Coming up on my last weeks at Maynooth and Ireland, I am so sad for it all to be be coming to an end. As much as I miss my family and friends (and spiced food), being abroad has been an amazing, eye-opening experience that I will savor until its gone and long after its ended. Since I last posted, I have finally begun traveling to other countries, something I’ve wanted to do my whole life. Last weekend, some friends and I went to Amsterdam in the Netherlands for three days and it was everything and more than I could have expected! Being in such a vibrant and historically rich place was a cool departure from my typical routine of visiting Dublin. The architecture, food, and people were jarringly aesthetically pleasing. in our time in Amsterdam, we took a boat tour of the canals, saw a windmill, visited some museums, and explored the famous Red Light District. As we were only there for two full days, we did miss out on some sites I was excited to visit like the Anne Frank house, the modern art museum, and the Van Gogh Museum as it was already booked up for the day upon arriving. Despite this, we still had an amazing, fulfilling time.
As I type now from the tarmac of the Dublin Airport, I am on my way to my next trip, Faro, Portugal! Being Portuguese, I have always wanted to visit the continent (I have visited the islands my family is from) and to finally be able to see the Algarve coast. Despite it being winter here and only around 65 degrees, we plan on taking full advantage of what are widely known as the most beautiful beaches in the world, especially since it has been around 30-40 degrees in Ireland for the past two months. I hope to be able to recharge enough to take on the coming two weeks of writing essays before I head home for Christmas break. I am also very nervous about attempting to exercise my very rusty and rudimentary Portuguese with the locals, but I know that it is a good opportunity to reconnect with my roots and refresh my knowledge! I wish that I had begun booking trips sooner and optimizing my proximity to Europe, but I am also glad that I have been able to spend time traveling around Ireland and spending time at my university.