One of my greatest adventure thus far happened back in 2011, when I moved to Dublin for a semester of school. The plan was that I’d be in school from January – May, travel for a bit by myself, then meet my mom in July and travel with her.
I was terrified. I was 20 years old, had never traveled or lived alone ever, and had no idea what I was doing. The only time I had been out of Canada (or heck, even out of Ontario or Quebec) was to go to Malta with my family. This was completely new, and utterly nerve-wracking. But I was so excited.
I remember it hit me when I passed security at the airport, and had a literal barrier between my family and myself. What was I doing?! At the time, I had to walk through a glass corridor in which I could see my entire family waving from security, and I almost lost it. But I successfully navigated my way to my gate, and made it on the plane without an issue.
The flight wasn’t so bad, nor was getting a taxi to take me to school (University College Dublin). The problem was finding the right building once I got to campus! The cab driver had no idea where to go (but thank god I chose a country that spoke English) but by asking the students around lots and lots of questions we managed to find the right building.
And so I left the safety of the cab and entered the crowd of students waiting to register. The RAs offered to take my bags to my room later, which seemed nice at the time, but also meant that when I was escorted to my new room, I had absolutely nothing to do! No sheets to put on the bed, no computer to browse. That was a rough patch.
Eventually I figured I should leave my room and walk around campus until my bags arrived. I happened to notice a sign for a campus tour and decided to join it. This moment literally changed my life. It’s not just where you go when you decide to travel, it’s who you go with. And the people I met on this tour are, to this very day, some of my greatest friends.
It felt more like home when my bags arrived and I was able to unpack and get comfortable.
And so before my first week had even ended, I knew coming to Ireland was a decision I would never regret.