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Why It's OK For Your Parents to Visit You Abroad

12 ounce steaks, king size beds, and American peanut butter. Those are a few of the luxuries I was able to indulge into when my family came to visit me in Dublin this past weekend. But why would my family come all the way to Dublin (from Boston) just to visit me for a weekend? I'm glad you asked because that's exactly what I'm getting at!
 Guiness Storehouse tour with my siblings.

You see, when I decided to study abroad in Ireland, my parents saw it as a great opportunity to bring our entire family over here for a vacation. They originally wanted to visit during my week-long fall break, but I preferred doing some traveling during that week. And since I would be busy with school most days, I couldn't spend an entire week with them. That's when my parents made the best decision ever. They would come over with a few of my siblings for 8 days, but they would tour all of Ireland. They arrived on a Tuesday and went to Limerick, Cork, and Killarney before they made it to Dublin for the weekend. I easily met up with them at a restaurant close to my flat and then brought them back to show them around for a bit. Admittedly tired, my parents went home while my brothers and sister and I enjoyed a night out in Dublin. We were all able to take a cab back to the hotel and I slept in a much bigger bed (and more comfortable) than I have become accustomed to here in Dublin. I woke up to an all you can eat breakfast and we started our day in Dublin.

We took a ride into the city and I showed them around Grafton St., my school right around the corner, and St. Stephen's Green. After that, I got a little lost on the way to the Guinness Storehouse, but we made it (eventually). Another perk of having your parents in town: they pay for everything for the baby in the family! It was nice to not have to worry about money for a couple days. After enjoying some cool views of Dublin from the Guinness Gravity Bar, we grabbed some food in the city center. Coupled with dinner the previous night, these were the first two times I had been out to eat in well over a month. It was a nice change from all the pasta and burritos I've been eating in my kitchen. After a low-key night with a couple of my brothers, we went back to the hotel for a relaxed atmosphere at the hotel pub. I enjoyed another great night of sleep and a great breakfast in the morning. After that we were off to Aviva Stadium for the Ireland-Georgia rugby match. I went to a friend's house to grab my previously purchased ticket and then met my family in the stadium. We watched the game together until just after halftime and then I said my goodbyes right there in the stadium. They headed for Galway to continue their week-long Ireland trip and I rejoined my friends for the remainder of the game.

 Ireland beat Georgia 49-7!


It's always awesome seeing my family, but I was a bit skeptical of them visiting me abroad, simply because I wanted this to be an opportunity for me to grow up and be independent. Luckily, though, this was a perfectly timed visit and I enjoyed every second of my weekend. They were able to see a ton of Ireland with a couple days in Dublin sprinkled in the middle.

Let my family's trip be an example for your parents if they are eager to visit you abroad. Maybe they could travel around your host country, or take a trip around Europe if you're studying on the continent. If you're studying this spring and your parents are looking to visit, but you don't want to be smothered while you're abroad, suggest something like this. I had a great time with my family and they had an awesome time exploring the land of our ancestors. And the peanut butter is totally worth it!


Rory Finnegan is the 2014 Fall CEA MOJO in Dublin, Ireland. He is currently a senior at Virginia Wesleyan College. 

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