A Year in Review: 2015

It’s that time of year again. The time when I reflect back on my year, 2014 was a reflection, but I prefer the Year in Review of 2013, so that’s the title of this one. All in all, 2015 was a strange year, a good year, but a strange one. Looking back at it, it’s like I lived this life that wasn’t mine, I don’t know if that makes sense. For the most part my anxiety has greatly subsided and only surfaces at the most inconvenient of times, like parking lots, highways, riding bicycles through London, and when I have too much stuff to be done. My blogging hit a creative roadblock for a while and that was really hard for me to deal with, I just wanted to create great things and I couldn’t. Recently, I’ve been feeling better about that though and that helps a lot. 2015 brought the biggest adventure of my life yet, I lived in another country for three months, and that was probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done. If I had to describe 2015 in a phrase it would be: unexpectedly expected.

January

In January it seemed as if I was going through some self-evaluating. I had almost all classes for my major and minor and it lead to some major self reflection and evaluating. This was the semester that I went back to school and I felt content for the first time about that. Before there was always that bit of dread, but not that semester. Molly, Eric, Logan, and I all went on a little day trip to a bookstore in Harrisburg and to Chocolate World.

February

February is when the not blogging every day kicked in and I started to slack. I celebrated being single with two Galentines days I think I failed the 3-5 days a week. In order to try and combat this I started the 30 Day Blog Challenge. This is also when my blogging rut began. There were highs and lows of it throughout the year. However, because blogging had hit a rut, I was enjoying my life. This is also the last month that I would go home for the job that I hated so much.

March

At school March means spring break, which usually means a week of working, for me, it meant quitting my job. I had never quit a job before so it was this huge step for me in my life. I was kind of afraid, but also so glad that I did. I quit in order to go Florida with my friends for spring break, which was a great decision if you ask me. This was also the month where I honestly almost stopped blogging if I’m being honest. I hit a rut, I didn’t always enjoy blogging, I stopped doing the 30 Day Blog Challenge, I was at the peak of my creative roadblock. March was a month of highs and lows.  However, by the end of the month I felt that I was slowly climbing out of my rut and onto better. This was also the month I found out that I had been accepted to go to Dublin for the semester, it was official that I would be studying abroad in the fall.

April

To be honest. I don’t remember anything about April.  April is a weird month where nothing really happens. We had May Madness at my school and it was like 45 degrees outside. I don’t know why we had May Madness in April, I think it had something to do with finals week. Other than that, I feel like April is such a filler month. It’s project after project and paper after paper, other than that there’s not much to it.

May

May means the end of school. This year, I went home without a job and with fewer friends waiting for me than I was leaving, and it just felt weird. Normally I go home to a routine and this time I was going home to job application after job application. All of this time was good for me to start to get ready for studying abroad. I went on some hikes and just took some time for myself. At the end of the month, I was back working at my new job that I love.

June

 

I started LNBM in June which is the best and worst thing I’ve ever done for this blog. While it greatly feeds my laziness in the blogging department, it always seems to decently well with readers. I also continued my visits to Frederick to see Logan, Molly, and Eric. They also came to PA a few times, it was easier for me to go there just with schedules and everything. June was another month of severe bloggers block. However, this was the first time I didn’t keep it a secret. I was open and straight forward about it, which I think made it easier to write.

July

In July I went back to Florida, this time with my family. I got to accomplish a life dream, to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and see the giraffes from my hotel window. I also got to experience the magic of the updated Harry Potter World, which was absolutely amazing. The bloggers block start to wear off a little bit and I felt like I was doing good in the blog world.  I always start to get a little restless in July. I’m ready for a set schedule and this summer I just never really got that. I like structure, and there was not a lot of structure in my life this past summer, which was probably a good experience.

August

August was a month of restlessness. I felt stagnate.  Everyone was getting ready to back to college and I was just waiting. Do you know that night before you leave before you go on vacation? That’s how August was for me. To me the world was paused, crawling until I made it until September when I could finally go to Dublin for the semester. I did go on my first solo trip to the beach which was the type of relaxation I really needed. I don’t like to wish away time, but at the time I was just wishing that August would just hurry up already. I celebrated my 21st birthday and going away with family and friends.  My friends slowly started returning to college and I continued to work, just waiting for the day that it was my turn to leave.

