What a whirlwind this change has been for me! I have now been living abroad for 31 days, and away from my family for the first time ever. It has been an experience to relish for the rest of my life. Luckily its only just begun!
I read once that there are 5 stages to culture shock. Stage 1 is the honeymoon phase where differences are highly intriguing and exciting. Like any new experience, there’s a feeling of euphoria when you first arrive and you’re in awe of the differentiation you see and experience. You feel enlivened, stimulated and enriched. For me, this entire month has been the “honeymoon phase” and I can only hope the honeymoon phase sticks around for as long as possible, all signs point to yes!
If anything, all the stimulation has been overwhelming. I have constantly been bombarded by exciting new things to see and do here, there, and everywhere! It is like when you go on vacation to a large and historic city, but you are only there for a short while. What do you do? What do you see? You would probably spend a considerable amount of time making an itinerary, and stressing out trying to keep to it, not wanting to miss anything. That is how I felt the first couple weeks, without reason surely, as I can stay in the Emerald Isle for up to two years. Which leaves me plenty of time to see and do anything on my unwritten mental itinerary, without the constraints of time forcing me to choose what is more worth seeing. Can one really compare an ancient castle with an amazing coastline? There is certainly something to be said for being more than a tourist, being a citizen -if only for a short time. Instead of viewing the sights and snapping a few photos, you live the sights, they become part of your daily skyline and you absorb their worth or visit them on multiple occasions. And living amongst the locals, as one of them, is the only true way to experience their culture, from a first person perspective. There is no filter, you see the good and the bad, and you cannot just leave and continue on to newer and greater things if you do not like it. That in its self is the true beauty. Realism.
Dublin has also proven a wonderful place for me to further develop my passions, as i’m sure it has for many others as well. It has an incredible music scene and is both a hotspot for independent film and more mainstream media. And I can’t forget to mention that they actually care about soccer here, which is something I have not had the good fortune to yet experience. Even though it is my sport, one that I have dedicated a good deal of my life too.
That is not to say there hasn’t been ups and downs this month, Dublin being one of the hardest places to find accommodation in the entire world. Only a deft stroke of luck put a roof over my head, and in a great location to boot! I was also able to get a job almost immediately after in the pub downstairs, Luck of the Irish? There was also quite a few mishaps and misadventures early on after my arrival, but they deserve a blog post of their own!
My internet situation is still really sketchy, but now that things have started to get sorted, and as I settle in, expect more regular blog posts, a St. Patty’s day video, and once I get a replacement cord for my camera, accompanying photos!
Stay tuned as I continue to enrich my cultural learnings!