One Month, One Blogger : this month, we are pleased to introduce you Lara, from Croatia.
She shared with us her experience and impression about her beerish adventure:
Last December, I decided to embark on another adventure. This time – green, shamrocks, beer and leprechauns. Hello Ireland!
As I had already spent some time in different countries, cultures and homes before, it wasn’t that hard for me to start living in Cork (IE) and start fitting in. Even though, looking back, I have my doubts on whether you can ever completely fit into a community in a country different than the one you were born in. You change your habits in order to be able to get along with residents, but on the other hand, you learn to appreciate all the differences and wish to keep them in order to remain yourself.
After spending four months in this beautiful, relaxed country with amazing churches, scenery and colours of nature (thanks to all the rain I would say), whose inhabitants are almost always late (for those of you who have never heard about “Irish People Time” – it’s the inability to leave the house, making one chronically late for everything, I must admit I started taking the later bus myself, feeling less in a rush and enjoying the countryside while driving more. And I definitely started appreciating all the ales, stouts and lagers, whilst beer for me was only that before – beer. Franciscan Well – Rebel Red, my love!
So, I came up with a couple of advices for those of you already living or preparing to depart for another place and wishing to have an easy time with adjustment.
- Go for a coffee alone and find your favorite coffee shop/pub. It will allow you to take a look of the city and make your first impressions, while offering you the chance of having a place that feels yours.
- Go out, explore, and take lots of photos. You will want to remember the experiences after a couple of years, when reminiscence comes knocking on the door.
- Volunteer if you have time. It will give your time spent there a higher purpose; you will feel better, gain new skills and meet lots of new people. Some of them might become your boundless friends, so do not miss the chance.
- Find an activity that you enjoy doing. It can be anything from photography, book clubs, gym, group sports, cooking classes, foreign languages… As long as it makes you happy and fulfilled, it can be basically anything from hobbies you’ve had back home to something completely new and challenging.
- Celebrate the country’s most important day, if possible. For me, it was Saint Patrick’s Day – the day when people start drinking from early midday and continue after the night falls down. Dress code – green, of course. Hats, scarves, ties, bows, shoes, leprechauns, everything is welcome!
- Bring photos of your friends and family and attach them to your wall. You will have periods of longing for home and everything known over there. Even a sight of the happy moments spent with them will bring a smile back on your lips (and heart), because no matter where in this world you might be, there is always a place you can go back to and feel loved.
- Try not to check friends at home on Facebook too much and too often. It will only make you feel sad because of all the events and important things that you are missing out on. You will want to share the happiness with them, and being a couple of hundreds or thousands kilometers away doesn’t really make it easily doable (if you are able to travel back and forth on a regular basis, this one does not apply).
- If you can, avoid leaving your home country in Christmas time. Except if you are travelling to Germany or Austria, which are beautifully decorated during that time of the year. There you will probably be so amazed that you will forget you are not spending holidays with your family and not receiving any presents. You got the present of being there already, didn’t you?
There are many more things that you realize once you leave your home and its comfort zone, and the benefits are endless. There is a whole new world waiting for you out there indeed, if only you have the courage to take the step. The best thing I have received from travelling is the conviction that happiness is not related to a specific place or person – it must be found within yourself. As cliché as it might sound, it is about the journey, not about the destination!