By: Maia Hamilton
Before writing this post, I decided to take a glance at my first post about Letterkenny. I found myself smiling as I read, sensing the nerves and excitement I had written about those 6 weeks ago. If you had told that girl where she would be at the end of the trip, I doubt she would have believed you.
Here I am, 6 weeks later, and I have never fallen more in love with a place than Ireland. I waved goodbye to the girls who worked at Florence. I visited The Brewery one last time to bother my friends, Ailish and Allison. I cried in Laiose’s arms on my final night, not ready to leave these new friends behind. In those six weeks, I became a part of the town. The others on the trip would often tease me, calling me Letterkenny’s “mascot”. In some ways, I believe that title was true.
I found myself exploring every place the town had to offer, with my documentary partner, Blaize, by my side. Together we made Letterkenny home, whether we were hanging out at our friend Laiose’s house or hanging on the porch at McGinley’s. Every night, every place, has a story attached.
The six weeks I spent in Ireland were somewhat of a whirlwind, finding myself in an array of places (Of which I’m sure you’ve read about in other’s blog posts) but every moment I find myself thinking back to was the moments of downtime. Playing cards in the apartment, watching Love Island, dancing around to ABBA, rolling around in a grocery cart. These were the moments that stood out, that make me tear up as I write this. On this trip, I found new friends who never failed to make me laugh or listen to me when I was feeling down. Whether students or locals, I shared a true connection with so many people, I found it hard to leave.
Throughout the trip, Blaize and I often heard a song called “Shotgun” by George Ezra. This song played everywhere we went, and we soon found ourselves constantly humming the tune. As I left tonight, “Shotgun” played in the taxi. George Ezra kept repeating how time flew by in the song and I found myself tearing up. How was it that in 6 very short weeks, I had found so many lifelong friends? Discovered places I’d never have dreamed of? Created stories that I could share with others someday?
So as I sit on this bus, heading to my next adventure, I can’t describe this post as a final goodbye to Ireland. I truly believe this place is special and that my story does not end here. I know that I will see my ten new friends, very, very soon. I’m excited to hear one of Curtis’ stories or hear Emily’s giggle.
I’m thrilled to talk to Dani about movies and Ben about his hilarious dance moves. I can’t wait to agree with Tanner on almost EVERYTHING and laugh at Katey Jo’s hilarious jokes. I’m especially ready to see Blaize again, who was truly my partner in crime on this trip.
However, I wasn’t ready to leave the others. Those local friends I never would believe I’d grown so close to. Ailish, Allison, Megan, Laiose, Hayley, and so many more. Everyone has been such a special part of my journey.
As George Ezra says, “If you need me you know where I’ll be”. I’m hoping you’ll all find me someday soon.