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: 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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Kinsale: the Colorful Burano of Ireland

If you find yourself scrolling through pictures of colorful towns in faraway places, you’re not alone. With Instagram and snapchat, it’s never been easier to access the world’s vibrant destinations at the touch of a finger.

One of the hottest destinations for color-obsessed travelers is Burano, an Italian island of Venice painted every colorful shade you can imagine. But there’s another quaint town on the other side of Europe, which is giving Burano a run for its money.

Painted bright pink, blue, yellow and green, Kinsale is a colorful town in Cork County Ireland. Kinsale is a must for in-the-know travelers lusting for a pop of color. Read more

The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Dubrovnik

Drum roll please… I’m about the drop the ultimate knowledge bomb full of insider travel tips to one of the world’s trendiest destinations: Dubrovnik, Croatia. Trust me when I say you won’t find these tips in any Lonely Planet Guide or one of the various “36 hour travel guides” on Pinterest.

Why? Because I didn’t just visit Dubrovnik; I lived there. I first came to study abroad, then fell in love, literally, with a local. I then returned to live for another 6 months. I’m one of the lucky few Americans that actually were immersed in the culture and Dubrovnik mentality.

No tourist traps. No sponsorships. Only my genuine tips (and a few of my boyfriend’s recommendations too) about a destination that turned into my second home:

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