Welcome to my blog! My name is Alison Christovich (Ali for short), and I’ll be writing as often as I can about my adventures in one of the most beautiful cultural centers of the world: Galway, Ireland! I will be studying at the National University of Ireland in Galway and living just 10 minutes away by foot from both campus and the center of town. So a little bit about myself: I am a theatre major from Florida who enjoys long walks on the beach (and on campus), chocolate, avocados, taking pictures, grammar-checking, performing in shows, and singing with the College Choir and Chamber Singers. Most of all, I love traveling, and I can’t wait to travel to Ireland for the first time!
Exciting as it all may be, I am a little nervous about leaving tonight. I do get a little anxious when I have a lot of packing to do for a long trip — I restricted myself to only one checked bag and a carry-on! — but once I get there I’ll buy everything else I need, including my bedsheets and basic toiletries. At the very least I have all my staples: my passport, my paperwork for the Irish Immigration Office, some cash Euros, my handy dandy travel purse, a pair of walking shoes, a pair of rain boots, and — of course — a Holy Cross rain poncho (thank you HC Bookstore for putting it on clearance!).
This trip won’t be my first rodeo though: I’ve traveled to India and Argentina by myself and with a group, and even being at Holy Cross for months at a time before coming home to Florida has been relatively easy for me. Still, being in a foreign country for nine months will be a huge first for me. People have asked me if I ever get homesick, but to be honest I really only get homesick before I leave home! Thankfully, my family has been really supportive with helping me prepare for Ireland both emotionally and financially. I won’t be alone in Ireland either: a group of about 12 of us will be in the program together, and most of us have been in communication with each other about travel plans and other trip-related questions. I’ve also had the good fortune of being able to stay on campus for a week to sing with the Chamber Singers and staying with my cousin Ashlee in Bedford, MA. Yesterday we ended up going to a national park in Concord, MA before having a very New England dinner: clam chowder and a lobster roll. I’m so glad I got to see my friends and cousin and say goodbye to them before I’m gone for the year!
One of the things I’d like to focus on in my blog is allowing readers (and myself!) to watch my progress in making this adventure I’m about to undertake a spectacular one. With that in mind, I have a few goals I’d like to achieve over the next few months:
- Stretch out of my comfort zone a lot more (which will be somewhat inevitable!)
- Meet new people and building relationships
- Try new foods, classes, and activities
- Find new places to spend time with friends — both in and outside the country
- Do and watch as much theatre as possible — both on and off campus
- Sing as much as I can, whether I’m with a choir or in the shower
- Find sources of inspiration – music, landscapes, people, etc.
- Write, write, write (so I can blog, blog, blog) in my new journal!
I am incredibly excited for what will unfold in the coming months and I can’t wait to share my experiences with you all! I will be writing again as soon as I get settled in my apartment and begin orientation (which starts Thursday). Until then, so long America! Galway, here I come!