September

September started with two visits to Hood. I finished working, went down for Eric’s birthday and then the next day I was off for Dublin. This was the start of my greatest adventure. This was the part of the year that I was looking forward to the most. After all of the paperwork errors and thoughts crossing my mind that I would never be able to actually go, it was time for me to go. I left on September 13 and got to Dublin on the 14. Right away we had walking tours, bus tours, and just sightseeing things. I had my 21st birthday in a different country where it doesn’t really matter because the drinking age is 18 there, but still I turned 21, that’s a big birthday, or so they say. I visited the Cliffs of Moher and just explored Dublin.

October

October was when life started to get crazy. I went to Howth which is a small little suburb type place of Dublin. I went to Paris to meet up with my dad who was on business, how many 21 year-olds can say that? Then I went to Galway, another little seaside town for a night with my friends. I ended in October in London, England. That’s just absolutely crazy. I did so much in one month.

November

I feel like November was yesterday, it went by literally in the blink of an eye. I went to London (again) and Brighton. I also went to Madrid and Sevilla. I was away from Dublin for a whole week and then I made the decision to not travel again while I was away and enjoy my last four weeks in Dublin. This is the first time any of my pictures from Sevilla are being posted, the adventure post will come soon. My family came for Thanksgiving and I got to enjoy more time with them which was great. When I said at the beginning that looking back on this year it’s like looking at someone else’s memories, that’s what November is for me, it’s so surreal that it seems like someone else’s life.

December

December brought an end to my biggest adventure. I spent my last two and a half weeks in Dublin with final assignments and seeing as much of the city as possible, going to all of my favorite places and just taking everything in before I left. Then I headed home. It’s still weird being home. It’s been about two and a half weeks now and it’s still just weird. I’m not used to it yet. I’ve been trying to see all of my home friends and family before I head back to school in a little over a week. I went to Frederick for an interview

2015.

All in all, 2015 was great. It was just a whirlwind of a year. It was a year of new friends, new people, new experiences, and new places. The last fourth of 2015 could be described as the year of new, and I want to keep that going. 2015 was great, but I’m ready for some more change. I don’t like change, but I don’t know, I feel like 2016 is the year of change. Resolutions to come tomorrow!

Happy New Year Everyone!

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When you know something’s ending, like for good, do you feel like yourself?

Eric requested that this be the title of my last blog post in Ireland, while this isn’t the last blog post about Ireland it’s the last one while I’m here. Again, I messed up flight times, so I’m at the airport with some time to kill and I thought that this was fitting.

I’m not sure I quite understand this. I told him last night on FaceTime that I don’t know of any times where I haven’t felt like myself. It is an interesting question though, I know I’m walking away from something great and now part of me will always have a special spot for Ireland, but I wouldn’t say that I don’t feel like myself.

This morning so far has been interesting. I tried to change my flight for earlier but alas no luck so I will be lucky if I’m back home in Pennsylvania by midnight. My prayers were answered and my bag was not overweight, just very full. It was not until I was already at the airport that I realized my flight didn’t leave until over an hour later than what I thought. I don’t know what I read that made me think it was at 11:30, I swear when I checked yesterday it was but I would have gotten an email if it changed and I did not get an email. When I was going through security I bumped my laptop of the counter, and the corner broke. Thank goodness it still works because everything I love is on this thing.

I’m very ready to go home, but saying goodbye to people was sad, I don’t know why I thought it would be easy. Now I have friends all over the US now so that’s really nice because there’s about 10 or so states that I can visit people in during my more domestic travels. I’m excited to eat my favorite snack and bake and see everyone I love for the holidays. I start work again on Monday, I don’t know  my schedule yet, but it will be interesting that’s for sure.

I’m so glad and blessed that I got this experience. I’m sad to be leaving, but I also can’t wait to come back someday with my own family eventually. So this is just an extra post with a last slán (goodbye) from Ireland. Maybe I don’t quite feel like myself today, maybe just a little off.

America be ready, I’m almost back!

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12 Days of Christmas: Day 3

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Christmas in Ireland

Christmas in Ireland is great, lot of lights, and Christmas Markets. Where I live there aren’t extensive Christmas Markets really, at least not that I know of. The only Christmas Market that I can really recall going to is the one in New York City, now my mom might text me to let me know that I’m wrong, but I think that’s the only one I’ve been to until recently. I love markets, I just love seeing handmade stuff, good food, cheery people, the whole shabang. In Ireland I have been to two which is great. So that was a newish experience, and the lights are just a great addition to that.

