céad Míle Fáilte // A Hundred Thousand Welcomes

Stepping out of the airport excited and delusional from lack of sleep, I caught my first foggy glimpse of Dublin, Ireland. It’s hard to believe that moment happened almost a week ago now and that I’ve visited Tralee, Dingle, Cahersiveen, Valentia Island, and Cork by plane, train, and automobile. And held a baby sheep; can’t forget that one.

Sheep thrills!!

A post shared by Grace M. Coughlin (@graciemcoughlin) on

After truly being blown away by the countryside’s green beauty and the friendly faces who led us through it, my study abroad group finally settled down in the city of Cork in spacious apartments. Located just a minutes walk from the city center, we were eager to get into town. After purchasing our bedding and necessities, the first on the to-do list was to explore the city center and its beautiful park. The city bustles with people and lively shops. On a few occasions, we lost our way and had to ask for directions. The local people were more than happy to show us the way with a smile, making sure to welcome us to Cork and tell us to enjoy our stay.

Our afternoon stroll in the park confirmed our plans to have picnics by the fountain after classes begin. The lush green grass paired with the gray pebbled walkways created a picturesque setting. It almost felt as if I were living in a movie. A quiet coffee shop stood at the far end of the park and officially stole my heart, as I am an admitted coffee addict.

The final stop for the day consisted of a walk through the University of Cork Campus, where I will be studying for the next five weeks. A beautiful bridge stretched over a river located around the wing of campus left me in awe.

Although only in Ireland for a week now, I feel completely at home. I attribute this not just to the breathtaking scenery, but also to the warm, welcoming people who live here. Every exchange I’ve had with the locals consists of a kind smile and a joke to lighten the mood. I think I’ll never grow tired of the Irish sense of humor. Needless to say, I’ve received a hundred thousand welcomes upon my arrival in Ireland. I’m holding on to every day here and can’t wait to share more of my adventures.




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