When I decided I wanted to study abroad, part of the reason I wanted to do so was because I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. However, after the first initial 1-2 weeks of being in Glasgow though I realized that the city had added itself to my comfort zone. On one hand this was good, as I had been able to create a “home” abroad, but I noticed I had once again slipped back into comfortability. After noticing this I started planning my first solitary vacation. I wanted to be able to learn about and explore a new country on my own, without finding myself dependent on friends to show me the ropes.
My trip to Ireland was definitely a personal growing experience. After landing in Dublin, I immediately started to immerse myself in as much culture and sight-seeing as I could in the long weekend. Being alone while traveling was an exciting experience, especially because you’re in control of everything you get to do, rather than having to compromise with traveling companions; this is just one of the reasons I highly recommend it. As a suggestion, I would advise finding a “hop-on hop-off” bus in the area you are exploring, as they are found in most major cities. By taking the bus I was able to see all of Dublin and further investigate places I thought were especially interesting, such as the Irish Emigration Museum, which was filled with Irish history and interesting exhibits, pictured below.
On day 2 I ventured outside of Dublin on a 13-hour day tour of the Irish countryside. This provided a great way to see the traditional Irish way of life and get out of the city. We visited the Cliffs of Moher, Burren National Park, and Galway.
Day 3 was filled with art museum wandering and packing up for my flight back to Glasgow. Overall, after the experience of discovering a new place all on my own, I highly endorse it. You are able to learn more about yourself, gain navigational/planning skills and add a fun travel story to your books.
This post was contributed by Brett Coulston, a 2019 Global Ambassador majoring in sociology. Brett is studying at the University of Glasgow, Scotland.
Don’t get left behind. Read more about Brett’s experience in Scotland>>