Dublin:

Well obviously we have to start with Dublin, that’s where I’m living! But I guess only for the next few days which is crazy! For some reason I only took two decent pictures. I literally have no clue why I only took two good ones, my camera was out almost the whole time. P1100622

This is Jayden, one of my really really good friends here in Dublin. We were enjoying our hot chocolates in cold, windy, Dublin.

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And here is the market. There’s a lot more to it, too. This is one of the only places in Dublin that sells soft cookies, and they were so good. I might have to make a stop back there before I leave.

The lights in Dublin are pretty cool.

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Belfast

I’m sorry to say Dublin, but I think that Belfast won the Christmas Market contest. They had the best food.

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I love this picture, but that poor lady does look a little confused or lost or something.

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This was amazing. It was brownies with hot Belgian chocolate poured overtop.

Christmastime is Ireland is quite nice, it would be lovely to experience Christmas here, however, I don’t think I could miss Christmas with my family.

What’s the best thing to do at Christmastime near you?

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Late Night Blogging with Mary: Part 18

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Well it’s been awhile since I’ve done some late night blogging, and really that’s all I have time for right now it seems. I go home in 12 days by the time I hit publish on this post, which is crazy, this semester has gone so quickly. However, I have 8 assignments due before them, I crossed off two today (thank goodness) but it’s stressful and I’m ready to be done with them all.

It’s weird getting ready to go home, it has gone by really fast, but I’m also ready to go home. I’ll miss the people and the city but I really miss my family friend back home, so I’m pretty ready to get home.

A lot’s going on and a lot is about to happen. I was away for a week, saw Molly, and now I’ve been back in Dublin ever since and I’m just trying to make the best out of my last few weeks here. I’m also getting ready to start 12 Days of Christmas on my blog! 12 days of daily blogging!  I do miss that sometimes, so this will either feed the fuel or leave me hungry for more, we shall see.

I’m also very excited for Christmas, I’m almost done my shopping. I love Christmas, I can’t wait to get home to wrap the presets. The things I’m most excited about going home are as followed: IHOP, wrapping Christmas presents, and having an oven. That’s obviously not including seeing everyone. I really miss IHOP, it will be breakfast on Sunday. Well maybe dinner because it’s so crowded Sunday morning and afternoon, you just have to time out the meal times. Also, I’m excited for American Netflix, some options are better here, but there are a lot fewer.

Let me rant about housing back home for a second. They won’t tell me who I can live with, they are literally just going to stick me with some random person in some random building which is absolutely absurd if you ask me. I’m so annoyed. It doesn’t make sense for them, and it doesn’t make sense for me. I can’t even fill out a form to see who I would be most compatible with. It’s just ridiculous. They wouldn’t let me save a spot, their recommendation for study abroad students is to live in language housing, providing no recommendations for people who are studying in an English speaking country. It’s really helpful. I’m annoyed.

Anyway, I’m beyond ready for bed. What’s going on in your life?

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Average Adventure: Galway, Ireland

I had no idea how behind I was on adventure posts I was until I was copying pictures from my camera to my computer and it was just a big ol’ wow.

So about four weeks ago (WOW) I went to Galway for the night, which was so relaxing and calm. I really didn’t take that many pictures, it was something that I was just that I enjoyed the moments more so. Maybe because I had my camera out the whole weekend before in Paris, or maybe I just didn’t see anything. I don’t know so here are a few of the pictures I snapped. P1100006

We did a little bus tour, it was supposed to be a hop on/hop off kind of thing but there was nowhere to really hop on or off, it was more like a regular bus tour. It was really cool though. We had incredible views of the city that we wouldn’t have gotten if we didn’t do the tour in the first place.

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We know how I feel about boats. Boats and river houses are really the cutest things ever in my opinion, maybe even cuter than babies.

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Galway is one of those picturesque Irish towns. Like if you picture Ireland, you are most likely to picture a place like Galway. Dublin is super modernized, surrounded by suburbs, which I love to live in, but Galway is still what I picture of when I picture Ireland.

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This picture was taken on a miserable Irish day. It was a complete downpour, we wanted to go kick the stone but we were all drenched and it was cold, windy, and just gross. However, I love boats, so I still took the picture, very awkwardly under an umbrella.

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This is the B&B we stayed at, it was super nice, included the full Irish breakfast, the people who ran it were so incredibly kind. If you are ever in Galway, I highly recommend staying here. The room was clean, it was just a great place to stay.

