My Story: Moving Back after living away for two years

I think it’s hard a lot of the times because I never expected myself to move back. And coming back after two years is not easy. Things I am going to talk about in this blog post are all personal. I also hope that these words will find others advise, strength, or themselves.

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Missing What Was

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I’m at the point of really missing my life I had for the past 2 years. I’m missing my usual places, friends especially human contact, to sit in a pub, walking, chasing sunsets and ability to hop on a bus and see sheep. I miss meeting people on nights out–I went out with my friend on St. Patricks day here, and it was different. No one was willing to talk to a stranger–a comment here and there in passing. Not having that night out, meeting people was weird and something I miss.

I am missing getting dressed up with out question, to feel like I wasn’t standing out, to doing things every day even if it was just a walk to the gym. I know it takes time and you really just got to keep trying, but I find myself not wanting to leave the house.

I guess when anyone moves away from your life you are going to feel this isolation and missing feeling.

Feeling Out of Place

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I liked living in Cork, the ability to walk everywhere, shopping was just a few blocks away. Go out my door and into a pub to have one, to watch the match, or sit to write with some coffee in the Roundy or the Raven. Now, I’m struggling to find my place in this hipster Minnesota. Going into the Twin Cities trying to find the right pub in a sea of breweries.  Trying to find a friendly face in a coffee shop or in a store.

It’s hard cause like I said I am from here. I should know where to go or what to do. But I never fitted into the “way of life” here. A lot of time it is the culture shock. Also, it seems if you didn’t go to high school with someone they don’t want to bother. The social life is different here, that’s for sure. I would never go downtown or to a club here. Going out seems pointless, really, because I don’t want to put on heels for a pub with 20 TVs and no one is going to even talk to you. I went to different things volunteering or blogging events–and even though they got me out of the house, the vibe wasn’t right. I am not the American girl in the village, I’m just the girl in the city. The girl who will says ‘grand’ still (sue me!).

Living in Ireland I felt in place. I go take a walk on the beach, work out on the beach, take a walk through the city with no worry I knew where to go, what to avoid and despite the occasional cat call I knew how to handle myself and speak up. Now I’m feeling uncomfortable.

I want to cover myself up and hide a lot of the times. I don’t feel confident, and my confidence in myself always helped me walk the streets on my own, always helped me ignore my anxious or feel out of place, it always helped me to be brave enough to give a look back.


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The weird part is I am a confident person yet right now my confidence is very low. Which is new to me and I am finding it hard to get out of, lack of a better word, “funk.” it is easy to get stuck like nothing can help you. You try to do anything like you try to write but you can’t your stuck. So how do you get out of this funk?

I’ve been very lucky, I don’t take any of the things I’ve done for granted. But when I look back at photos I missed that person I was and I don’t feel like her. Because I feel discouraging, frustrated, unease, isolation and out of place.

All anyone wants is to have is a life they are happy in, and feel happy too.

Personally I’m going through two dramatic changes in my life, moving and exiting school–you know the one where you are out of school trying to make it as an adult. And it’s really discouraging. I’m discouraging a lot of ways, not only in job related, but in my writing, in blogging, in photography, socially, adulting, in counting my change out at the register. And nothing anyone tells me helps. Except when I look to others I follow and watch who say exactly what I feel, and that is why I’m writing this.

Where do we go from here?

1e6dec070533b10d4539b0aa5838f3b2You could have had really good weeks of not feeling any struggle or hurt then have two weeks of feeling it all. So what do you do? For me personally, when I’m bored I am BORED. I can’t even write. It comes to a point where nothing is exciting and everything is boring.

Throw yourself into something is easier said then done. So like they tell you when you break up with someone, don’t go on social media, distract yourself, take care of yourself, and really don’t listen to the outside world. Surround yourself with people who don’t to tell you instead they are there and listen. Keep your days busy, plan them out, leave the house (even if you don’t want to), do something different. Keep trying even if the bar or coffee shop didn’t work out, try another. Feeling like a total failure, put on that “regret me dress” and know you are worth it! Out of place and no one is approachable, join something, don’t wait to be invited invite yourself–and if your anxiety comes or the culture shock is shocking just step away and regroup. Wearing make up, putting on heels, saying grand this is who you are now–who cares if it doesn’t fit with the surroundings!

And most importantly do something to make you happy <<< that’s best advise I ever got & the person who said that to me was 5.

Your working towards your goals and dreams. To get yourself back to the person you where. You really will never forget and will always feel the connection between that place/person, for me Ireland and my friends. You’ll just get to a point where you are not missing but remembering. Things will get there it just takes time (i hate that as well no worries) but I do hope me writing will let you know your not alone. To feel understood.

