Travel Log 10: “Encountering Globalization” By Marcquan Parris Budapest, Hungary.

This week’s travel log has opened my eyes to two things that I truly am: blessed and grateful. It is not everyday you realize how much you have because as humans most of the times we dwell on the things that we do not have or want in order to feel equal to or better than people around us. I think we never truly understand all that we have until we see someone or experience something that brings us back into what people in the world actually face. After watching the video, “The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy” and reading the article “ The Global Transformation Reader” I realized how grateful and thankful for I am for everything I have and being able to love most college students dream of studying abroad and truly immersing themselves in their host culture.


After watching “The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy” I realized that in most poverty stricken countries money does equal power. We all learn to live off of what our environment provides for us whether it is from the ground or imported/exported through countries ports. What was eye opening to me is that some countries do not have the resources in their environment to survive nor the ability to be a hub for imports and exports. When I think of globalization i think of it from a business standpoint, where companies expand their markets into different countries to increase the values of their products. After watching this I learned that globalization is how we live our everyday lives and influence the culture of world.


In the poverty stricken countries from the video they would make their income mainly through clothing distribution, mainly because there are not many options. One of the factors that come with a poverty stricken country is an unstable government.  In countries such as Ghana and Zambia the clothing market is one of the ways to get money, or other may resort to stealing and potentially getting arrested all to support their families.  In these countries clothing distributors mark up their prices exponentially in order to make money to feed their families. The sad part is, as much as they mark up these prices you they are not even living the lifestyle of what some may consider, “The rich and famous.” I find it sad that  amI able to buy a simple basic t-shirt for about five dollars, but they would have to buy it for anywhere about $15 to $20, when they already do not have enough money to support themselves.


In our workshops in class we talked about what it means to have a global community, and to share the environment around us. As of now with the poverty stricken government things are not being shared amongst our global community equally. There are fellow people in our community unable to survive and giving up having a proper education to care for sick relatives. One key part of a not only a community, but a global community should be growth. With the economic situations these countries are in we as a community will not see full growth because more than likely these nations will be in the same exact position they are in if no one steps in and helps make a change.


As I stated in my opening I honestly realize how blessed I am to be experiencing the world and living the life some people dream of having. Often times while I am abroad certain things or people tend to upset me, but I often take a look back and realize how great of an opportunity I have and how I should use this opportunity to become very culturally aware of my surroundings and the great people i have in my life. Here is a picture of me and group of my friends at the John Lennon wall in Prague actually laughing and enjoying each others company.

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Travel Log 15 “Rites of Reincorporation” Brenda Kittredge. Lugano, Switzerland.

I anticipated that reincorporation might be a difficult transition for me. I had an incredible experience abroad and it was hard to leave behind all the places and people that I met. One thing that helped me get through this transition was the knowing that I am not leaving all of it behind. In a way I am bringing it all with me through my growth. The people I met have helped shape my views and experiences and the places I traveled helped develop a greater respect for culture and a better understanding of global citizenship. So every time I think about how difficult it was for me to leave, I hold some solace in knowing that it is not gone for good.

Since arriving home it feels as though life has continued on as normal, which for the most part, it has. Everyone here went on with their lives. So when I came home it was strange to hear my parents talking about all of these activities that were going on that I hadn’t heard about. It was strange to get together with my friends and hear the simple jokes that came from things that occurred during the time I was away. I would never trade my time abroad, but I understand the struggle that can exist when returning to a host culture.

There is a level of isolation that I was not anticipating. You have experienced so many incredible things, but returning home you find that you feel like an outsider. Your host culture became the norm. I became accustomed to the Swiss people and the Swiss way of life. I got used to a new group of friends and transitioned to a new school environment. Now that I return home I feel little like how I did in my first few days of arriving in Switzerland. You expect to feel like an outsider in when you arrive in your host country, but you never expect to feel like and outsider when you return home.

With each day that passes since I have returned home it gets easier and harder. Easier in the sense that I continue to acclimated to my surroundings and familiarize myself with my old lifestyle, but harder because I miss my host culture more and more. I guess I should not say that it has been easy to return to my old lifestyle because I feel that I have grown and changed since I have been abroad. When you return people often love to hear about the experiences and the adventures but don’t anticipate the personal changes. Even if they do anticipate them, they often do not consider the long-term implications. They may notice that you are not the same person as when you left but may not know how to respond to that.

This is one of the reasons that the video log is such an important aspect. The video log will allow me to share my story and my lessons in a clear and concise way. It will bring life to the growth that I have experienced and serve as a vehicle for explaining my adventure.

