Tag Archives: Good Bye

An Open Letter to Dublin

By: Amanda Hollywood, ’17 // Public Relations

Dear Dublin,

sick mondo

When I had a fever I had to lay in my dark room with a damp towel over my forehead.

Whenever I would complain about how stubborn one of my siblings was being, my dad would always counter with a story from his childhood about my granny. When he was young it would be his job in the morning to make her a cup of coffee as he made his own breakfast, and one time, somehow, he accidentally set his toast on fire in the toaster and had to put it out with a fire extinguisher. When my granny came downstairs, she scolded him for not having her coffee ready, even while seeing him clearly in the aftermath of an actual fire. No matter how my dad explained, she wasn’t hearing it. She just wanted her coffee. The farther back in my family you go, it seems, the more and more stubborn we get. After coming to Ireland, I know without a doubt it’s the Irish in us. That’s where you come in, Dublin.

You didn’t care that I was here to have the time of my life. You didn’t care that I had invested thousands into this trip. You didn’t care that I had very different goals set, coming abroad. There were lessons you had for me to learn, and I was going to learn them, one way or another. Namely, by getting really, really sick. About 45% of my time here was spent being somehow sick. I spent more time sick here in Ireland than I’ve spent sick in the past five years, easily. I spent many days and nights staring at the ceiling and reasoning with the universe: Don’t you understand I’m supposed to be having the time of my life right now? Don’t you understand I have plans? But you were stubborn, Dublin. And you taught me to be stubborn, too.

happy mondo

The first thing I did when I got better was hop on a plane to the Happiest Place on Earth

You stubbornly made me become independent. I had no one to rely on but myself. There’s no mommy out here to nurse you back to health- you have to do it yourself. No one is obligated to take care of you, or otherwise care at all. Not to say no one cared, but you taught me self care. Self reliance. And now, self confidence that I can take care of myself. If I hadn’t spent weeks stubbornly fighting my way to good health, I never would have had the independence needed to take two trains and a bus all the way to Dingle and spend the weekend there alone. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to navigate the Paris metro system on my own.

And with the stubbornness of a group of doomed rebels rising up on Easter morning, and the stubbornness of the harps now plastered on any and everything Irish but which earlier had nearly gone extinct, I got better. I kept going to the doctor, and I kept taking my medicine, and I kept resting until I got better. And I was not derailed. I stubbornly did everything I set out to do, and did it in half the time everyone else had. Dublin, you taught me to be stubborn- and to persevere.

super happy mondo

One of my best days in Ireland was when I did the Howth cliff walk. I was afraid I would be too weak after being so sick, but I had the time of my life!

It wasn’t easy, but even so, I’m thankful for the lessons you so kindly forced down my throat, Dublin. I can practically hear your ‘I told you so’s nipping at my heels as I prepare to depart. Ireland really is a Mother. So, thank you, Dublin. It’s a little begrudging, in the same way you would hate admitting it when your mom is Absolutely Right, but there is no denying I have been changed for the better. You’re sending home a completely different person- a more stubborn, self-confident person- and I hope you’re prepared to take the blame for that!

Goodbye Dublin. I think I can take it from here.

Yours Always,

Amanda

 

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A letter to myself four months ago

Why are you packing four jackets? Also, the amount of shoes is a tad excessive. As you pack frantically at the last minute, and your heart is racing, sit down and take a deep breath. You don’t know this yet, but this is going to be the best four months of your life.
Things you don’t know:
-You’ll walk about 30 minutes to get to school. At first this will be kind of annoying, but eventually will become some of the most valuable minutes of your day. It will be the time to declutter and re-organize your brain.

Liza Fowler - Champlain College International Business'15 -Study abroad student in Dublin with Champlain Abroad Spring'15 - Photo credit: Joe Frank

Liza Fowler – Champlain College International Business’15 -Study abroad student in Dublin with Champlain Abroad Spring’15 – Photo credit: Joe Frank

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What it’s like to bid Dublin farewell

Only a few short month ago, you probably arrived in Dublin with a mind full of possibilities—a vision of what the upcoming semester with Champlain Abroad would be like. Now all of that has transformed itself into fond memories, most of them probably far from what you pictured.

By now you know the history of the streets you walk and the landmarks you pass on a daily basis. You have a favorite pub, and a least favorite intersection. You probably notice small changes, like a new billboard or bit of graffiti on your walk to school. You’ve picked up on subtle differences in language the Irish use. You give the tourists directions. The Dublin buses still completely baffle you, but it’s alright because you’ve found all of the best shortcuts to get where you need on foot.

By now you’ve visited some of the city’s best hidden gems.

 

The Gardens of Remembrance

The Gardens of Remembrance

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I Never Would Have Guessed

BY JULIANNA PRATT, ’16 // early childhood and elementary education

Upon arriving in Dublin, I didn’t have many expectations. I wanted to come into this experience with an open mind and let what happen, happen. One thing I hadn’t expected was how much it was going to impact my life. Studying abroad has to be one of the best decisions I made in my life. There is no experience I would rather replace this with. This experience made me realize how lucky I am to have the capabilities to do something like this and go to a school that cares so much about getting its students abroad. Champlain College has given me one of the best experiences of my life and for that I thank you.

I hadn’t expected to make such good friends. Coming into this trip, I was nervous that I really only knew two or three people and everyone else had just been faces that I passed in the halls. But I couldn’t have asked for a better crew of people. Being a small group of students really helped us to bond. We got the chance to really get to know all of the people we were traveling with especially when we went on our field trips to the North and West of Ireland. It makes me grateful to think about all of these wonderful people that walked into my life. Never did I think I would come home with so many new friends.

Thanksgiving Dinner Photo Credit :Brendon Johnson

Potluck Thanksgiving Dinner with Champlain Abroad Dublin
Photo Credit :Brendon Johnson

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