My eyes questioned reality as soon as I walked out of Shannon Airport. Could this view be real? I felt as if I had walked straight into a new Instagram filter simply named “green”. Everything in sight had a tint of the vibrant color, even through the majestic fog. After accepting the realism of the beauty that is Ireland, I boarded the bus headed to the University of Limerick. I freaked out as soon as we started moving. We were driving on the wrong side of the road! It took a while to get used to the left hand side of the road, but after many winding roads and roundabouts I finally recovered. I excitedly rattled off questions to one of the University’s student guides and then struggled to understand her responses through her cheery Irish accent.
I finally arrived at the large campus and was directed to my Village. I lugged my overflowing suitcases around until I found my house. When I opened the door to my new room I was welcomed by empty walls just begging to be decorated with my adventures.
As soon as I set my luggage down, I was greeted by two of my housemates. The girls from New Jersey, soon to become my dearest friends, had arrived the day before me. To me, their early arrival was great news. They had experience getting around the maze that is UL’s campus. After some errands and meeting the University’s famous Brown Thomas, we walked to the store for some much needed groceries and made plans for future weekend trips. It only took a few hours to know these girls were people I wanted to travel the world with!
When we got back to our new home in Kilmurry village, I was quickly dressed by my stylish housemate for our first night out together. I have no fashion sense so this became a daily thing… As soon as the lipstick was applied, we joined a little house party nearby; with strangers that would soon turn into life-long friends. Together we all headed to The Stables Club, a pub on campus.
I finally got to experience the Irish charm as I met one person after the next! The atmosphere was light, exciting, and “good craic like”.Irish students gave me advice and plenty of laughter. The DJ played Irish jigs and ‘90s favorites. I could just feel the freckles and red hair beginning to develop within me. With a glass of Guinness in my hand, I toasted to a semester of adventure, rain, Penny’s shopping sprees, new friends, and a life that was being lived.