5 Things I Learned From Living in Ireland

When I first arrived in Cork with my Croatian boyfriend, we hadn’t a clue how we were going to make it. We were staying in a run-down bed and breakfast outside of the city. We didn’t have jobs or an apartment. I began to question why I fought so hard to get a working-visa to come to Ireland in the first place.

Despite this, we decided to spend our first night in Cork at the legendary Oliver Plunkett Bar. I stepped into the Irish pub like seemingly any other American tourist listening to the live cover band. But as I began to lose myself in the energy of the live music and friendly locals, I felt like everything was going to be okay. I started to think there was a place for me in Cork.

Short of a year later, I found myself in the same pub on my last night out in Cork. This time, I wasn’t with my boyfriend. I was with two of my closest friends, among several that I had made over the past months. I taught myself how to navigate Irish bureaucracy and adulthood, first with my partner, and then on my own. I successfully helped run a study abroad summer program on top of mastering the art of working in a fast paced international education office. Most of all, I was leaving with countless of memories and adventures across the Emerald Isle.

I closed my tear-filled eyes, and in that moment, I felt that I really did create something for myself here. I created a home.

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Cork City Chronicles: The Emerald Summer

If there’s one thing that Ireland taught me, it’s that you can’t trust the weather forecast. You can mope about how there’s a 100 percent chance of rain all week, only to be surprised by nothing but sun and blue skies.

And that’s exactly how my solo experience and Ireland has played out. I braced myself for a summer of solitude, solely focused on work and avoiding the dreary weather. But instead, I’ve turned my time here into a new era of friendship, adventure, and opportunity under the Emerald Isle’s summer sun.

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Cork City Chronicles: Becoming Resilient

Worn out soles from adventure around Ireland. An international job at a national university. A new apartment with all my belongings—except my boyfriend.

That’s what the past 3 months in Cork, Ireland has given me.

It’s taken me longer than it should have to write this. And if I’m being honest, I often feel pressured to validate my decision of living abroad by sensationalizing my experience. The truth is living abroad is not all adventure; it can be mundane, frustrating, and extremely lonely. But as I’ve (literally) stood alone in the downpour rain, I have become more resilient. Read more

10 Irish Phrases that Confuse Americans

Yee Irish lads have some grand slang. From cheers, meaning “thank you”, to the use of the word “brilliant”, Irish vocabulary is similar to British in many ways. Yet some common Irish phrases will have all foreigners, especially Americans, saying, “What the hell did you just say?”

To help you avoid embarrassment or confusion, or just for a good laugh, I’ve broken down the basics of Irish slang.

Here are ten Irish phrases that confuse Americans:
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Cork City Chronicles: the Pieces Falling in Place

Things began to move faster than I anticipated, and my only choice was to roll with the punches. Within a few short weeks, I found a part-time job, then took a new full-time job, traveled around Ireland’s coast, and built roots in my new home, Cork.

It wasn’t until I took a step back that I realized: all the little pieces and unanswered questions were coming together. Read more