Traveling to Ireland was an incredible experience. My family is originally from Ireland so it was a dream to visit the area.
Celtic culture is an incredible thing. We learned all about the history of Ireland and the evolution of Celtic culture and religion. I even went on a hike where we saw an old, abandoned Celtic cross that was over 300 years old.
Everywhere you travel as an American in Ireland, the locals are excited to ask if you have Irish ancestry. I was told many times that the Irish love Americans because we’re all a little Irish!
Just as fun as learning about my ancestry, I got to teach others about American culture. Many Irish people were interested to know all about “American” things they saw on popular media. For instance, one Dublin local told me that I sounded like Hannah Montana! I told him that is what we consider a “southern” accent in the United States.
I was asked many times about university life in America. The systems differ greatly between our countries. I learned that their higher education is quite cheap compared to the rest of the world. They place emphasis on making collegiate education accessible to the majority of their population. Several Irish people inquired about Greek life in America. “Are sororities a real thing?” I was asked on several occasions. I was excited to tell them that I was in a sorority, however, they are much different from what you see on TV!
Another fun conversation was over the differences in Irish soccer and American football. I had to explain to a group of dads the difference in college football and professional football. Many American sports run this way, but it is uncommon for there to be a large fan base for a collegiate sports team overseas.
All in all I am grateful for the experiences I had in Ireland. I am intrigued by the culture my ancestors came from and am excited to share what makes America unique with others!