I chose Ireland as my first study abroad experience for many reasons, ranging from its start-up community to the opportunity to see a castle. I was able to fulfill one of my long-time dreams by visiting the ruins of Menlo Castle.
On my final day in Galway, I decided I wanted to do something spectacular. With my mom’s recommendation of the ruins (thanks mom!) and a quick Google search later, I was on my way.
When I arrived, I was presented with two paths, one that looked like all the suspicious forests in Disney movies and the other was blocked with a small gate. Choosing the path on the right, I hopped over the fence and continued my walk from there. As I was walking, I felt like Indiana Jones or Lara Croft, embarking on a journey to the unknown. Had I not been paying attention, I would have missed the small entrance made of stone and covered in green. A foot into the entrance and my breaths hitches, there lies Menlo Castle.
Honestly, no words could form my exact thoughts that were running through my mind. I was immersed in what felt like an adventure video game that has come to life. With my hand on the wall, it felt as words were traveling to my brain, reading years of history with a single touch.
As I walked around, I couldn’t help but think about the family that used to live there. I wanted to know what they did during their everyday lives and how this castle collapsed; I was enchanted with this small piece of history. Later in the day, I simply sat down and took in my environment without looking through the lens of my camera.