If I hadn’t learned about rites of passage I may not have thought much about the rituals of returning home, but now that I am aware it is clear how there is very little effort to transition back to the host culture. It is essential for us to be aware of the environment that we are returning so we are better able to handle the struggles that come with reincorporation. However, the absence of rituals in our society allows us to create our own and share the concept of rites of passage with our community.

Travel Log 14: “Global Connections and Rites of Seperation” by Sam McGrath Cork, Ireland

Change is something that I am not usually a fan of and I am definitely not looking forward to the 7-hour plane ride home. The actual process of the plane isn’t really the thing I’m dreading, but more the actual leaving. Ireland has become my new home and to leave this new home after all that I have experience here is awful.


Over the four and a half months I have been here I have grown a custom to the very things I thought of as different or strange when I first arrived, like the flow of traffic or the different accents. All the things I was used to, that I had grown up with in America, were no longer present in the same way. I was therefore alone, but being alone turned out to be a good thing. Slimbach states that “If we allow, global learning will not only carry us into the world around us, but also into this world within” (p.54) As so much changed around me I dwelled into the only thing that was constant at the time, myself. I accepted the weakness and vulnerability that came with my new surroundings and used it to better myself. As I learned about the different world around me, I learned more and more about whom I am and how I thought about the different things affecting my life past and present.


In Ireland I was able to meet people from all over the world, specifically Ireland, and gain perspectives from them I would never have achieved at home. It was scary being among such a diverse group of people; I initially felt I did not have that much to offer to the conversation. But after much talking and learning between my culturally diverse friends I was able to see my worth in the global conversation. I was also able to change my perception on different parts of the world I had previously, changing my inner mind while experiencing the outer world. With the help of my new friends I was able to understand better the different perspectives of different areas of the world and bring that into my own thought process.


These friends that I have met over the semester have given me so much. From offering me different perspectives from various parts of the world to going on adventures around Ireland, we have been through a lot. That’s why the separation from these people is going to be extremely difficult. The many different groups of friends whether it be my roommates form Germany, my new friends from Quinnipiac, my friends from different parts of America, or my friends from Ireland all have planned for a celebration of sorts before the finale of our journey comes. And as the end draws closer and closer, the goodbyes will indefinitely become harder and harder. I have realized that some of these people I may not see again despite the amazing and unforgettable times we have had together. I have had the opportunity to know some of them very well and others I haven’t had the opportunity to know enough. Either way the goodbyes will be hard, but that is why each goodbye is going to be part of a celebration. There’s no point in crying about our time being over because that takes away from time we could still be valuing together.


That’s why all of the different groups of friends have decided to celebrate and as the Irish say “Cheers”. Cheers to the times we had, cheers to the times we argued, cheers to the times we’ll miss together, and cheers to seeing each other soon.

Travel Log 14 “Rites of Separation” Brenda Kittredge. Lugano, Switzerland

Slimbach’s quote perfectly describes the journey I have experienced this semester. As I look back on my journey abroad it is not the places that stand out, but rather my personal journey. I think when most study abroad students, including myself, prepare for their travels they expect some of the cultural differences and prepare for many of the changes in their surroundings. However, we are often not prepared for the change in ourselves. People can tell you how travel affects you until your ears bleed but until you fully experience it for yourself, you won’t understand the magnitude.

The amount that one grows when abroad can be hard to measure and often hard to see. Since it is a change in yourself, it often goes unnoticed. However, when you step back and look at your journey as a whole you get a much better idea of just how far you have come.

One interesting way to mark progress is to see how your ideas of a global citizen and how your actions as a global citizen have changed. When I began the semester I didn’t know what it meant to be a global citizen. I remember thinking to myself ‘Well we are all on this planet and we are all citizens so wouldn’t that make all of us global citizens?” That logic could not have been further from the truth. Using my initial logic I did not acknowledge the time, effort, and desire that needs to be dedicated to becoming a global citizen. Being a global citizen is a responsibility. It requires you to consistently put effort into relating to your surroundings and the world far beyond them. It involves significant levels of respect and tolerance. It involves recognizing and standing up for injustice. Global citizenship is not a right for everyone. It is a learned practice that develops through deep and reflective cultural immersion.

As I prepare to leave Switzerland, I am far more of a global citizen than the day I arrived. I have developed a global perspective and feel the responsibility of respect, tolerance, and justice that come with this mindset.

