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The Fairy Tale of Dublin: Love at First Sight

If you ask my mom what are the most important things about her children’s education, she would tell you three things: math, science, and studying abroad. Since I was five years old, my mom would always tell me, "When you go to college you will study abroad. You can go anywhere in the world, but you need to go out and travel." Well, fifteen years later and I am now spending my second year of college studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland.
 On my way to the airport in Chicago, Illinois,
with my bags packed and ready to go.

My first sights of Dublin, Ireland out of the plane window I knew I was not only home, but about to embark on a life changing adventure.

 "My daughter has been drinking tea since she could
drink out of a sippy cup," my mom once said. Indeed,
I do drink tea everyday with breakfast and now even more.

I am traveling alone and learning as I go. Moving through the airport, I felt more confident in myself and my actions than I expected, every step and turn around the corner I made felt natural. I was greeted and picked up at the airport by a very nice woman named Susie holding a CEA sign. Susie greeted me with a warm smile and an accent I am about to grow accustomed. My first few days in Dublin have been spent in awe and exhaustion, adjusting to my new environment and meeting my fellow program mates. Running on three hours of sleep in the first thirty-six hours, my body and mind were mentally 6 hours behind, eager for a bed and sleep, but I was too excited.

 Ha'Penny Bridge over the River Liffey,
running through the center of Dublin.

We rose bright and early to tour Dublin the next day. Starting in the city centre (this is how we refer to downtown Dublin), we walked along the north side of the River Liffey that runs through Dublin. When it came time to cross over one of the many bridges, we were told the tale of how the Ha'penny Bridge earned its name. Long ago, in 1816 there was a tax to cross the bridge and get to the other side (One penny per person). The tax was implemented at the time to help pay for the construction of the bridge. While walking over the bridge, I noticed several locks were attached and scattered all over the bridge rails, the locks represent couples who come to lock their love to the bridge, and then toss the key into the Liffey. Fun fact: the City Council is trying to stop the love lock fad because the weight of both the locks and people is affecting the bridge's structure. In order to help stop this, They are offering free workshops at universities to teach people how to pick locks, in hopes they will take a lock down when they see it on the bridge!
 Delicious Seafood Chowder

I've decided to have a “say yes” attitude while here in Dublin, to new food and opportunities. I have chosen to let other people order for me on the menu, so I can try something I might not normally pick! My first "say yes" experience was with seafood chowder at Oscar's. The soup was absolutely scrumptious and filled with everything from salmon to muscles. When presented with the soup by our hostess, the chowder had an unusual aroma to it from the muscle shells they had left in the chowder. While the aroma was different than I expected, the food was the complete opposite. Each bite was filled with a soft bite of heaven and a new fish, I highly recommend!
 Turkey & guacamole sandwich with three mini salads!

The food, people, architecture, and culture have all been a dream. I still have to pinch myself when I wake up in the morning. When I wake up in the morning I get to look out the window at a whole new world that is just waiting to be explored. I already want to stay longer than just a semester.

Victoria K. is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in Dublin, Ireland. She is currently in her second year studying Marketing and Accounting at the University of Southern Indiana.

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