At the halfway point

It doesn’t feel like I’ve been in Dublin for four weeks already. I’ve seen so much in the month I’ve been here, but still have so much left to experience in the five weeks that are left in my program. This past week was more of trying new bakeries and taking random turns around the city.

This past weekend, I took advantage of the great weather and took a solo trip to Newgrange and the Hill of Tara. Newgrange is an ancient passage grave built by mound builders. It’s older than the Sphinx and Stonehenge and is built around the concept of the different solstices. The Hill of Tara was also a place with many passage graves but these were of lesser importance. It was extremely peaceful and also very green. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a place more green than that field. It was the only color you could see for miles. I can only hope that the weather is just as good for my future weekend and day trips.

Another touristy thing I did this past weekend was visit the Guinness Storehouse because how can you not when you’re in Ireland! It was huge and had so many floors. I was amazed that there was so much to learn about Guinness and the process of brewing it. The first floor was where they introduced the different ingredients: barley, hops, water, and yeast. The second floor had several tasting rooms and a dj playing music. The third floor was where they showed all of Guinness advertising since their establishment in 1759. As a business student, I found this floor to be particularly interesting. It was amazing to see the first ad ever published and compare it to the most recent ad that’s out now. The fourth floor was the Guinness Academy where you learned how to pour your own pint. From the way it’s made to the way it’s poured is surprisingly extremely specific. Any differences could change the way it tastes. The fifth and seventh floors were food and drink where you could enjoy a pint, some food, and some live music. And for some reason that I’m unaware of, there was no sixth floor. But basically, the visit to the storehouse was extremely informative and who knew there was so much to know about a pint of Guinness!

After reflecting halfway through my trip, I realize the small things that are difficult to assimilate into my life. As far as work life, that cultural aspect is the multiple breaks that people take throughout the day. Usually I stay at my desk and am working pretty much non stop until my lunch break. However, many coworkers always urge me to go take a walk outside or take a tea break. This concept is strange in that back home, taking multiple breaks is frowned upon and seen as you not putting in the hard work necessary. Being taught one lifestyle and having to change to another one is difficult, especially when I feel bad for taking multiple breaks. But I’m getting better at consciously remembering to get up every so often and stretch my legs.

That’s all for now, see you next week!