Galway, Ireland. March 2012.
Sometimes you go on a trip and it’s memorable. Sometimes you go on a trip and you fall in love with the place — you wander around in a state of utter enchantment, you vow to return, you reluctantly go home and instantaneously cry at any minor mention of the place. And then every once in a good ole blue moon you go on a trip and the time you spend there fills itself up with irreplaceably precious moments that cause you to stop in your tracks and helplessly wonder, “HOW THE HELL DID I GET SO LUCKY????”
To be honest, the country of Ireland & I didn’t click on the personal level that I connected with, say… Berlin or Stockholm or LONDON (obviously). But that doesn’t mean I didn’t like the place — I liked it a lot, actually. In fact, I can say with definitive absolution that I WILL RETURN to Ireland as soon as the time is right and I will spend more time discovering the magical gems of the place. What made this trip to Ireland so special, though, were the people I was with.
One of my best friends, Mollie, studied in Galway the same semester that I studied in London — this was super fantastic, because now the majority of my European travel memories from that time are tinged with the humor and wit and joy of one of my favorite people on this planet. When it came time for me to plan a trip to the place where she was getting a healthy dose of Irish
culture and history beer and boys, I booked myself for the same time three of my high schools pals would be traveling to the Emerald Isle. And it was grand.Our weekend in Ireland was filled with some exploration of the countryside……some good old fashioned grass-laying (with grass that green how could we resist?)… …some necessary photo ops… …and nights out on the town. Galway felt like a college town — and after almost 3 months living in London, it felt good to be back in a setting that felt like home at Penn State. Only better. Like, a zillion times more awesome. Because we were in Ireland.
It’s worth mentioning that one of the little, crowded pubs we went to had a live band, and they played “Galway Girl” — my lone hope for this trip was to hear that song played live in a pub, similar to the scene in P.S. I Love You. Needless to say, tears were involved.
Ireland was some SAVAGE CRAIC and this trip was just the beginning of our relationship.