9 months: 11 countries, 29 cities.

My wonderful, amazing, cliche life-changing study abroad year is at an end, and I find I’ll like to remember all the places I’ve been lucky enough to visit. So for one blog post let’s explore the trips I’ve managed to take since I arrived in Montpellier on August 17, 2013.

1. Francefrench flag

Cities I visited: Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Arles, Avignon, Carcassonne, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Narbonne, Nice, Nimes, Paris, Perpignan,  Rouen, Toulouse Continue reading

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A trip to Howth

After spending the morning checking out Trinity College Dublin, Ola and I headed into the city centre to hop onto the DART: Dublin Area Rapid Transit train to take us to the fishing village of Howth. A forty-five minute train ride, the DART took us out of the city proper and to the very edge of the peninsula of Howth Head jutting out into Dublin Bay.

Location of Howth in relation to Dublin

Location of Howth in relation to Dublin

 Right around the corner from the train station and tourist center was the harbor, full of colorful fishing boats and with a clear view to Ireland’s Eye, a deserted island a mile from the coast. Continue reading

Must-see sights in Ireland

While planning my trip to Ireland, I was overwhelmed with how much I wanted to see and how little time I had to do it in. That said, you’ll never have enough time to see everything in a foreign country, but if your mindset is to hit the main attractions and experiences while in Ireland, I’ve compiled a solid set of guidelines.

 Don’t limit yourself to Dublin!

Make sure you take some time to get out of the main cities and explore some smaller towns.  Dublin has an extensive train system that allowed us to escape the city for an afternoon and check out the fishing village of Howth, but there are many other small towns on the outskirts of metropolitan areas that are worth a visit.

the village of Howth, a half hour train ride from the Dublin City Centre

the village of Howth, a half hour train ride from the Dublin City Centre

The charming harbor of Howth

The charming harbor of Howth

Putting the emerald in Emerald Isle

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The ancestral homeland

Part 2 of my fall break excursion was the country I had been dying to visit ever since I figured out how to spell my full name. The Emerald Isle, the land of my ancestors, Eire…the names go on and on, but I knew without a doubt that when I studied abroad in Montpellier I would board a plane and make it to the nation that defined half of my heritage and my last name…Ireland.

We didn’t have too much time to spare on our trip, but Dublin was my #1 destination in Ireland,and both of us wanted to see some greenery. Continue reading