Going Rogue: My Study Abroad Experience

During the summer of 2015, I was fortunate enough to study at the London School of Economics in the heart of London! (This experience was brought to you by countless hours of babysitting and working as well as donations from Jack Jessen- thanks dad). I took two business classes there (Foundations of Management and Consumer Behavior where I won Best Research Project), but before that, I went backpacking (also known as "going rogue" to our group) with one of my good friends at UGA and some of her friends through Munich, Venice, Milan, and Interlaken. Once I got to my program, I traveled on weekends to Ireland, Scotland, Paris, and of course, places in England like York, Cotswolds, Cambridge, and Oxford! Like many others, I recorded my experiences in this travel blog! It means a lot to me that you are taking part in my adventures by reading this blog, so thanks for stopping by! 

Top O' The Mornin' To Ya

Though true Irish people do not actually say "Top o' the mornin' to ya," they do say "Slainte," which is the equivalent of "Cheers" and means good health in Irish Gaelic. Of course, everybody in the United Kingdom says "Cheers" to just about everything (which is so awesome and adorable), so the Irish are just following a similar tradition with their own words! 

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Ireland

This past weekend, Tyler and I flew over the Irish Sea, traveling from London to Dublin for the weekend. And what an incredible experience it was! On Saturday, we were able to take a bus tour from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher that went through Galway and Burren as well. On Sunday, we explored Dublin! It was a great adventure filled with fun accents, beautiful views, massive cathedrals, and people drinking Guinness on just about every corner. This was especially fun because my family has some Irish heritage, so it was very cool to see the culture that part of my family came from! 

Cliffs of Moher Tour

This bus tour was incredible. We were able to ride across the entire country of Ireland in two and a half hours to Galway, an adorable fishing village on the west coast that used to be a major trading hub back in the day. It is very close to Claddagh, where the famous Claddagh rings are made. (I had one when I was little thanks to Aunt Shannon, but I outgrew it, so Tyler got me another one and I am so excited to wear it!) After a walking tour through Galway, we were able to drive through many cute villages with old castles, interesting stories, and medieval architecture. Ireland has a bunch of great history- especially since they are known for embellishing stories to make them more fun! We also got to have lunch in a cute Irish pub with traditional dishes. Ultimately, we arrived at the Cliffs of Moher, and they were astonishing. They did not seem real, and I felt so lucky to be able to hike up these and just look at the incredible views. (Also for those of you who don't know, Harry Potter and Dumbledore destroyed a horcrux in the cave that is a part of the cliffs, so that was pretty exciting for a Harry Potter nerd like myself).

Dublin

Dublin was a great place to stay! It is a very interesting mix of old and new, and it is full of upbeat and friendly people! Naturally, I want to see every church that I can possibly see, and Dublin is great for that! We were able to see St. Patrick's Cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral, along with many smaller churches that were all beautiful. In addition, we saw the Dublin Castle! And of course, we had to go to the Guinness Storehouse and the Old Jameson Distillery because the Irish take drinking very seriously. These turned out to be quite interesting because they went over how they brew everything, and Guinness even had a sky view where you could see all of Dublin! 

Overall, Ireland was amazing, and I am so grateful that I got to see so much of it in such a short time! Also, I was the closest to the U.S. that I have been in four weeks, so that was nice. I could almost feel the air conditioning and taste the Chick-fil-a!