There are three things from my time abroad that I hope to always remember with clarity: the friendships I developed, the colors of Dublin, and the spectacular adventures. Through the totality of my experience, I believe I enhanced my communication skills, gained greater awareness of cultural differences, and expanded my sense of independence and resiliency while discovering more about myself.
The friendships were instantaneous. There were seventeen of us from Pitt; we all quickly bonded the first night at dinner. I especially, became close with Meghan, Emily, Jackie, and Sam. Although we had only just met, most people thought we had been friends for years.
The streets were beautiful; each one bursting with culture. While exploring the city the first week, I noticed the bright, colorful doors of Dublin and the lively murals painted on the sides of buildings in the famous Temple Bar area. The Pubs often had the flags of different countries flying above their awnings. The city was preparing for Pride Month, so little hints of rainbow could be seen throughout. Every day I wandered, finding hidden nooks and crannies, enhancing this city’s story.
The landscapes were breathtaking. Every weekend we explored a different part of the country. Our first weekend consisted of four wonderful days discovering different towns. Friday was a program trip to Glendalough, where we climbed a mountain and gazed at the sparkling lakes below. Saturday and Sunday, my new girlfriends and I sought our own adventures. We first navigated the Dublin Dart train south to Dalkey—”the Beverly Hills of Ireland.” The views of the sea from atop a hill were stunning. We sat for a while, as the coastal wind blew through our hair, soaking in the serenity of the day. Eventually we stumbled upon the Vico Bathing Place, where we jumped into the freezing Irish Sea. That Sunday, the five of us booked a tour to Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. There, I stretched out my arms and danced in circles with the wind. The first weekend of adventures rounded out with a Dart ride north to Howth Head Peak, where we hiked around the coast and roamed the town’s outdoor market.
The second weekend, we visited the Cliffs of Moher and Dun Aonghasa on the Aran Islands. It was so thrilling to sit near the edge of these great cliffs, surrounded by water. The views were nothing short of amazing. I was thrilled by the magnificent colors of the green grass, the grays of the stone and the iridescent blue of the water.
Our third weekend in Ireland was spent surfing on the west coast in County Donegal and watching the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean. This was one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever watched.
Before I knew it, my adventure was over. Time went far too fast, but the friendships, the culture, the sites—these things will stay with me always.