Travel Log: Galway, Ireland

Travel Log is a series of posts that I’m typing out, word for word, from my personal written journal that I bring on trips. & Trust me: I write a lot.
Don’t expect too much journalistic flair — This is typed straight from my trusty ol’ college ruled freewriting. No edits, no additions, no afterthoughts.

It’s the closest possible thing I could think of to bringing you with me.

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It was all I could do not to cry.

For some reason, Hey Soul Sister made me want to bawl. The flight was incredibly smooth, hardly a shake, and I was dozing out as we were coasting just about the Dublin coastline when Hey Soul Sister came on my Shuffle and suddenly I realized exactly what I was doing. Touching down in Ireland.

And I have always wanted to go to Ireland.

I feel similarly to Italy where there’s just this weird, other-life-ly yearning to be there. To see it. To feel it, like there’s something there particularly, waiting for me. And here I am, and I’m trying not to cry as I write this on the comfy charter bus from Dublin to Galway.

But I might anyway. Ireland deserves it.
Ireland is beautiful.

I’ve been in Italy for almost a month, but the wave of emotion hasn’t hit me until today. So blessed it brings tears. So grateful it brings tears. Maybe it’s the change of scenery, going somewhere where there are no strange pressures in a foreign land, social, academic, financial — here, I know someone.
Here, I’ve only come to have fun.

I’m sitting here & everytime I think about how it has been a dream of mine to see Ireland one day, I tear up. Just the thought, recognizing that long held desire in me to see this one particular place, and seeing it come true literally before my eyes, is f***ing me UP. Remembering how dull that desire tasted after only imagining it for so long. Recognizing what desire and wishing and dreaming felt like, back there, down there in one-day land, wondering if this day might come.
And here it is.

It’s the biggest emotion I’ve felt in a while.
I just keep thinking…

I have always wanted to go to Ireland.
I have always wanted to see Ireland.

Aaaaaand crying again.
I tried to blink it away & not be so dramatic when I looked down at my Claddaugh ring and then just straight cried. Just let it rip, couldn’t hold it anymore. I’m really here. I mean, millions of kids study abroad and country hop, and it’s amazing and so much fun, but I don’t think it’ll feel this way all the time. Because Europe is beautiful, Frankfurt is beautiful, all of it is wonderful, study abroad is fantastic…

But I have always wanted to go to Ireland.

.

It’s like some strange, other-worldly homecoming. I haven’t figured out what it is yet, what’s the reason I feel a pull here… But I keep thinking of the feeling you get when, maybe you’ve been biking around without a sweater, maybe you just woke up from a nap and your body temperature’s way low, maybe its just one of those days
And then you pull on your favorite, worn-in, heather-gray middle school hoodie. You shake the hair out of your face, pull the hood over your head and shrug your shoulders so that your hands slip back into the worn, barely-elastic-anymore cuffs.
And you breathe.
That’s what Ireland feels like it’s doing to me.
.

It’s weird because I’ve always felt, if there’s anywhere I wanna go — wanted to go — more than Ireland, it’s Greece and Italy. I’ve been in Italy for a month. I remember crying when we landed in Milan a bit… but maybe circumstances are that different. I carry nothing for Ireland except the desire to be there. Italy, to me, for the past four weeks, has also meant academic concerns, social strains, financial worries, and most of all, culture shock. Italy carries a lot of weight to me. Have I not had the time or space, or freedom, to really look around & see? I’m in Italy, and more than anywhere in the world (well… may be a close tie with Greece) I’ve wanted to go to Italy. I haven’t felt it yet. Or if I did, I was very quickly distracted by everything else the semester comes with.

But between these endless, endless, endless green hills and farmland, gray stone cottages, hypnotizing grays and yellows in the sky, lilty Irish accent bouncing around my ears…
I feel very far away from Italy today.
And all that keeps playing in my head is:

I have always wanted to go to Ireland.

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