(This is the view from my desk today. Not too shabby, Dublin.)
As of today I’m officially two weeks back in Ireland. That was FAST! It feels like I’ve been here forever, almost like my life in Salamanca was years ago, and yet I’m still adjusting everyday. Last time I did anything remotely like this was in 2010, when I moved home from London. I remember really enjoying the transition back to my Dublin life and feeling very relived at the time, but of course there isn’t really much of an opportunity for culture shock there!
I’m sure everyone experiences this when they find themselves back on home turf, seeing and experiencing the old after adjusting to a new way of life, which in many cases can also mean becoming accustomed to a new language, communicating in a new way. It’s just…strange!
Honestly, I don’t love or dislike being home. At the moment, I’m feeling pretty indifferent..this is probably also something others experience after a stint abroad? Feelings of indifference aside, I can easily identify the pros and cons of my experience with the change so far. The weather has been pretty great here, as far as Irish weather goes. The sun is shining on me as I type this..how exotic! It seems to be the best summer we have had in years.
I’m so thankful for the sunny skies as it makes my transition from my heatwave home in Salamanca a lot smoother, along with the efforts of my family. It has been wonderful to see my family and friends who are so welcoming and glad to have Niall and I home, especially my crazy little sister. She has the weirdest humor and I always miss her a lot when I’m off doing whatever it is that I’m doing. She is bat shit crazy. In a good way!
Aside from people, there are of course animals and things. I am now reuinted with my two cats, Cookie and Misty. Both are so incredibly cute – one is needy, the other greedy. A year away from floaty airborne cat fuzz means my allergies are out in force, so I’ve been taking allergy meds everyday like a vitiman to build up an immunity. IT REALLY WORKS!
In relation to places, spending some time living at home gives me time to sort myself out and think about my next steps, without any huge amount of pressure. I think we all need this for ourselves every once in a while. Dublin also has great bars and restaurants, some oldies and goodies as well as new places I want to try that have caught my eye. The city is very cosmopolitan indeed, and will keep me busy for quite some time!
Back to living at home. Living at home also means a double bed. All to myself. I can sleep diagonally in peace, without witnessing the peculiar snores that Scotch drinkers make. And stuff is always full. The fridge, the wine racks…biscuit tins…shelves with seemingly interesting books….all full and all free!
(One of the very last pictures I took, my favourite street in Salamanca – La Compañia)
What I’ll miss about Spain is a lot. The beautiful buildings, the abundance of terraces you can sit on all day in the sun, with good company and without interruption. I miss the laid back lifestyle, the calmness and friendliness of everyone, which I find sometimes is lacking in Ireland – people are rushing around like headless chickens a lot of the time.
I’ll miss the gorgeous weather, which gave me the opportunity to cycle and walk everywhere. I enjoy being active, but in Ireland I find I have to make myself do workout DVDs, which isn’t as fun! Work is a little far away for me to cycle to and the weather can be a little moody.
I’ll miss speak the language, which I find incredibly satisfying even though I still have a lot to learn. I have taken steps to resolve this though, signing up on Conversation Exchange, where I have 8 or so very friendly Spanish people living in Dublin I’m meeting with soon to practice Spanish and help with English.
Lastly, what I’ll really miss is the prices of everything! No matter how broke you are in Spain, you can always afford a glass of wine and a pincho for lunch/dinner, which makes every meal incredibly sociable and affordable. Rent is cheap, food and alcohol is cheap so dinner parties were something I could do on a regular basis – something I enjoyed so much and will really miss.
I apologise for my all-over-the-shop reflective post. Regardless of the confusing post, I’m excited to start my next chapter, exploring new and old, documenting my experiences along the way, as I become reacquainted with my city.
If there are any Spanish in Dublin reading, please say hello! Hello to everyone else who reads this too…I’m not forgetting you!