Forget Cancun, I spent my spring break in Ireland

Come on, St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland? That’s like, the dream

When you think of spring break, you think Cancun, Miami (really any place with a beach and some sun), yet I traded my flip flops for rain boots, a beach for a bog, and decided to spend my break in Ireland as part of a seminar. It was honestly an experience I will never forget, and while everyone’s Snapchat stories were definitely awesome, I’m glad I chose to hit up the Emerald Isle.

What rain?

Alright so, apparently it was raining for like three months straight, but the whole time I was there the sun was out. That’s basically summer for Ireland, because people went swimming in like 50 degree weather. I wasn’t that brave.

The food

Going into this trip, the only Irish food I could think of was stew and potatoes, but I wasn’t disappointed (I had fish and chips at least three times). While it was still really good and all, I just can’t get over these Irish ‘cheese’ fries, like this is actually ON the menu.

The pubs

Of course I HAD to have a Guinness at a pub, and I did. Once. I totally recommend Bulmer’s Irish cider instead. And while parties are just getting started at Rutgers around 11:30, the pubs in Ireland are closing. So if you’re looking for a good time, or the “craic” (pronounced crack, don’t get the wrong idea), prepare to start early. And if you want to keep the night going, some pubs do take-away.

Highlight of this night: taking a shot with my professor.

St. Patrick’s Day

Come on, St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland? That’s like, the dream. Though it was huge in larger cities like Dublin and Galway, I was deep in the countryside on St. Patty’s, with the only really “festive” thing that day being a parade in the small town of Clifden. Later that day I learned a bit of Irish step dancing (I sucked) and finished the night at a pub. How much more authentic could it get?

Me and the local pub dog

So much walking

Yeah, it was spring break and I’d definitely would’ve loved to be sitting around a beach instead of doing three hour hikes everyday, but Ireland is so beautiful I didn’t even mind.

 The people

Strangers are so friendly compared to back in Jersey and will always greet you with a ‘hello’ and a smile. Most people are willing to chat, anywhere and anytime (like this 72-year-old man I met at a pub). And while it was awesome to meet so many locals, I got to spend this trip with an amazing group of people I’ve come love.

So while I didn’t come back with a tan, I’m pretty happy with how my spring break went, even if it isn’t the typical college experience. I have two years left here, and with how this break went, I’m hoping the next couple are just as unconventional.

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