Returning to The Homeland!

14 Jun

So I have only been back home for 2 days. On my way home I had a 22 hour layover in Dublin, Ireland, which let me tell you dear readers, was one of the BEST 22 hours of my life. Immediately upon stepping on Irish soil I fell in love with the Irish & their personalities. 

Never have a experienced such friendliness!

It was a little overwhelming. Like the TSA guys at the airport patting me on the back while handing back my passport & saying, “Cheers, love!”, people I didn’t know coming up to buy me Guinness in a non-creepy way, everyone offering to help me with my overweight giant broken wheeled suitcase that I was dragging behind me, & the man driving the airport shuttle bus actually waiting making sure I had secured my bag & was sitting down before he sped off. I mean do people even DO things like this anymore? Czechs–most likely definitely not. & If you meet an American as kind as an Irish person than you remember them & tell others about them. 

Image(Above: THIS is what you see flying over Ireland. Green & beautiful!)

Basically, while I thought the overall city that I saw wasn’t as breath-takingly beautiful as some of the other places I’d been (although I almost cried when I realized the river was actually a seaport going to an ACTUAL OCEAN which was nice considering I’d been landlocked for all this time), I would literally moved to Ireland just for the people. 

It might sound silly because no one ever moves anywhere for that sole reason. They move for scenery & culture. But if there’s one thing that I’ve learned both from my studying abroad for 5 months in Paris & living abroad for 11 months in Prague–the people around you really affect your lifestyle…& ultimately your happiness. After all they’re the ones you’re trying to become. 

Think about it: part of moving to any new place is learning to acculturate & blend in with the locals. When you move to Paris you learn to turn your nose up to the flower men, mini Eiffel Tower men & those ones at Sacre Coeur who try to tie things around your wrist. In Prague you learn to be silent on all public transport, but immediately offer to give up your seat for someone who needs it. But you also learn to be quiet, reserved & frown a whole lot (which socially doesn’t convey meaning like it does in USA, it’s smiling that conveys more meaning–& sometimes it’s a bad thing!). 

While in Italy & especially Ireland it was really fun to blend in aka: talk my usual (loud) volume, small talk with the people around me (something a Parisian or Czech would probably NEVER do), & just have a great time!

I knew I was only there for a short while so I wanted to make it last! I asked my hostel (complete with adorable HILARIOUS Irish men) where to go for dinner & eventually stumbled in this little pub called The Celt. Walking into the dimly lit room filled with older men in suits yelling & laughing was a little intimidating, I almost left! But then the bartender, who was so so cool, greeted me before I had time to go.

Image(Above: The Celt in Dublin. Great food, great music, great people! I totally recommend it!)

I sat right at the bar & proceeded to order my very first Guinness (which, to my disappointment, tasted almost NOTHING like my beloved Kozel Cerny) & some Fish N Chips. Before my food even came, I had officially met both the bartenders & had struck up a conversation with the kid behind me who was from Kentucky but LIVED IN BOSTON. Small world! 

I arrived at the pub around 8pm & left probably somewhere around 1am! I knew I had a flight the next day but I was just having so much fun! Everyone came up & chatted with me (although sometimes I could not understand A SINGLE WORD), there were 2 parakeets chirping away in a cage hanging above the bar, the Guinness & Bulmer’s was flowing & around 10pm the live music began! 

Image(Above: There’s live music every night! Like legit Irish music with fiddles & tin flutes!)

At one point when I told the bartender I was Irish (4th generation but still Irish!) he said, “Well welcome home little lady!” & I really did feel like I was. I looked around to everyone laughing & singing to the music, drinks in hand & just thought to myself, “God, I will miss Europe.” 

The next day I woke up at 9am with a massive hangover, missing the free walking tour at my hostel. But I was all recovered by the time I had to head to the airport at 1pm, so I had no regrets at all about the previous night! My 7 hour flight home was boring & long but it felt good to run into the arms of Mama G & Grampy who were waiting for me in the airport.

I am happy to see everyone & be back but also so sad to go.

Europe, I love you & cannot wait to come back. I had a great time these past 11 months. Solo trips to Vienna, eating my way around Italy, 2 times in Paris & of course learning to fall in love with my now 2nd home, Prague. It was a great time & I am so glad I ended the experience partying it up in Ireland. It was a celebration that right now this may be the end, but I will definitely be back soon!

JG 🙂 

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2 Responses to “Returning to The Homeland!”

  1. Sluníčko June 15, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    I’m glad you made it home safe and sound! 🙂 I also heard a lot of Irish people being friendly and not as complicated as Swiss people, and you’ve just confirmed it! 😀 I’m planning to take D. to Dublin this Summer / Autumn for a weekend, and I’m really excited about it already… 😀

    • jgravesss June 15, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

      They are! You will have a great time 🙂

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