This past Thursday I was graciously given two days off (since I worked a Saturday previously) to spend with my family when they came to visit. Thursday morning my parents came to University College Dublin where we’ve been living for the summer. I briefly showed them around campus and introduced them to my roommates. After that we hopped on a busy go head into the city. They remarked how I seemed like a real Dubliner because I knew the bus system so well (little did they know I only really need to use one bus route to get anywhere I need to go). We explored a few of the iconic scenes of Dublin like temple bar and St. Stephens Green. After I took them to where I’ve been working all summer and introduced them to my coworkers. I’m awaiting for all the remarks on Monday about how I look exactly like my mom and nothing like my dad or brother. I then took everyone to see Trinity college and the Book of Kells. My dad’s favorite stop was next- the Guinness Storehouse.
Showing my family around the city really made me feel like I have been acclimated into its population- I no longer stick out like a tourist, but seem to know where I’m going in the city (even if I still need google maps every so often). It was a confidence boost to be able to show my family something that was brand new to me a few months ago with ease.
My favorite part of my family’s visit was seeing the country side and getting out of Dublin. They rented a car so we had a little more freedom than using busses and trains to travel through the country. Thank goodness my dad can drive stick. It was a unique experience and we packed a lot into the short weekend I spent with them. I kissed the Blarney Stone, hiked through parts of Cork, saw the very cute town of Kinsale, drove bits of the Ring of Kerry, hiked up Skellig Michael (which of you don’t know anything about it 1. It’s an extremely steep hike 2. They filmed Star Wars there), and took plenty of pictures along the way.
While my family will continue to travel while I work this week it was an amazing experience to show my mom and brother around Dublin and Ireland. And even cooler to show my dad- who came to Ireland when he was 23 years old (so 30 ish years ago) how the city and the country has changed in that time. Seeing my family helped the homesickness I had begun to feel but made me realize how little time left I have on this trip of a lifetime.