Less than a week.

In the above Instagramed photo, the reality of this year-long process of applying to study abroad outside the picturesque campus of Chapman University suddenly entered my conscious. I’m really going to be lifting off from the San Francisco international Airport, by myself[I always told myself I would never fly by myself, I’m simply deathly afraid of turbulence and dying alone if our plane were to somehow crash] and descending on Newark, New Jersey and then off to the Shannon Airport only 20 km from the residence I’ll be living in for the next five months.

University of Limerick. Stationed in the third largest city of Ireland, every source describing this campus mentions the word beauty, or another synonymous word to avoid sounding repetitive despite its truthful connotation. Staying in the ‘Thomond Village’, I will be sharing an apartment like set-up with six other individuals mixing international students and local Irish individuals; I’m really excited about this aspect seeing that a majority of this experience is to become integrated in the culture of the country and what better way to accomplish this outside of mingling and living with some Irish folk? If only I could perfect my Irish accent, which mind you is nonexistent, I could persuade some that I am one of those local folk. I’ve got the extra strawberry tingled blonde locks to prove it.

Regardless of my appearance, my American accent will undoubtedly give my citizenship away and I’m very curious to see how I will be perceived. Knowing myself, I am quite swooned by a British, Australian, or even an Irish accent, so I wonder when I’m the outsider among a circle of Irish tongue, if the dapper gents of Ireland will swoon over me? A girl can dream.

Less than a week until this process begins, and I sit here staring at an empty suitcase in our quiet home in Napa, California.

My lovely Mara. [below] My cousin Emily.

My lovely Mara.

My best friend recently left for another semester at University of Vermont, and my cousin lives an hour away in the county of Marin where I grew up. So here I am forced to face packing. Which I am horrenduous at; I have too much stuff.

Marking this now: Goal Number One~

Conscious Spending. That is all.

We’ll see if I can hold up to this bargain when faced with ample pints of Guiness, invitations to travel around the Emeral Isle, and delicious cuisine pertaining to my pescatarian diet(another perk of being on the coast~lots of fresh fish & seafood!) Until I officially set foot in Ireland with my sorority sister Julia Clark by my side to make it through customs and what I imagine to be several memorable adventures together, I can say, without fear of sounding too cliche,

I’m ready to find my pot of gold on the Emerald Isle.

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