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Trying New Things in New Places

If I had a bucket list, my week-long trip to Dublin during winter break would have probably checked off a good half of it. This was my dream trip that I saved up all of my paychecks from last semester for, and it was worth spending all of it to have an amazing time. I got to experience the things I love most (eating and going to the zoo) but in another place, and I think that’s how I was best able to appreciate the difference in lifestyle and culture rather than doing the things you’re supposed to do in Ireland and simply acknowledging that I was on another corner of the planet.
 The Cliffs of Moher

Obviously I was in the place to be on Saint Patrick’s Day, but that wasn’t the main event of the trip; I was there to learn about something that’s important to Dublin’s culture, and somehow, my family as well.

In a sense, Dublin is my name-sake city. My dad has a love for Guinness that is strong enough for him to have wanted to name his son Dublin. Unfortunately, he didn’t have one, but my name is Irish enough to pass. At home in my fraternity, my pledge name is Guinness for that very reason, but due to a nasty gluten allergy, I’d never actually had it before, but there was no way I was going to let that stop me from visiting the storehouse. Learning about the making, history, and cultural significance of Guinness made me feel like I was learning about a part of my personal history, so the experience was one of the most rewarding parts of my trip.

 The gates of the Guinness Storehouse

At the storehouse, you learn everything from the history of Guinness' iconic advertising to just how meticulous the process is to pour a pint of Guinness the proper way. There's even a room with misters that spray the several different scents of Guinness ingredients so you can smell each one individually (my favorite was the one that smelled like chocolate).
 At the top of the storehouse where you can see all of Dublin

While I enjoyed taking time to do the things I love doing at home and anywhere else I may find myself, it was stepping out of my comfort zone and learning about something new that made the experience memorable. I truly saw this as a vacation from my vacation, and I can’t wait to visit again.

McKenzie Smith is the Spring 2016 CEA MOJO in Aix-en-Provence, France. She is currently a Sophomore at Hofstra University.

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