If someone asked me to tell him about my time in Ireland, I would not know where to start. I mean I have lived here for nine months, where would I start? Which stories would I tell?

I could tell you how crazy it seem looking back that I just got on a plane and flew to a different country to live there without knowing anyone.

But I could also tell you how, even though I was afraid, I still did it and how incredibly proud I am now.

I could tell you about this one day when I laughed at my friend for getting sunburnt in Ireland and then got a sunburn myself.

Or I could tell you a long story about how I got to go to Brussels for free just because I said my opinion.

What if I told you that I caught myself becoming Irish, for example when I started wearing tracksuit just because everybody else does so, how I just adore potatoes or how many litres of tea I drank and mountains of biscuits I ate.

I could also tell you about the time I tried out Camogie and how the Kilkenny hurler could not stop laughing at me because I was just unable to hit a single sliotar.

Or about when I got to play for two minutes at a Gaelic football match because we were not able to win anymore anyway and how that absolutely did not matter for me because I even touched the ball.

I could tell you so many things that are typically Irish like the obsession with fake tan, wearing a school uniform that will feel totally normal one day or the meaning of shifting at a ball.

Not to forget the hours you will spend waiting for a bus to come and the fact that cows and sheep will probably be one of your favourite animals by the time you go home.

Here is another thing I could tell you: You will find a second home so you will never be fully at home. That’s the price you have to pay to have an amazing time.

I could tell you about how much you will learn, especially about yourself.

I could list a whole lot of moments when I felt like I was exactly where I should be.

And I could also tell you how I am sad, happy, glad and incredibly thankful for everything and that it is a mess but I am not too worried because I know that everything will be grand in the end.

I could tell you about how I will bring a suitcase back filled with memories and experiences that nobody will ever be able to take away from me.

I could tell you all those stories but it might be best if you just go and experience everything yourself so that you will be able to tell your own stories.


Lea Lemke from Germany living in the Clonmel community