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I wrote this to tell MY story to tell people what it’s like to be in my shoes.  

 

City Girl Guide: What’s new in Cork City

If you like a larger City Girl Guide of Cork comment below. OR an even Larger City Girl Guide to Ireland–that is something I love to try but would take a lot of time–comment below letting me know what you would like to see.

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I always say a lot can happen in a day. I also said how Cork needed a doughnut shop well in my 5 months away from Cork not only did a lot happen they got a doughnut shop–TWO! You could prob hear my frustration. There was not much new in Cork, my favorite places were still there and it still rained a lot. It’s Ireland. But no worries I saw that the door changed, I saw the new sign and I noticed the new menu in Silly Goose. Because details and little things are what I pay attention to.

First, lets talk about the doughnuts. There are two: Huckleberry’s Doughnuts & Oh My Donut. I kept hearing about them because I kept telling people about my frustration “the IMG_8720minute I leave they get doughnut shops”. And I have gotten not so happy reviews on them–there over price, the doughnuts are all the same, and one places get their doughnuts made by one of the grocery stores. It’s like walking into the English Market and buying over price fruit they got from Tescos (true). So, I wasn’t too keen on wanting to spend 4 euros for a doughnut that wasn’t even made in the shop. But, after having a doughnut-themed cake in Silly Goose –the ice cream really helped, and need food the next morning; me and my bet friend bit our stubbornness (mine lets be honest) and went into Oh My Donut.  I’m a classy girl who just wants a plain chocolate doughnut–which they didn’t have so I went with a plain doughnut to my surprise had jelly in it–I wasn’t pleased.IMG_8569

Local doughnuts are a trend, even here, there are some popping up–and I wouldn’t call myself a doughnut girl–I usually get doughnuts when I’m starving for food. So, I couldn’t be a doughnut review person–what I will say if it’s going to be a hype thing it better be worth it.

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The next new thing are the shops . The new building around the English market and Patrick’s Street, is getting close-to being finished  No one really knows what’s going to be in there for businesses or shops. Can definitely say Forever 21 is not coming to Cork? Which to be fair, I’m over the cheap, not even well-made, bad ethics shop anyways. I’d stick with Penny’s. I am getting really into ethical fashion and buying lasting pieces. Another shop which is across the way from the new high-rise building (it’s probably 10 floors), is Sostrene Grene (the sisters Grene). Which is a little bit like Tigger but I say a little bit more for the mid-twenties and mothers. This place is like  IKEA without the furniture. Look at the pictures below to see more:

I love shops like these, they make me want to buy a loft and just go nuts!

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Building being built is on the left in reflection

Having all these new things pop up in Cork is always a good thing, so many abandon buildings and Cork is a great city that deserves it. These new building and business coming to Cork hopefully means a vibrant, things to do, variety, kids have places to go and things to do, and maybe outside of homes will look nicer (because if you ever walk around Cork, or really any city in Ireland you see outside of homes are no flower gardens–and that has a lot to do with housing and renting laws they have–I don’t know much but I’ve listened and experienced.)

Processed with VSCO with a5 presetThe one thing that worries me about all these new things is losing what I love about Cork which is how Irish and true Irish it really is. There’s a few tourist shops and pubs that are gear towards tourist but that’s it, I’m also worried about having it become Americanized, no TGIF or Hardrock cafe’s please. This also means its up and coming people will want to live there–meaning rent will go up, which I am experience in Minnesota to be a real pain in the bum of economics. And you know a lot of this is just how life works and how countries evolved. But, don’t forget your roots.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetOverall I was quite excited for all the new things Cork had, the new menu at Silly Goose, to the new art around, and the shops. I will say the big advertising and selling point for things is to make it “Instagram able” and me being 25 years old knowing how far we come, cringed yet gets excited towards that word.

I’m excited about the things Cork had and I wonder what they well have when I come back as long as Monday club is still there, the drinks are still good I’ll be happy and there is no TGIFs.

 

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A City Girl Guide: Wicklow National Park

I went on a road trip through Wicklow National Park.  And here is my guide to the Park.

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Coming from Dublin going towards Bray heading are way towards Glendalough. We were going to go the faster route to Glendalough, but of course, I got mixed up with directions and way to go. The thing about Ireland signage you really need to know what direction you are
heading and what the town’s you want to hit–like for this we could have taken both roads. It’s confusing but it all works out for the best.

Once you’re off the major road and heading in the direction of Glendalough keep going, the road will run right into it.