It is hard to imagine that my four months here have come to an end. It will be incredibly difficult to leave. There are so many things about Switzerland itself that I will truly miss. It will also be challenging to leave all the people I met this semester knowing that we are all heading in different directions. I have developed strong emotional ties to this place and it is hard to wonder when or whether I will be able to return. However, I am so thankful for this opportunity. As the end draws near it is gives me the time to think ahead to how these changes will shape my life. We all have to return home, often to an environment that feels like little has changed. I am lucky enough to have to opportunity to continue my journey abroad. As I adventure to New Zealand I will have a completely different, but hopefully equally as rewarding experience. Having gone through this class and learning about the global community and communitas and knowing the importance of the reflection process I feel more equipped to take on this second semester abroad.

Travel Log 12: “Service” by Jenna Paul. Cork, Ireland.

Right before I left to come back to America I got the chance to volunteer my time at a food bank in Cork called Cork Penny Dinners. I had been trying for weeks to get in to help, but with them moving locations and the holiday season coming up it got a little difficult. Luckily, my time came and it was the most amazing experience for me. Cork Penny Dinners was founded around the time of the Famine and started as a soup kitchen. They have one goal and that is to give a hot meal to anyone who needs one. On their website it states that, “We never judge, we serve.” It is very clear that they are there to help those in need and are open to anyone that needs a little help. When I arrived at Cork Penny Dinners, I was shocked to see how many people were there. Not only was the amount of people shocking, but also the people that were in there was shocking. I saw a few families with children and it really made me sad to think that these kids have to go through that. It made me appreciate my life even more and understand that not everyone is as fortunate. It truly was an eye opening experience.

Volunteering in general is such a great thing to do, but it is an even better experience while abroad because you can feel like you are giving back to a place that has given you so much. It is so important to be part of the Global Community and give back to the world. Community service has so many benefits, one of which is that it is completely free and can mean so much to the people you are helping. The fact of the matter is that we (study abroad students) come into these countries and are clearly so fortunate to even have that opportunity. Taking a couple hours to help some less fortunate people out is the least we can do. And also, it makes you feel so good inside that you could help some strangers out. For most, you can even make their day by just telling a joke or too as well. From this experience I had at Cork Penny Dinners, I will think more about giving back and helping the less fortunate. It is important to understand that some people were just dealt a bad hand in life, and they just need some extra help. This experience has impacted my life because I now can understand the importance of giving back and how much these people appreciate it. One man I was talking to while I was there could not thank me enough for giving my time and he was upset because he could not give me anything in return. I reassured him that I was doing this for myself and he did not need to give me anything. It was so special just to be there helping out in Ireland.

The picture I chose is of a group of girls with volunteer shirt on looking like they are enjoying themselves. Volunteering can be so much fun if you go with your friends or even if you just have the right attitude about it.images There are so many places in the world that need some help and all it takes is a little time.images.jpeg A quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. states that, “Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.” That is the best part about volunteering. It takes no special skills and doesn’t cost any money. All around the world places are looking for people to help out and after helping out at Cork Penny Dinners I will most certainly look for places around where I live. This day of service was a special day that I will never forget!



Travel Log 15 “There’s No Place Like Home? Rites of Reincorporation” by Jared Walsh. Lincoln, Rhode Island

It’s been about a week since my plane touched down in Boston and I’m still not entirely sure of how I’m supposed to be feeling. I’m beyond happy to be back in the United States with my friends and family but at the same time I’m already bored and want to head back to Europe. It’s a weird mix of emotions at the moment.

I’ve found that I’ve become more independent. I have been wanting to do more and more things by myself and also have the ability to do such things, such as plan a trip for this break. Being back home, I’ve definitely realized the differences in cultures between here and Spain. But the good thing is (which I anticipated otherwise) is that I’m not critical in an unhealthy way. I don’t compare the two and say one’s better than the other or have hatred towards the US now that I’ve experience living in Europe. Rather, I notice the differences in the people and the day-to-day life and see how I can apply my knowledge of both cultures to make me a better person and live a more enjoyable life. As Slimbach said, “the postsojourn process should help us to integrate the experiences and insights from the field into our ongoing academic and personal lives” (10). And I’m glad that the experiences and insights from the field will allow me to grow as an individual. Overall I haven’t found that I’ve gathered many unhealthy habits that need to be broken. Nor have I had any major challenges reintegrating with my home community. If there’s one thing I’ve learned while abroad, it’s how to adapt to change. That was something I was definitely lacking prior but I’ve certainly picked up on it, and almost encourage change at this point. So thankfully, my reintegration process has been pretty smooth.

