Today, I finished my finals, junior year, and my semester abroad. I am in utter denial that my time with you is coming to a close because it has been such a wonderful and divinely messy rollercoaster.
|The overlook of Bray, Ireland from the top of the mountain|
I don't mean to sound overly sappy or cliched, but you truly have changed my life. I have been so fortunate to see and experience so many things that I know I never would have otherwise done. I wouldn't have scaled the side of a mountain when there was an easy trail nearby, I wouldn't have experienced living with European roommates, and so many other things that I never would have pushed myself to do if I had not come to you, Ireland.
|A view of the Alps from Salzburg, Austria|
You came at just the right time. All of last semester, I felt kind of out of it. I didn't really know where I was going or how I was going to get there. I felt like I didn't have a purpose beyond going to class, and I thought that I needed something to fill that hole. In reality, what I needed was to learn how to feel like I have a purpose within myself, not through my activities or overcommitted schedule. My time with you took me to more places than I could have ever dreamed, from the Aran Islands to Amsterdam, and has given me so much to learn that I will forever be thankful for. By putting me so far outside of my comfort zone, you forced me to find a new comfort zone, one where I am now comfortable being uncomfortable.
|A photo I sneakily took inside of Westminster Abbey|
Ireland, I thank you for the wonderful friends I have made, for teaching me nuggets of French and German, for showing me that there are so many ways to look at life, and for teaching me to be independent. I thank you for the faculty that taught me how to actually operate in the business world, for the staff that made sure I had everything I needed, and for the cashier at Spar who always made me smile when I bought coffee before class. Ireland, I can't thank you enough for the memories of my twenty-first birthday spent among friends who became family, for showing me how the wind feels whipping your face in Scotland, for the sheer amazement of seeing Westminster Abbey and the Glockenspiel.
|Streets of Munich, Germany|
Ireland, I can thank you for so many things, but it would take me hours to do so. But most of all, I want to thank you for showing me that I am me, and that that is a great thing to be. I know you think I sound all metaphorical and far out, but really, Ireland, by pushing me farther than I ever thought I could go, you made me confident and brave and I will always be thankful for that.
I do not know when I'll be back, it might be months, it might be decades, but Ireland, I will be back someday. Thank you for everything.
|On a beach in Northern Ireland|
Victoria N. is the Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger in Dublin, Ireland. She is currently a junior studying Commerce & Business at Rhodes College.
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