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Wonder what I’m doing, where I’ve been, and where I’m going? This is the spot to check it out.

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The future is dark, which is the best thing the future can be, I think.
— Virginia Woolf

15.11.2018 - ...and she doesn't have a place to live???

A handful of things that amaze me about Ireland, the country:

  1. size and population

  2. isolated island situation

  3. weather

First- When Hurricane Florence began pummeling the east coast of the United States, 1.4 million people were ordered to evacuate those areas. I was sitting at dinner with a seven-year-old watching the news and said, “that’s how many people live in the capital of the country I’m going to be living in.” I’m not sure if they understood that number and its significance at the time - I’m not sure I even did. I found myself saying it to speak it into my own comprehension. Dublin’s metropolitan population is between 1.2 to 1.8 million depending on the source you’re using. The Atlanta Metropolitan Area houses 5.8 million people. Ireland’s entire population is 6.7 million, including Northern Ireland (I got most of these from general google searches, so please don’t see this as an exact science). Of course, moving here always meant a change in numbers, but it doesn’t feel like a change in density.

Second- It’s an island, which means its relationships with other countries are important but the single nature of the country has its benefits as well. There is a lot of talk about Brexit and the housing crisis (an issue hitting a lot of cities these days, European ones moreso because most have laws making buildings of a certain height illegal to build), and land space runs out. Especially with Ireland’s larger cities on its edges, meaning one side borders a body of water, you find them building out and out, not dissimilar to Atlanta. Though the housing crisis doesn’t necessarily relate to it being an island, it does limit the directions a city can grow if it's a port city, like many are. Another part of being an island, especially located where it is relative to waterways, brings me to part three.

Third- As a US resident, I saw the latitude of the country an obvious indicator that it would be cold and snowy all the time. Absolutely not the case. It’s midway through November and it was warmer in Dublin this afternoon than it was in Atlanta this morning. I have been sweating in my Milwaukee-cold-proof coat. It is not the most fun to enter a building burning up and then freeze because your own sweat gives you chills mixed with the cold. And if you think that’s TMI, you’re lying to yourself that this has never happened to you OR you have ridiculously inactive sweat glands and for that, I am jealous. Regardless, I have been burning up. Galway has been a bit different and cooler, and maybe I’ve arrived in a very warm week, so I’ll keep you updated on this. What I’ve heard chills the most is the wind mixed with the cold, wet air.

I ruminate on all of this, about people and location and weather, BECAUSE, as the title suggests, I do not know where I am living. As I write, I am in Galway sitting in my hostel’s public eating room charging my computer because there are no outlets close to my bed and I needed to pen some type of thought (another point I cannot wait to meditate on is what should be publicly shared and privately shared - I have a journal for myself that keeps a lot of my logistics and some more deep thoughts, but still, it’s an interesting question for another day!). I got here earlier today during a holiday student festivity called “Christmas Day” where all the students dress in holiday jumpers and go to the bars for multiple hours (OSU students: Imagine a holiday version of Senior Crawl). A few people in my suite are actually here just for this event - apparently there are raves under bridges. Someone will say I didn’t jump on a cool opportunity and experience. You might be right, but I’m not willing to let down my cautiousness ESPECIALLY while my inhibitions are altered.

The only photo I’ve taken of Galway so far.

The only photo I’ve taken of Galway so far.

I digress. I do not know where I am living. At first, the reaction of most is shock: but how are you moving there with no where to live?!?!?! Fraud, lack of knowledge about a city and its set up, actually where I’d like to find myself - just to name a few. Tonight, Friday night, and Saturday night, I spend the evening in my Galway hostel. I then head to Cork to see what’s going on there. I felt offering myself the opportunity to travel like this before committing to a job or place to live was imperative. How else can I make a responsible decision relating to my conscience? I couldn’t imagine it another way.

So here I am, a current wanderer, who is excited to not know what’s next, who had dinner with a fellow dine-aloner, who might’ve had black tea at 9pm GMT, who has a newly found rip in her pajama pant leg exposing her back thigh, and who needs to go to bed.

Until next time, sweets! I’m pretty impressed to have followed my first post so quickly, my past history indicates MONTHS before updates. One *could* argue it’s easier to write a blog post than engage with other people (NO NEED TO CALL ME OUT, I ALREADY DID IT MYSELF!!!).

Enthusiastically,

Madeleine

Madeleine Corley