Sharing my reincorporation letter with my family was an awesome experience. It was a way for me to let them know my progress and personal growth I underwent while abroad. It also made them aware to all of the various emotions and phases I’m experiencing right now as a result of coming home. As always, they were extremely understanding. Being in a family of all healthcare workers, they’re used to lots of change in their day-to-day routine. I think that’s made them more aware of how I feel; they understand the effect change has on an individual, although they may not know it to this extent, as they never studied abroad. They’ve acknowledged the fact that I’m more independent and “travel-savvy.” I also believe they’ve noticed that I’m a little bit of a different person than I was before. The quote I shared with them, which is also the quote that accurately represents my thoughts and feelings right now is by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It says: “it’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed is you.” I couldn’t agree more with this quote. Nothing has really changed in my town. A few new houses went up, a couple roads were repaved and a gas station was remodeled. That’s about it. Yet I’m still sitting here knowing that it’s just not the same as before I left in August. I’m beginning to realize that it is me that has changed. I find myself more respectful of the various cultures and people here. I find a new appreciation for those who struggle to speak English when trying to do even simple tasks. But I also find that I’m not nearly as amused with the day to day life here as opposed to back in Spain. But overall, I’m glad to be home and my family is glad to be home. They’re supportive of what I’m going through and are sure to do anything they can to ensure a smooth and healthy reincorporation for me.






Travel Log 15: “There’s No Place Like Home? Rites of Reincorporation” by Jenna Paul. Los Angeles, Ca.

Who would have thought that returning to what I always thought was my favorite place in the world, home, would be so difficult. Leaving Ireland behind and returning to America wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. You get into such a routine living in Europe and now it is all changed again. You make lifetime friends and then just have to say goodbye for who knows how long. Some of the challenges I have faced in this reincorporation phase include driving on the right side of the road again, having tax not included in the price, and coming back to violence and anger. In Los Angeles, there is a huge movement going on called “Black Lives Matter”. The most violence that a person deals with in Ireland is probably a drunk guy on the street. Here in America that is a completely different story, unfortunately. These are just a few of the things that I have had to readjust to by coming back home. Slimbach comments on some of these when he states, “To the extent that certain basic assumptions about the world have been challenged through our cross-cultural environment, we may find ourselves painfully out of joint with life back home” (205). I agree that life is just different at home, but eventually it will all seem “normal” again.

When sharing my Reincorporation Letter with my parents, I had many emotions going through my head. Of course I am happy to be home, where I get to see my family, friends and of course my puppy. The quote I chose to share with my parents was “Home is where the heart is”. Ireland will always have a special place in my heart and I will always want to be back there. But, I have to realize that America is my home and life can be just as great here as it was there. I explained to them how I learned a lot while being abroad and have come back with a different outlook on life for the better. They were of course so happy to hear all of this and thrilled my experience was so great.

I learned so many great things while being abroad. I hope that I can carry these “gems” into my life here in America as well. One example is how healthy I was while being abroad. For instance, I walked everywhere. Some days I was walking around 12 miles and I hope to continue to walk and see the world even hear in my home town. Of course it will be different. Maybe I will choose to walk to the store rather than drive like I normally would. Also, the food was so fresh and healthy in Europe. I plan to eat healthy as much as possible here in America as well by going organic. I feel healthier and I want to stay that way.IMG_0041

The quote that I have chosen to represent how I am feeling is, “Don’t be afraid of change. You might lose something good, but you’ll gain something better” –unknown. Of course it is difficult to leave such an amazing place, but that doesn’t mean home isn’t just as great. They are very different places and have different positives and negatives to them. It is important for me to use those positives to my advantage and live life to the fullest no matter where I am in the world. I might have left my amazing friends back in Ireland, but I also came home to amazing family and other friends. I have to appreciate what I have in life and be thankful for it all.

There’s No Place Like Home? Rites of Reincorporation Sam McGrath, Norwood, MA


It feels weird, to say the least, to be back on American soil. Right when I got off the plane in JFK airport differences were very apparent. Gone are the Irish accents I had become so accustom to, replaced now with the “normal” American accent. Gone are the rolling hills of the Irish countryside, replaced with big buildings and urbanization. Gone is the helpful hand of strangers on the streets, replaced now with hustle and bustle from one place to the next.


The week back in general has been a week full of changes, going along with the changes I have encountered while abroad. Just as I moved to traveling and exploration, life here has moved on as well. I am not caught up with all of the things that have happened to my family and friends in the past months when I was not with them. This in itself has been hard to get up-to-date with and leaves us on different plains of thought and conversation. As much as I would like to talk about my experiences while abroad I know that it’s not really something a lot of friends and family can relate to and converse about. They have had other pressing matters they’ve run into during their time in the states and it’s harder for them to make good conversation for too long about something that they don’t have a lot of personal information about.


