Category: USA

7 Questions I Get Asked + Homesickness Tips

When you tell people you’re from another country there’s a few questions that you are bound to be asked. As well as a few randoms! It’s usually whenever I meet someone I get asked a lot of these! It’s been three years of answering them so I have the answers memorized, haha.

Retro Flame’s new video actually inspired this post! She is the opposite of me…from Ireland and moved to America. She’s brilliant and I love her content!

Hopefully these answers give a little insight into my blog!

  1. Is your red hair natural?
    ….Followed by have you ever changed the color? Haha. My color is my natural one! I wanted ombre when I was younger and got my whole head dyed platinum blonde…It was so embarrassing and not my best look. I’ll stick with the red.
  2. Why did you pick Ireland? 
    My parents are from Ireland and they brought me over a lot growing up, which I’m super thankful for. I have always loved Ireland, the people and the culture! University in Ireland just seemed like a great idea to me when I was seventeen and it’s cheaper than most unis/colleges stateside. It’s still my best decision yet!
  3. How’d you pick your uni?
    I had researched all the Irish universities for awhile and thought Maynooth would be the best fit for me. I figured it would be less overwhelming than going to school directly in the city, but if I wanted a city vibe I could just take the train/bus into Dublin. Read more in my post about applying to Irish university here.
  4. Which country do you prefer?
    It’s very tough to pick! Both have amazing places, things, foods and people that I love so much!
  5. What do you miss most about Massachusetts?
    Buffalo chicken pizza tenders/pizza and Dunkin Donuts iced coffee. And my family and friends and my sweet little dog.
  6. Where will you live after uni and what will you do? 
    I’m moving to Belfast, woohoo! Cannot wait. I have some ideas work wise, but only time will tell!
  7. How do you avoid being homesick when you live so far away from home?
    Only around my birthday do I get a bit homesick. Mine literally just passed but it’s a day where I always want to wake up at home! It’s okay to miss home/be homesick! It doesn’t make your journey/trip/move any less successful.

    My tips are:
    – Try and stay busy and distracted. Clean, cook, workout, study, whatever!
    Do something that makes you happy. 
    – Meet up with friends! Call your friends and/or family if you can’t meet up.
    And here’s the most important one:
    – I also remind myself I once lived at home and wanted to move to Ireland so badly! And that I am very happy here and have built a wonderful life for myself! The homesick feeling will pass! 

    x

Travel Highlight Reel of 2017

So 2017 will go down as the year I began seeing new countries. All my life, I had only ever been to the United States (where I grew up and my parents live) and the Republic of Ireland (where my parents are from and I now live). I know that I should’ve taken advantage of living in Europe way sooner! In fairness, I have been all around Ireland. There are only a few counties left to check off my Irish bucket list! When I first moved over I basically had day trips planned for every weekend and I had fun little adventures wherever I went by myself or with university friends. But I became so comfortable in Ireland I never went anywhere else, besides home to Boston.

This year was very good to me. I visited so many incredible places, ate amazing food and best of all met a whole new group of friends! Before 2017, I had never crossed the border and visited Northern Ireland. After a handful of trips, I was living there in the summer time! I fell in love with Belfast (and a guy from Derry..haha). 2017 was one for the books as they say.

I’ll go in chronological order, trip by trip, including my favorite photo from my stay there and my favorite activity. There were some more local trips within Ireland (like Cork, Galway, Mayo, Derry, Donegal and Down) but I’ll stick to new countries for this post! All trip titles below have the link to the original blog posts where I discuss them in more depth.

Manchester, UK: August 2017

A quick 40 minute plane ride from Belfast and I was in the industrial city of Manchester! I liked that it was a quick escape. However, it’s not really a holiday spot. It’s more of a place you go to visit someone, which was the intention of the trip. But nevertheless, it was still fun. My favorite part was the Manchester Art Gallery with a new friend I made from an old friend or the rooftop bar pictured…Don’t be fooled by the cute appearance of my cocktail, I can’t recall what was in it but I couldn’t finish it!

The winner of 2017….

France: August 2017 

Out of all the gorgeous places, I think rural France was the best. Not only was it warm, it was super beautiful. The fresh loaves of bread and local cheese were SO, so divine. And the villa I stayed in was set in a rural area outside a very small village that I may never be able to pronounce but really loved.

The light show shown above was projected onto a gothic cathedral and captivated quite the crowd. So fab! I found a video someone took and uploaded to YouTube of another light show in the same place right here.

Amsterdam, Netherlands: November 2017

Amsterdam was a cool touristy spot and the architecture was super pretty. I was surprised at how different I thought it would be. One of the best parts of traveling is configuring a new perspective on a place.

Heineken Factory is well worth a visit, regardless of whether you enjoy Heineken beer. There were so many photo ops and I loved that you could roam about on your own.

Boston & Cape Cod, MA: December 2017

There’s not much to say besides how great it is to be home for the holidays! Obviously the best part is reuniting with friends and spending time with loved ones. The snow is great as well and you can’t beat being near the ocean! I was also home two other times this year when I had time off from university in March and June. In March I was home for about a week and in June I stayed the whole month. One of my close friends from uni came over to see America. Showing her around Massachusetts made me appreciate where I’m from even more!

What a year! I traveled and learned quite a bit. It really does open up your eyes! I’m ready for 2018. I’m sure it will be packed with plenty of fun places to see. After my January exams, a few of us are headed to Madrid for a weekend which should be brilliant. And hopefully a little warmer… If you have suggestions give me a direct message or comment on Instagram.

Where are you planning on going in 2018?

Happy New Year! 

x

 

(Photos of me taken by Abby Hanson at ‘The Knob’ at Quisset Harbor in Falmouth, MA)

 

Home for the Holidays: Cape Cod

 

I’m hooooooome! Despite the label of a travel blog, I have yet to discover how to beat jet lag. Maybe someday I will, but certainly not this trip back. It’s 7am and I’ve been up since 5. On Sunday night, I think I passed out around 1030pm Boston time, so like 330am Irish time, yikes (there is a 5 hour time difference). My body is clearly still on Irish time which isn’t the worst thing to keep up if I’m only here for another week. In regards to flying to the east coast of America, I have always flown with Aer Lingus since I was a kid. I hear Norwegian Air has fantastic deals though which is something I want to look into further possibly for my next trip home.

Cream Double Bauble Knit Beanie is from River Island UK but also can be bought right here.

It is so nice to be home for the holidays <3 There was snow upon my arrival but alas, it has melted. I’m hoping for some more before Christmas! There is a lot to do like seeing friends and family and study as well because exams are quickly approaching when I get back to Ireland. There are so many people to see and never enough time unfortunately, but that’s always the way! I usually stay for New Years but this year I’m spending it with my boyfriend and friends back in Belfast. The last few days, I have been between Cape Cod (which is a man-made island that is connected to Massachusetts by two bridges) and the city of Boston saying hello and goodbye to people! Both are great places to be but I’ve been loving the lively vibe in Boston. It has always been my favorite city but I’m biased, of course. I’ll do a separate post on the city as I have a few more days to spend there before going back to Ireland!

Here are a couple of snaps I’ve taken since being back. The first two are from Barnstable village which is a very nice spot to visit if you’re ever on Cape Cod. Nirvana Coffee Company is probably the cutest cafe on the Cape. I also love the idea of the book exchange outside it. Then we have our Christmas tree all lit up (with no star yet, though!) and my lovely doggo all cuddled up on the couch.

Hope you are enjoying the holiday season and spending time with your loved ones! Happy holidays to all!

x

(Photos at top of post by my lovely friend from home Sarah. Taken nearby a marshland area on Cape)