Woo! It’s been a while.
If you follow my Facebook page – and if you don’t, you totally should, because the link is right there on the right – you’ll know that I spent a few days in Ireland last week, taking a break from everything and seeing old friends again. So, here we go, with a little update!
I arrived in Dublin Airport after a four-hour flight from Malta. I hate flying, so this was definitely not the most pleasant of experiences, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The bus from Dublin Airport to Dublin City Centre took longer than expected, so we didn’t actually get on a bus to Limerick until about 8.15pm. The bus ride from Dublin to the University of Limerick takes two and a half hours, so once that was done, I didn’t actually get to my friend’s place until around 10.45pm. Needless to say, I was exhausted.
So what did I do?
Go to a party, of course.
My friends were partying in the city, so I left my luggage in my friend’s apartment (which she left me a key to in advance), and off I went to join them. We didn’t get into bed until 4am, which meant that my first few hours in Ireland were incredibly eventful and worth it.
First days back in Ireland are for catching up, which is exactly what we did. Ciara and I haven’t seen each other since the first week of January, and when you’re best friends with someone, that’s a long time going without seeing each other. I walked around on my own Friday for a bit, soaking up the nostalgia of UL and just reveling in being back. I met a friend who’s currently doing his PhD for lunch, and then spent the rest of my day with Ciara, walking and talking and eating take out. We Skyped a friend who lives in Canada and went dancing that evening, returning home at around 1am. Again, totally worth it.
Even though I lived in Ireland for 4 months, I never ventured beyond Galway, Limerick, and Dublin. We caught the train to Cork Saturday, despite the fact I felt myself getting slowly sicker. I soon fixed that with a trip to the pharmacy, and we spent a few good hours in Cork just walking around, buying souvenirs and admiring the park.
IT'S TIME TO GO ON A FRIENDSHIP RANT HOLY SHIT Everyone deserves someone as dramatic, embarrassing, caring, and hardworking as Ciara in their life. The moment we became friends was the best thing that happened to me in the last few years. I can count on her to be there even when we're separated by a fucking continent in between; she's never failed to impress me with how caring and how loving she is to those she cares about. Our entire friendship, except for some small moments here and there, has been spent not being in each other's company, but that doesn't make it any less relevant. She worries me with how hard she works, and she worries me when she's not sleeping, and she worries me when she constantly thinks of others before herself, but she's also one of the singularly best people I ever met, and one of the brightest rays of sunshine in my life. Needless to say, I love her a lot 😍😍😍 💜💜💜
Feeling sick for most of the day, I decided to stay in on Saturday and slept for about 12 hours, also managing to do some reading when I wasn’t passed out. It was a relaxed day that I needed, and a good rest that I’d been sorely missing.
Sunday dawned nice and bright, so we took a walk around campus again, only to finish with Ciara having to leave me to take care of some things, while I caught the bus to Bunratty, a half hour trip out of Limerick. Bunratty hosts a wonderful castle and folk park, and I arrived about an hour before the whole thing closed. I walked around for a good hour, just soaking up the well-preserved castle and the beautifully kept park and attractions. Once that was done, the day was practically over, and my Sunday ended on a note that every Sunday should end on – Chinese take away and Skype.
Arguably one of the more eventful days of my trip, closely followed by Thursday itself.
I met friends for lunch on Monday, friends who used to live in Malta themselves and now are back in Ireland. I caught the bus to Dublin soon after, making my way to a concert I had been excited about for months. It was my first concert, and one of my favourite bands of all time, so you can only imagine how palpable the excitement was.
I arrived two hours before the show was due to start, and was at the venue an hour and a half before. I managed to secure a place at the very front of the stage, with only the barrier separating me from the band and the stage. The opening band, Booka Brass Band, were amazingly great, and you should all check them out and support their great sound!
I was at the concert alone, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t make friends. There was a lovely Canadian girl standing next to me who’s name I never caught, but we hit it off and just danced together and spoke during intervals throughout the entire night. We had a lot in common, and I hope that (by some incredible twist of faith) we might meet again one day somehow.
Caravan Palace were fucking amazing, and I haven’t actually felt so energized in my life. They played most of my favourites (some listed below), they sounded amazing, and I danced the night away til the very last second. The concert ended at 11pm, meaning I had enough time to make my way down to the bus stop, and was back in Limerick by 2.45am.
Travelling away always sucks. Tuesday was one of my more sad days, as I spent the morning packing and changing,and then saying my goodbyes. I grabbed breakfast with a friend who lives there at the moment, and then caught the 12.30pm bus to Dublin City Centre, only having enough time to hug my best friend (who I really don’t see often enough) goodbye one last time, and spent the next 11 hours travelling: University of Limerick -> Dublin City Centre -> Dublin Airport Terminal 1 -> Malta.
An eventful trip, a much needed break, and a trip that brought about a very important realization: while I love Ireland, and always will, there’s only so many times I can return back without the nostalgia hurting me. While I was there, I felt myself growing slightly more distant from the place, and while I would one day love to return – maybe on my own, maybe with my future partner, maybe on a business trip, who knows? – I don’t think it’ll be any time soon. While I love Limerick, it’s time for me to move on to bigger and brighter places. Life is so very very short, the world is so very very big, and I have so many mores places to be before I die.
Ireland, I love you.
Next destination…who the hell knows?