a cat [Howth]
– The picnic we had at the People’s Park farmers market [Dun Laoghaire]
– Moonrise Kingdom [Dublin]
– Discovering Kopperberg pear cider [Cork]
– Seeing the Cliffs of Moher (aka the Cliffs of Insanity!) [Clare]
– Boggle and bananagrams [Kerry]
– Climbing Bray Head on accident [Bray]
– Things I’ve gotten to share with friends I’ve made: headphones, milkshakes, bus rides. [Dublin]
– The Lacuna [Dublin]
– Adventures with Sarah [Dublin, Cork, Galway, Aran Islands, Dun Laoghaire]
– Dublin vs. Mayo gaelic match [Dublin]
– Running in the St. James Hospital 6.5k fun run [Dublin]
– Pride Parade 2012 [Dublin]
– Swimming at the Connemara Beach [Galway]
– Feeling honest-to-God happy [Ireland]
Looking forward to:
– My birthday
– Halloween costumes
– Football games
– Pumpkin flavoured everything
– Trader Joes shopping
– Dream Project
– Sushi, bagels, and pancakes
– Nestling in to my new apartment
– Colorful leaves and brisk air and wind that sounds right
– Cold-weather clothes
– Visiting my family
– Reunions with friends
– Applying for Teach for America and the Bonderman fellowship
– LSJ classes
– Starting new jobs
– A trip to Portland
– Movie nights
– Finding my way back to Ireland
Thank you, everyone, for everything. Thank you for reading this silly little blog, thank you for commenting on my pictures, thank you for letters, thank you for sending your support and love 6,000 miles across the Atlantic. I could feel it. I had the most incredible summer, and I loved being able to share it. Thank you thank you thank you<3
“She said, I think I’ll go to Boston . . .”
Lots of love<3