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Celebrating a Year in Ireland

The Giveaway in this post has ended. Thanks to everyone who entered and congrats to the winner, Mel.

Today (well the day I’m publishing this post) is August 12, 2017. That means it’s been exactly one year since I first got to Ireland and started this working holiday thing. In some ways it feels like I got to Ireland yesterday, and in other ways it feels like I’ve been here forever.

What the past 12 months has been like

The past 12 months has been both frustrating and wonderful. It took a while to get a job. I’ve had to move more times than I would have liked (although many others have done the same, it’s a reality here in Dublin). But it has been beautiful. There’s so much history here, and people are friendly and always up for a chat, and it’s so damn green. Even in winter when it’s cooler and not as green it’s still green. There’s outdoor flower markets in January, and lots of rain, and occasional bits of sunshine. When the sun is out it’s like everyone gets outside. I’ve gotten used to the temperate weather so now 0C is freezing to me (I know I’m gonna get teased about this when I come home). Temperatures above +23C are now too hot.

Exploration

I’ve seen a bit of Dublin, and got to show my parents around when they visited a few months ago, but there’s a lot I haven’t seen. And there’s small pieces of the rest of Ireland I’ve seen, but not as much I would have liked. My initial plan of “I’m going to travel every week” turned into every month. Then to every few months. The cost of living here was higher than I had anticipated. Having to move (3 times in one year) and save up for new damage deposits took a lot out of my travel budget. But I can’t complain. Outside Ireland also got to travel to Bath, to London, and to Brussels and later this month I’ll be going to Edinburgh. There’s also a trip planned for Copenhagen in November and London next year (to see Hamilton). I hope there’ll be more trips, but those are for sure.

Learning

I’ve learned a bit, although I don’t feel Irish and I’m not talking with an accent. But if someone asks if Ireland is my home it is my home for now. It feels like home, but not like Home. Home is Canada, and always will be. That doesn’t mean I can’t have other homes around the world, and leave little pieces of my heart all over. I don’t know yet. I felt excited when someone asked me for directions today. I didn’t have to say, “sorry I don’t know I’m not from here” like I would have had to do a year ago. I could actually tell those drunk Brits on the Luas, “yes this is Jervis Street where you want to get off.”
Dublin, Ireland

Liffey River

There’s a jumble of random things and thoughts about being here for a year. It’s too early for me to tell what affect Ireland has on me or will have. I won’t know until I get back to Canada, and it’ll hit me like a ton of bricks. It could be a bunch of slow, random realisations throughout my life. The point being I’m too close to see everything now, so I’m going to enjoy the last year I have here in Ireland. I’m going to try to see and do what I can (without pushing myself). I’m going to try to take advantage of being close to other places in Europe too. I’ve learned I won’t get to go everywhere I want in the next 12 months (because I want to go everywhere).
Have you been to Ireland? If so what was your favourite place? If not what place in Ireland would you like to visit?

9 Responses to Celebrating a Year in Ireland

  1. Carla S August 13, 2017 at 3:22 AM #

    I would want to visit the coast of Ireland.

  2. manda August 13, 2017 at 4:25 PM #

    Anywhere! I haven’t been but my mother in law was born there and talks of it often.

  3. Murissa August 13, 2017 at 5:17 PM #

    I loved all of it but the Rock of Cashel, Blarney, Glendalough and Howth were my favourite places to visit and see. Ireland is still one of my favourite countries to visit.

  4. Annie August 13, 2017 at 7:30 PM #

    Ring of Kerry and Killarney National Park. Anywhere in Ireland would be good, but those are my top two.

  5. kelly tupick August 14, 2017 at 4:12 PM #

    I have never been but my parents just came back from visiting and took some awesome pictures. They have been twice and is looking to return again and hopefully one of these times i can make it out there with them. I would love to visit Blarney Castle!

  6. Jonnie August 14, 2017 at 5:14 PM #

    I have never been but Ireland’s on my list if must-see places. I would love to visit Dublin!

  7. judith August 15, 2017 at 5:39 PM #

    my parents went on a driving tour around the country and i’d love to go! they explored so many places and met lots of friendly people

  8. Donna Caldwell August 15, 2017 at 11:38 PM #

    I love visiting Dublin the people are so friendly and there is so much to see and do

  9. Laura S August 18, 2017 at 12:02 AM #

    I would just love to visit Ireland in general, but Glendalough would be right at the top of my list!

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