Somehow, I’m already on a plane heading back to Florida! I loved this trip even more than I initially thought I would. I’ve learned some invaluable lessons about the history and culture of the land that my ancestors come from. I’ve met some amazing people as well! I feel like this trip has been a real journey of growth for me. Traveling by myself internationally as the first time traveling by myself has given me more confidence in being independent and getting things done. I’m glad that I get to continue my life with all of the amazing things I have learned during my time in Northern Ireland, whether it’s learning about the wide array of literature and culture that this lovely island contains, or learning about its history and current day events. I have loved with all of my heart being able to go to places like Giant’s Causeway, Londonderry/Derry, experience a Gaeltacht (Irish Gaelic speaking district), and just learning more about the beautiful country that my ancestors came from. It’s crazy that I now feel like Belfast is my home too, something I definitely did not think would happen, seeing as it’s a city so far away and unlike what I’m used to day to day, but I still fell in love with it and really want to go back one day, as a piece of my heart has been left there with that city. I find myself, even only one day back in Florida, immediately missing the colder weather, my professors, friends, and the lovely live music that we got to hear at different pubs (seriously, I keep on talking about how much I miss all of these, I’m sure I’ll drive my parents insane by the end of the week). But even though I miss Belfast and the island of Ireland as a whole, I’m so grateful to have even stepped foot on my ancestors’ birthplace and to have so many amazing experiences there!
It’s been great!