The thing I’ll remember most about my arrival to Ireland is what the Passport Control officer asked me. While checking my passport and documents, he asked me the obvious questions like what was my reason for entering the country, when did I plan on leaving, etc. But what really made me laugh was when he asked if I had ever been to Ireland before and when I said no, he looked at me with a shocked face.
“With a name like that you’ve never been Ireland?”
I have never been to Ireland. Ireland has always been at the very top of my list of places to go. And while I had already been to several countries in Europe, I have never had the opportunity to go to the place of my dreams.
Not only was I visiting Ireland, but also I had been blessed with the opportunity to both live and learn for an entire semester. I felt extremely lucky.
I’ve been in Galway for almost two weeks and there have been so many “I-Can’t-Believe-I’m-Really-Here-Moments.” One of my favorite moments of the beginning of my time here was our walk around the city. Our CEA adviser, Thomas, had us all meet in the center of town on our first Saturday here.
The Galway Market had just opened for the day and we explored the little booths while we had the most amazing freshly made donuts with hot chocolate. The market is made up of local artists and vendors as well as local farmers and fisherman. It is a great spot to catch up with and support the community.
Thomas then took us to the Galway City Museum so that we could not only see the beautiful views of the River Corrib from the museum’s top floor, but we could also learn about the history of our new home and also a bit about the Irish and Ireland in general.
Our first weekend was a great mix of tourist activities and local culture. The day provided us with a better idea of how to navigate Galway--both physically and socially, and it got all of us really excited to officially start our new adventure.
Morgan McKenna is the Spring 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in Galway, Ireland. She is currently a junior at Stockton University.
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