Breathe it in, Live it Up

Written by Jillian February 21, 2013

Words on a piece of (computer) paper are not nearly meaningful enough to describe what it was like to travel all around Europe in less than ten days. My body is exhausted from all the walking and traveling, but it was worth every step. I could write for days to tell you what I did everyday and what it meant to me, but I would like to sum it up by saying it was one of the many remarkable and unique journeys I will have with me forever. I am amazed with seeing new things and can’t wait to keep learning more.

I traveled to London for the first 4 days. One of my favorite parts was going to Mass at the Westminster Abbey Church. The inside was beautiful but we were not allowed to take pictures.

Westminster Abbey Church where Princess Diana got married and other Royalty

Big Ben

I went to Berlin for the last two days. I loved the Bradenburger Gate! It was a huge monument important to the city. It became the main venue for the 20th anniversary celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall or “Festival of Freedom” on the evening of 9 November 2009. The high point of the celebrations was when over 1000 colorfully designed foam domino tiles, each over 2.5 meters tall were placed in the sculpture. I ran into a good friend from my high school randomly on the streets of Berlin!

Brandenburg Gate


Then I spent the middle of the week in my favorite place, Dublin Ireland.

Road in Ireland

I went to London, Dublin, and then Berlin all in a span of ten days. How many people can say they did this at 20 years old? Probably not many. I am so thankful for this experience and it continues to feel more and more surreal. Dublin was by far my favorite place, even though I still loved London and Germany. Dublin, Ireland is a place that offers wonderful people, sight-seeing, great food, and a lot of history. All the history and the castles that come along with it really made it unique in my book. One of my favorite places was Wicklow Mountains where we saw one of the most prestigious castles owned by a Royal Family named the Talbots who ruled for almost 800 years. As the city continued to prosper, many Kings and royalty gave their time and heart to protecting the land which made me feel like I was living in a fairytale storybook that I read as a little girl.

Talbot Castle

It has a great economy as well. Dublin region is the economic centre of Ireland, and was at the forefront of the country’s rapid economic expansion during the Celtic Tiger period. In 2009, Dublin was listed as the fourth richest city in the world by purchasing power and 10th richest by personal income. People here like to spend their money that they worked hard for. The most essential thing in life is to do what makes you happy, and happiness was all around. The people of Dublin know they deserve to have a little fun surrounded by people that mean the most to them. Howth Head is a peninsula northeast of Dublin City in Ireland that we also visited which was beautiful as well.

Howth Head Cliff

Howth Head

Then we traveled to the Sally Gap cliffs and it was honestly breathtaking. I wanted to just sit up there all day and never come down. Being in Ireland portrayed exactly why I studied abroad, and that’s to experience moments that make me feel like nothing else matters. Time stood still while I was up there. Life is short, stress is everywhere, and people change… but places like this will always be there for us to visit and experience. It is up to us to get to these places and breathe it in and live it up.Sally Gap