By Allison Wharton
Traveling within the United States is very expensive, so I have never really explored many states. In Ireland, traveling within the country, as well as all of Europe, is astonishingly inexpensive.
I have been incredibly fortunate to be able to do a lot of traveling in the past month. Recently, I explored Edinburgh, Scotland.
The architecture and the stone walkways allowed me to travel back in time.
Most of the buildings have kept their original designs – aside from the plumping addition – and the walkways are marked with gold plates, indicating the locations of executions.
The city is also full of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen. Pictures do not capture the beauty of it all.
Upon entering Edinburgh Castle, I enjoyed an overview the entire city and I stood at that spot for 10 minutes, without my phone, marveling at the beauty.
It was then that I was struck with immense gratitude that I am able to go on these trips and experience the world.
I managed to get away from the view to explore the castle and soak in all the history the city contains.
The next day I explored the eastern part of the city on my own.
I went to The Elephant House, the café in which J.K. Rowling wrote her first books. As a big Harry Potter fan, going to this place alone was definitely a moment I will never forget.
After my emotional latte, I roamed an old cemetery. Some burials even date back to the 14th century.
I imagined those people walking the same streets I walked and how different our ways of living are.
My quiet morning turned into a busy afternoon. After meeting up with some friends, I went shopping for gifts for my family and myself.
The two-day excursion was definitely too short, but the memories I created will stay forever.
Another trip was to Howth on the coast of Ireland.
Howth features a famous cliff walk where you can walk along the island while climbing a slow incline.
The hike was relaxing yet long taking roughly two hours to complete. There was even a longer option that would take possibly six hours, but that seemed excessive.
The walk was wonderful and everywhere I looked, I was intrigued by Howth’s simplistic nature. Like a lot of residential Ireland, Howth was blanketed in green grass and surrounded by endless sea.
The town consisted of family-owned shops and small marketplaces. The people of Ireland love handmade goods. I suppose it is because every item is unique and created with care.
The past month has been life- changing, and while I miss home, studying abroad was the best decision I have ever made.