So yeah, here are the few pictures I have from Galway. It was like the perfect little getaway, even though I didn’t realize that I would then be away for the next three weekends too, well I did, I just didn’t realize how much travelling that would be.

 

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Late Night Blogging with Mary: Part 16

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I hate the number 16 so this post is just giving me the chills.

So I guess I went a little MIA for a little bit there. I got a pretty bad cold and was in bed by 10 almost every night this week after taking my time on assignments and such blogging just fell at the wayside. Since my last blog post, I’ve been to Paris! My dad was there for work so I went along for the weekend. It was a lot of fun, but my cold started right before so by the time I got back to Ireland, I hardly had a voice.

Okay here’s a little political rant I have right now, I’m so pissed off about all of the shootings going on back in the States. Currently I’m living in a country where the police don’t even have guns, and since I’ve been here there have been no gun crimes that I have heard of being reported, however, there have been at least three shootings at colleges in the same time period. It just makes me angry, I feel like no one is taking action and it drives me crazy. I get that Americans have the right to bear arms, but please someone make it harder to get guns, I shouldn’t be able to go into Walmart and buy a gun. It’s a sick world, let’s try to make it better.

Anyway, on a lighter note, I went shopping today! I’ve been trying not to shop while I’ve been here because I would rather spend  money on travel and things like that, but I just felt like it today, and I actually got two sweaters. The one I’m sure will be in pictures from probably both this weekend and next weekend. Sunday to Monday I’m going to Galway, since it’s a bank holiday weekend so we have no classes, then next weekend I’m going to London, and then I have a week off and I have bunch of stuff planned. Life is about to get crazy and my time here is about to go by in the blink of an eye. I think that’s exciting and scary. While part of me never wants to leave this adventure, another part of me really, really misses everyone at home.  That’s my thing, I never get homesick, I never miss my bed or my house (maybe my shower with how weird these ones are) but I just really miss the people. And IHOP.

So yeah, that’s what you’ve missed. Hopefully I can get back to my schedule now, that’s the goal at least!

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Weekly Average Adventure Log: Weeks Three and Four

Since weeks three and four have calmed down a little bit and I’m lacking in taking pictures I decided just to combine the last two weeks and just feature the days I actually took pictures.

Week Three

Tuesday

On Tuesday I was a little obsessed with the sunset outside of my window.

Wednesday

On Wednesday (and Friday) I went to the National Museum of Ireland (or something like that) for two classes. However, I hate all the pictures I took of it, so there aren’t any.

Friday

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We got pizza and it was delicious.

Week Four

Friday

Friday I went to the Trinity College Library. It’s perfection. It smells like books, if it didn’t I don’t think I would have believed that it was real. Apparently, they sued Harry Potter because they copied it for the movie, I think they should’ve used it as promo, but that’s just me.

Saturday

On Saturday I went to Howth. It’s a pretty little beach town right outside of Dublin, we just took the city bus there. It was amazing. Lots of sailboats, we all know how I feel about sailboats.

The scenery was also beautiful. I love beaches and the sea and just everything about it. Minus sand and seaweed. I walked on seaweed for like twenty steps and it was pretty gross.

It was such a pretty day. I like the picture that features my chipped nail polish.

Now, I promise my weeks have been more interesting than displayed, I just am not very good at taking pictures around town. I will (hopefully) get better! But for now, this is what it is. Next weekend I’m going to Paris to see my dad so that should be some cool pictures!

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Average Adventure: Cliffs of Moher

As you know, if you read my Week Average Adventure Log on Sunday, I went to the Cliffs of Moher on Saturday. This was so beautiful and breathtaking that it deserved a post solely dedicated to it.

So the land to left, which you don’t know which is the left and which is the right, but the land to the left of the Cliffs is actually private land, but I still took pictures of it. It’s such a pretty landscape. I’m actually curious if people have tried to pet their cows or anything. The Cliffs alone are amazing. There is a tower on the right side and a castle on the way end of the left side, sadly I didn’t get to either because I tried to get to the castle but it was too far and our bus tour only allowed for an hour and a half stop.

So this set of five all happens to be of the right side of the Cliffs, but I don’t care because I like them all. It’s so cool. I still can’t get over that I’ve been there twice now. It’s the place of beauty, but it’s also very sad, a lot of people have died there.

I took so many pictures. I feel like a lot of these are the same picture and I should care about how much space they’re taking up in my media library (eventually I’m going to have to suck it up and upgrade), however, I love all of these pictures and I find them so mesmerizing. I love them all and they will all stay up.

