Some Pre-Travel Thoughts

Okay. I leave in 9 days. I STILL HAVE SO MUCH STUFF TO DO BEFORE THEN. Packing, shopping for last minute things (makeup, shampoo, clothes, whatever), getting my bank accounts set up, figuring out my future phone situation, making sure I haven’t lost my passport, and remembering to breathe. It’s a little bit hard for me to realize that I will, in fact, be crossing the pond in a little over a week…. not to mention that I have to get up bright and early on New Year’s Day to make the journey! Hopefully I can just sleep on the plane.

Anywho, I just wanted to share some personal inspirations that first got me wanting to go to Galway. First of all, this scene:

And yes, while I swooned at Gerard Butler and secretly hoped that I would one day experience a love like that (as, I’m sure, is every other female’s reaction to that film), it was the magic of Ireland in the movie that really got me. Before you go pointing fingers, I did not decide to spend a semester in Ireland solely because of P.S. I Love You. Which would be kind of silly. I have actually been keenly interested in Irish history and culture for about a decade now. I totally dig Celtic music… like a lot, I really geek out on the stuff, and I’ve read up on the history of the Irish people from ancient to modern times.

What really got me interested in Galway was an article I read my sophomore year of high school in some sort of National Geographic-esque travel magazine (I forget the name). The article was about a man in his fifties or sixties coming back to visit Galway and its surrounding areas after being gone for a number of years. His descriptions of the scenery, the people, the music, and folklore were written so beautifully that I was simply floored after reading it. When deciding where I wanted to spend my semester abroad, I knew I wanted to go to Europe but was a bit too lazy to try and deal with being in a country where English was a second language, so I had pretty much narrowed it down to England, Ireland, and Scotland (sorry Wales). Somehow Ireland really stuck out to me, and when I saw that the program I wanted to go through, API, had a semester-long program in Galway, I was hooked. Fast forward a few months full of applications, forms, and passport issues, and here I sit trying to actually picture myself living in the place that I’ve been dreaming about for so long in the next 9 days. And it’s a little crazy.