We have finally started our journey to Ireland, the land of green hills and guinness. Today marks the end of our first week here in this beautiful country and we’ve experienced so much I already feel like I’ve been here for a month. Leaving America is always a bittersweet feeling because while there’s always aspects of home I’ll miss, there’s definitely things I won’t.

Something I won’t miss is the food, every time I leave America I return with a new feeling of disappointment. When I went to a local cafe and had a sandwich with goat cheese and the moment I took that first bite I knew I could never enjoy the American version again. The benefits of everything being fresh are always felt in the culinary world. The town is beautiful, everytime we walk into town I get excited. A walkable town is a luxury I don’t have living in a big American city, everything requires a car. But here I can grab a group of friends and a fun night is only a 20 minute walk away.

Not only is the personal life we have here amazing but the activities we have been doing are thrilling too. Each is challenging and fun enough to push you to do more without worry of overdoing it. It’s the perfect sweet spot of leaving one’s comfort zone and taking on an exciting new challenge. The first activity we did was cliff jumping into the ocean. Unfortunately the tide was too low to do the high jumps but we swam and the water was still amazing.

The hike of Aroo mountain was absolutely beautiful, the lush greenery of the hills is something I’ll never forget. As someone who lives in Colorado, hikes are a big part of my life, and while they are beautiful in their own right; the color palette can’t compete with here. Walking near the livestock and through the bouncy flora made up for the chilling weather that would cut through the mountain environment. It’s important to be well prepared before you head out because clothing is what differentiates a good experience from a bad one. It peaked with the polar plunge, while I was hesitant to do it at first. After I did it I was glad I followed through. While the water was utterly freezing there was something cleansing about it, the group felt very refreshed after the dip. We also visited an old school building that was basically ruins on the way back. While we didn’t know the full story it’s always great when it feels like every place you go to has some form of rich history creeping in from everywhere. The next day was a big game of capture the flag which did a great job at group bonding, I feel people were a lot more comfortable with each other after the game. Making sure the people you surround yourself with are congenial towards one another is important to maximizing the enjoyment of a foreign experience together.

After that was one of the big staples of Ireland, the pubs. We were bought a round of our choice, I picked Guinness and it lived up to the expectations I had placed on it. Before I arrived here it’s something I was told I had to try and that it’s amazing. It’s always funny to see the difference in drinking culture from America compared to the rest of the world. Talking to people our age and it being such a casual occurrence for them and such a new one for us despite being on this earth the same amount of time. It’s a fun environment though and it’s always great meeting new people from entirely different backgrounds from your own. All in all first impressions of Ireland are nothing but positives. Beautiful country, wonderful people, and amazing food; what more could you want in life.

Written by Luka