Ireland has been a wild ride and I am more than half way through my trip (I am both excited and a little sad about this). The beginning was very rough for me but I am doing much better now and I honestly feel a sense of melancholy when I think about going back home.
I have met some amazing people so far, including the people I live with (other Stinters), my coworkers and people I have just met through social gatherings. I am finding that Ireland is a very friendly place with so much history and beauty. I have not explored much outside of Dublin because I am planning a full week of traveling around the country at the end of my trip but I have been exhilarated by what I have seen so far. There are parts of Ireland that are so picturesque, yet pictures never seem to do it justice. I am truly looking forward to my last week here, especially because my girlfriend and my mom will be here. We plan on visiting the most famous cathedrals here in Dublin, Trinity College and its library, Howth (second time for me) because it is so beautiful, the Cliffs of Moher, castles, the Blarney Stone and much more!
Even though I have not explored much of the country yet, I have still had the time of my life here in Dublin, creating a new (though short-lived) life for myself and I know that this experience will change my life forever. This experience has taught me to be brave and courageous; it has taught me more about how to be a leader and a go-getter. These are all abilities that will help me through every walk of life. I have also been very inspired in terms of sustainability because many parts of Ireland are still very old and inefficient, meaning that the country could greatly benefit from sustainability efforts. I am constantly thinking of ways to improve upon the three pillars: people, planet, profit. I am also noticing though that other places, including the United States, could benefit from taking some plays out of the Irish playbook in order to simplify and become more sustainable. Lifestyles here seem to be so much simpler and at times, I find it very refreshing.
My internship has been very insightful and I am hoping to complete a research masterpiece by the time I leave here. Maybe my paper won’t get published but I am hoping it will at least be a good read and will get me the A I am looking for so that I can complete grad school with almost a 4.0!
Although the purpose of being here is to participate in this internship and write a paper in order to graduate and gain experience for my future career path, I also know that it is just important that I soak up as much of this country and its beauty as I can. It is important for me to remember that this is an adventure that I will never forget and I need to grab life by the horns right now. I am incredibly thankful that my school encourages us to take internships abroad and I completely understand why now. Traveling abroad is one of the most eye-opening experiences, especially – in my opinion – for sustainability professionals. It is tough to pursue a career path that involves every part of the planet if you only have one perspective to work from. So, again, I couldn’t be happier about my being here because I know it will help me grow as a person and as a professional.