The different journey that I have gone on puts me in a liminal threshold of feelings. Trying to step back into the “new” culture that is America has been difficult since I have been away for such a long time. It’s been a struggle trying to integrate the person that I became in Ireland within the new/old culture of America. I think that through the support of my family and friends this can be done much easier and is a reason why the Reincorporation Letter with my family created a good starting point for that.


I decided to talk to my parents about my reincorporation on Christmas Day. On this day we entirely devote ourselves to the family and is the only time where I can have everybody sitting down in one place. Since we spend a lot of time together during this part of the year, I was able to have as much time as needed to lay everything I had to say on the table and be open about my reincorporation. Although I was initially nervous about the forwardness of the letter and the process, I pushed through and was very happy about the response from my family.


At the start of the talk while we were eating Christmas dinner, the topic came up about my time in Ireland and I used that to segue into my reincorporation. I explained the topic and how there will be difficulties in the coming weeks as I get used to incorporating the changes I underwent in Ireland to my old life in America. I then showed them a picture on my phone of a butterfly emerging from a cocoon.

As corny and weird as it is, Ireland was my cocoon. I was able to mature and develop in the new environment, becoming a better me. To keep this development going though, my reincorporation has to be smooth, if it is not then the growth that I’ve undergone could lose it’s full potential. I explained how with their help a smooth transition could be made possible. When the topic of Ireland comes about in the future, I told them it would be beneficial for us to less talk about the travel of my trip and more talk about how my perception was changed during it. This would also enlarge the conversation, allowing them to contribute about how they’ve experienced those same changes in other areas of their lives. This change in conversation will allow me remember my changes better and carry my experiences abroad past the airport terminal and into my life in America. After I told about my reincorporation my brother and parents expressed their openness to helping in the process. They understood that it could be difficult and as always were very supportive.


Although I feel stuck between two very different worlds with this change of dialogue between those I’m close to I can further the developments I have made while abroad and not revert back to my old, less developed, self. As Craig Storti (1990) says “No one goes home, rather we return to our native country and, in due course, we create a new home.” With the help of friends and family I feel that I can create this new home and further the maturation I have made while abroad, bettering myself in this “new” America.



Travel Log 13 “Connecting Rights of Passage and Digital Storytelling” Brenda Kittredge. Lugano, Switzerland

As we discussed our return home during the workshops in May, I contemplated how my personal return home would go. I didn’t spend much time pondering this topic simply because it was just so far away. However, as that distant moment quickly approaches, it is now a very realistic idea to consider how my reincorporation to home will go. After such an amazing time abroad how will I adjust back to my traditional life?

Often times when you go away for a period of time and return, you here people critically use the term ‘change.’ They treat the word as though it is something horrible, that your time away had an effect on you as a person and now you see and act differently. I feel that this is strongly correlated to a negative view of change. Change is not comfortable, it is not familiar, and most of the time it is not easy. This idea ties in with the lack of community-based rituals in our society. There may be a single party when you return home to celebrate your arrival, but then it is expected that things will simply return to the way they were before you left. Little consideration is given to acknowledge the change you experienced.

Blumenkrantz and Goldstein discuss the idea of a paradigm shift. This time away allows to you to reflect on your life and consider not only your personal views but those of the world. Attempting the return and explain this change of views, your new found passions, skills, and ideas acts as a challenging barrier in your integration back home.

The digital story allows some of these barriers to be broken down. The idea of combining the visual elements with your words helps to make it more meaningful. Many a time people aren’t too interested in what has occurred in your time abroad, expect for maybe wanting to here a few crazy stories, but the digital story provides a tangible resource for people to help understand your experience abroad. Not only is the digital story helpful for my family and friends, but it is helpful for me. I get to sit down and reflect on my journey as a whole. I have to attempt to sum up four months worth of incredible experience into two or three minutes.

Both of the digital stories provided a great reflection on the journeys that the individuals experienced. Personally, I was drawn to Michael’s digital story. Since he also studied abroad in Lugano, I got to hear the journey of a person in the same location as me. I recognized all of the scenery in the video and some of the people as well. It was interesting to see how many things we shared in common in our experience and also the different experiences I had in my time here. I felt he did a wonderful job of summing up how it was the people that made the experience for him.

Despite being eager to complete my digital story, I wonder how I will do it. I feel that I have learned so many things in my time abroad and I don’t know how I will be able to express them all in 4 minutes. My goal is for this story to serve as a well rounded reflection on my journey here. I hope that my digital story provides those around me with a deeper understanding of my time abroad

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.