Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Flashback: Study Abroad in Ireland

I was just asked about travelling in Ireland recently, and it made me realized that 10 YEARS AGO I studied abroad.  Man that makes me feel old.  My knowledge may not be current, but I scanned in some pictures from what was a wonderful semester.  It was a very surreal time, though, as I was living in Ireland over September 11, 2001.  Being an American abroad was part pride, but there was also an element of disguising the fact of who you were.  It was not necessarily safe to be American, and as our foreign policy decisions were questioned, often you would meet with out right hostility.  I have to admit that frequently I let my Irish accent take over and just let people assume that I was, in fact, Irish.

I stopped just short of scanning my entire scrapbook.  Well, not really, but here are some of the more interesting pictures.  These were from our trip to Belfast.  My friend Dave and I got lose at one point in a less than ideal part of the Protestant neighborhood at night, and did have all sorts of horrible scenarios running through our heads being silly, Catholic college kids.  Of course, none of them happened.

My dad came over, and we did a lot of touring around the southern and western portions of the country.  This is on the Cliffs of Moher.

Some of our frequent hang-outs.

The Aran Islands.  I'd say my #1 recommendation of places you must see.

The iconic image of an Irish cross.

And, of course, there's me.  A naive, little 20-year-old.  How cute.  :)

I'd love to go back, and Notre Dame is actually playing a football game there next year, but I don't see us having the money or the vacation time.  Which is very sad, but it is what it is.  I can still reminisce.   

Today I am grateful for all the opportunities that my parents gave me growing up.  Thank you Mom and Dad!

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