Time to Look Back

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As my time in Dublin comes to a close, I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of sadness. Dublin has been a place of discovery and growth for me. The city’s diversity and openness allowed me to express myself in ways that I never thought possible. From the countless activities available and the people I’ve met, Dublin has made it impossible for me to feel bored or lonely. Its size and accessibility have also contributed to the ease of my stay, and it’s hard to imagine leaving it all behind.

When I first arrived in Ireland, I felt like I was on a different planet. I was an American in a foreign country, alone and unsure of what to do. But as I explored the streets and landscapes, I gradually gained a sense of confidence. I learned how to navigate a new place, make new friends, and adapt to different cultures. Now, as I prepare to leave, I realize how much I’ve grown as a person. I’m more excited about new opportunities and better at expressing myself to new people. Compared to the nervous and reserved person I was before, I like who I’ve become.

Saying goodbye is always hard, but it’s especially challenging this time around. The friends I’ve made have become like family to me. Leaving them means leaving a part of me behind. It’s not just that they’re not a street or dorm away, but that they’re halfway around the world. Time and distance are truly powerful here, but no matter how the future goes, I know that the memories we’ve created together will stay with me forever.

My main purpose in coming to Dublin was fueled by my desire to gain valuable experiences that would be useful in my future endeavors. Whether that’s eventually working abroad or encouraging others to follow their traveling dreams, this experience has provided me with a unique perspective and skill set. But the unexpected bonus has been the personal growth and transformation I’ve undergone. From overcoming language barriers to learning how to be independent, I’ve become more self-aware and confident. It’s a reminder that sometimes the most valuable lessons can come from passively adapting to new places.

As I begin to pack my bags for home, I can’t help but feel a sense of bittersweet nostalgia. From the time I accidentally got lost while riding the LUAS to visiting historical sights, and even when I caught a bad cold, every experience has been memorable. Dublin has become a part of me, and I know that I will always carry a piece of it with me wherever I go.