as soon as i told friends and family that i was going to study abroad, i received the exact same feedback multiple times a day: “oh my! you are going to have the best time of your life!”
now i think that is a whole lot of pressure to put upon a brand new adventure. moving from san diego, leaving my full time job, and deciding to study abroad in ireland was big enough on it’s own. but now it had to be the best time of my life? wowzers.
weeks before i left for ireland i spent hours online reading other study abroad students’ blogs. i looked at photos and read stories about so many amazing experiences. i made a list of places i had to see and photos i had to take and things i had to do.
and then i landed in ireland. i moved to the most exquisite, quaint, and welcoming town galway. for the first month i was bogged down by my lists. i beat myself up for having jet lag. how could i be wasting precious time sleeping? i beat myself up for not seeing the entire island within the first two weeks. what was i doing with my time?
and finally, during a trip to the cliffs of moher i let myself go. i decided to just live. looking over cliffs as majestic as the cliffs of moher you are forced to feel a monumental change inside your soul. i let go of my lists and my must dos must sees. and i tried very hard to just see and do as it happened.
my entire life i’ve always built up such high expectations for everything. i’ve always been that girl who cannot sleep the night before going to disneyland. i’ve always been the girl who paints lovely pictures of what each event in her life is going to look like. and while optimism has never been an issue for me, i’m filled to the brim with it, letting go of strict expectations has not been easy for me.
ireland has exceeded my expectations ten fold because for the first time, i’ve let them go. the only thing i truly expect is that ireland will love me just as much as i love her. i love her green hills and her blue rivers, i love her cold winds and her persistent showers. i love her people and i love living here. am i having the best time of my life? well who really knows. but i know i’m happy, and that’s truly all that matters.
if you’re lucky enough to be happy, you’re lucky enough
Thank so much for sharing your experience abroad with us, Lizzie! Ireland sounds amazing, and I hope to visit it someday. : ) You can read more of Lizzie’s adventures in Ireland on her blog, or follow her on twitter @luckyenoughblog.