Travel Log 14: “Global Connections and Rites of Separation” by Jenna Paul. Cork, Ireland.

It is hard to believe that in less than two weeks I will be back in the United States at home. I am so incredibly sad to be leaving this wonderful country in Ireland. I have learned so much about myself as a person and the world all around me. Having this opportunity for global learning has taught me so much. Studying in Europe has really given me a different outlook and perspective on life that would not have been possible without this experience.

Thinking about the quote from Becoming World Wise: A Guide to Global Learning by Richard Slimbach, when he states, “If we allow, global learning will not only carry us into the world around us, but also into this world within (54).” Studying abroad lets a person feel scared living in a new environment, nervous meeting new people, and anxious being away from home. But with all of that comes experiences that are just not possible at home. For example, while studying in Ireland I got the opportunity to live on a farm, milk a cow and collect chicken eggs. I then ate cheese that came from the same cows I milked earlier in the day. I also had the opportunity to take an international business class while studying abroad, which meant I was in a class full of international students. I talked to people from all over the world weekly and learned so much about the global markets. Another quote by Slimbach that I really related to states, “As such, we have the unique opportunity to connect an inner journey of self-discovery with an outer journey of world discovery (47).” It has been the most amazing time for me to find myself in an unknown world. These experiences wouldn’t have been possible without living in this new world that I have found here.

Becoming a member of the global community has taught me so much and I can only hope that I have inspired the people I met while being here. It is hard to know if what you leave behind is just as great as what you have gained, but I can only hope that I have changed and inspired the friends I made while being abroad. Looking forward I will be bringing not only the memories I have, but also the knowledge and understanding of what I have learned back to America. I hope I can then inspire and teach my family and friends at home and show them everything that these global connections have given me.

Leaving the friends I have made here will be one of the hardest things for me because of the fact that I am not sure when I will get to see them again. We will for sure be having a good-bye dinner and will be talking about the memories we have made this semester. I will make sure to take a walk around this beautiful city and go to my favorite parts to say good-bye and take picture so that I will be able to look back and remember these wonderful times.

I am feeling so sad to be leaving and wish I had more time here in Ireland. I have just been taking every day in and loving each moment I have while I am here. I think it will be hard to go home, but once I am home and able to see friends and family I will feel a lot better.

The quote that expresses how I am feeling is, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”-Albert Einstein. This quote shows how even if it might not feel right to be moving on, it is. Even though I don’t want to leave Ireland right now, I have to and it will all be okay in the end.

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