Okay this is it, now you can see the cows I mentioned in the first paragraph. It’s sheer beauty in my opinion. I don’t think I overlapped any pictures either, so if you didn’t see Sunday’s post, be sure to check it out!

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Weekly Average Adventure Log: Week Two

Week Two

I have now been in Ireland for two weeks, it does feel like a lot longer though. This week I experience my first week of classes, which was way different than back home. Time is being super weird where it feels like it’s going really fast but other times it’s going really slow. Apologies in advance for there is a lack of pictures in this week’s adventure log because I was in class and trying to just feel like I have it all together this week, that’s all I want to feel.

Sunday

Sunday was a huge sporting event day here, so I went out to the pub with a bunch of other people. However, I did it a little bit differently and got a nice cappuccino.

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This is a poor quality picture because of snapchat (mrmilligan13) and poor pub lighting.

I also learned that you should always bring your umbrella in a country that’s known for it’s rain (I got soaked on my walk back from the pub).

Monday

Monday was the first day of classes and it was confusing. I go in and out of classes in the same day and I’m terrified I’m going to miss a class because the timetables are so different from what I’m used to. There are no pictures because I was stressed and tired.

Tuesday

Tuesday I hardly remember. I only had one class but I did have to go twice. I don’t know what else I did, I need to start keeping record. I actually just started a list so this won’t happen again, how embarrassing.

Wednesday

I was done at 1:30 on Wednesday and I had to do grocery shopping, and on my way I actually ran into someone from my group so we had coffee and french fries (well she had lunch I just wanted fries) and then did our grocery shopping.

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As you can see, I really like the coffee here. Also this is the day I missed a class. That was stressful.

Thursday

Again, I don’t remember what I did. I only had one class, but I don’t know what I did after that.  I have no clue what I did Thursday at all. I know I slept in but I can’t figure out what else I did.

Friday

Friday I have a class where we will typically go on field trips so we did a walking tour. My third guided walking tour haha, this one was a lot of information, and I’m not sure I retained a lot of it. I need to bring my notebook next week.

These were fancy building, the chandelier is now a bank but it used to be the parliament building.

I also went out for burgers with some girls on Friday night, which was really fun.

Saturday

Saturday was super busy. We met really early to get the bus to the Cliffs of Moher, which one day this week I will be doing a whole post on late this week, so look forward to that! Or not.

Here is a sneak peak though! Ignore my awkward stance please, I’m not a model, I just pretend sometimes.

This was one of those bus tours, which are fun, but you don’t get a lot of time at each destination. I think I might just start taking buses to where I want to go and I can just explore on my own.

This is a few pictures of the bus ride and an abbey we stopped at, I don’t remember what it was called, I did however, see a skull. I didn’t take a picture because I didn’t know what to think or how respectful that was. It was like a real graveyard so it was intense, people still visit people there to see loved ones.

So that was it this week, hopefully next week I take more pictures. Keep your eye out for a Cliff of Moher post. What did you do this week?

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Late Night Blogging with Mary: Part 14

I just want to be creative but it’s midnight and I’m tired. Also I’ve lost the ability to be creative.

I left my todo list paper at home and that was a huge mistake because I need to make one. I’ve only had one week of classes and I feel like I have no control over my life already, maybe that’s because I have too much control. They just let you go to whatever classes you want to go to for the first two weeks. For me this is too much to think about, they don’t want me to be in the right classes, so I’m just doing in anyway, at this point. I’m going to the classes I was approved for at home and they can “encourage” me differently.  I’m just stressed and want a set schedule with set assignments and things I’m supposed to be doing. I feel like I need to get my life together.

I started watching “How to Get Away with Murder” it’s very dramatic. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet, I just want to know what happens. I think that’s why I tend to like shows that have already concluded or movies better because I have more immediate gratification and I hate waiting. I’m very impatient, I crave immediate gratification.

The one thing I have really liked this week is just exploring the city. Since I’ve been here before I always felt confident with it, however, I’m now realizing it’s a lot bigger than I originally had thought. I really like that though, I like finding more things to explore, more places to see, I like falling in love with new places. Tomorrow my adventure will be to find some good paper for a todo list before I go crazy.

I’m exhausted after a long week, and I know it’s not late night back home yet, but it’s pretty late here so I’m going to bed (okay maybe after this episode).

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