Arizona to Dublin: First 2 weeks

Hi, my name is Caitlin! As my first time writing about my experience travelling abroad, I want to talk about my favorite moments so far, and embracing change.
Caitlin Potenza

Hi, my name is Caitlin! As my first time writing about my experience travelling abroad, I want to talk about my favorite moments so far, and embracing change.

On May 13th, I departed from Gilbert, Arizona to Dublin, Ireland to complete a summer internship abroad for 8 weeks. While travelling is and will always be my dream, I had never been out of the U.S.
So, I decided to jump in headfirst: move to another country alone and also complete my first internship at the same time. An 11.5 hour plane ride later, a confusing airport, and a nerve-wracking bus ride, I arrived at my new home, with my temporary family in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin.

  • Homestay: My first favorite moment would be meeting my host family. There is no better way to completely immerse yourself in Irish culture than staying with a nice, welcoming family. I was welcomed with tea and biscuits, and a delicious home-cooked meal on my first day. Bonding with my host family has been a delightful experience and partaking in their family traditions definitely makes the distance away from your own family easier.
  • Sights: On the second day of our trip, we were brought on a tour of the Dublin City Centre. My favorite part of that day was visiting Dublin Castle, and learning about the history of why it is one of the most important buildings to Irish history. To walk on the same grounds as such royalty and famous figures makes for such a unique experience.
  • A necessity to anyone’s trip should be visiting Kilkenny and Glendalough, where photos could not capture the beautiful sights in front of you. Kilkenny had breathtaking churches and monasteries, and St. Canice’s Cathedral is an essential part of the town. Climbing the tower was my favorite part- as it was absolutely terrifying going up, but the view was worth it. Kilkenny Castle and its rose garden was amazing, but don’t pick the roses. Lastly, Glendalough is hard to put into words, but the landscape looking right out of a painting.
  • Embracing change: The hardest part so far of traveling abroad has been stepping out of the small, little world I was used to and going somewhere completely new. New people, new environment, and new customs. It reminds you to step back and know there’s so much in this world to learn and see. It’s easy to stay back in your comfort zone and avoid these scary feelings, as sometimes I find myself questioning if this was the right choice. Spoiler, it was. Stepping out of your comfort zone is scary, but essential to growing as a person and living life to the fullest.

I am so excited for the next 6 weeks!

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