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Glendalough: ‘the valley of the two lakes’ it has a lot to offer from learning about the history and cultural to a nice walk through the woods or around lakes, and a waterfall. Find out more here: http://www.glendalough.ie/

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We kept driving through Wicklow National park Our point of destination was the Sally Gap then to the Guinness lake.

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Sally Gap: one of two east-to-west passes across the Wicklow Mountains. Basically, it’s a four-way stop sign, with incredible views of the Wicklow Park.

As we drove further down the mountains towards the lake, we pulled over to get different views not only of the lake but the area as well.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetLough Tay: also known as Guinness Lake for the owners are the Guinness family, it’s private property so only way to see it is above, which is the best way to see it.

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Next stop was the Powerscourt Gardens.

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Powerscourt Gardens is a large country estate which is noted for its house and landscaped gardens. The Powerscourt is pretty cool despite that it was winter and there were no flowers. The view and the amount of garden and history you got were worth wild. There is a tea room that is a must try (we didn’t but we were told we should have–next time).

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Then we headed towards Bray.

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Bray: having it be so close to Dublin it is a popular tourist destination and holiday home area. A lot like Kinsale but a lot bigger and diversity I think. We got there pretty late but made it just in time to do the walk seeing the little train between the towns go by and walked the beach and the town. We didn’t stop in anywhere since we wanted to get back before it was even later. But, when looking into Bray I found lots of pubs, cafes, and places to eat however we never went except to the McDs. For more on Bray click here for lovin.com has 45 things! 🙂

 

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Hidden Places of Cork

If you are someone who likes to find the hidden places you never really see, the places that are not always all over Instagram. Someone who needs a  place to just sit and be this post is for you. I am someone who just loves to wonder, I’m very adventures and I find myself in the most random places. I also am someone who just needs to take a moment and while living in Ireland for two years I found that really helped me.

hiddenplacesofcorkSo, if you are ever in Cork and want to see some unusual and off-beat places in your travels or if you live there and want to just know of a place this list is for you!  Most are in Cork city others are on in the county of Cork but I say exactly where they are.

IMG_3793Jumping the fence: I found this place when I was living in college buildings on my walk to the gym, the walking path near the Kingsley hotel. There is this fence that you can easily jump that takes you right by the river, and near a small little damn. There are other people around fishing. I usually liked going there in the evening to sit watch the water move and take some time to myself.

Processed with VSCO with t1 presetSecret places of Gtown: In Garretstown is a beach outside of Kinsale, through Ballinspittle and it is a pretty cool beach, one to walk. But there are a lot of hidden, or open places. There is this small patch of a “cliff” don’t really know what to call it but it’s way up high with open space all around it, and its right near the staircase, you just climb up to get there. There is also hidden staircase between the two beach. That takes you down to another beach which during high tide is not there, but if you climb on some rocks off the side of the staircase you are able to sit. there is also this little grass patch on a “peace” of land where I use to lay in the sun with Scruff after our walks. I found a lot of hidden places in Garretstown, some are harder to explain exactly where. So, if you ever make it down there, go exploring, especially during the low tide.

0488F29E-4358-4F2B-8F5D-533B8ED2D3FDCave: I found this at the second beach in Garretstown. It’s on one of the cliffs walking paths, you just got to keep going until you see this open “beach rock” area that is “none existence” during the high tide. But when you go down there, it’s so LARGE and your voice echoes. It’s a great place just to be and feels so small.

Processed with Rookie CamRandom apartment building: When living in the college housing I kept seeing this old building–people said it’s hunted  that nothing is up there. So one day I took a long walk to the place to go see. Never realize this part of Cork excited I found that it was an apartment building, that still needed some work, but had a great view of the city.

09A195E7-045F-4EB3-8769-4CADCC167482White Bridge: Now in Fitzgerald park you might see this white bridge, it’s through the skate park and the walking path takes you right into the city. But there is this spot where you, of course, hop the fence and get closer to the river. There garbage everywhere and signs of people probably hanging out there at night, and a lot of these spots are probably that but I go during the day. So no issue.

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A far drive
: This is outside of Bantry, in a small town called Glengarriff. There is this little woods park, that has boat tours taking you to the islands out on the water. When went it was off season so there were no boats, but it honestly felt abandoned little dock in the woods. I really liked this area because it reminded me of being a kid running around the woods. I felt like Peter Pan.

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Not So Hidden but great escape: Elizabeth Fort, on top of Cork away from the city sit the historical Elizabeth Fort. For more information about the fort check out there site. I like going there because its not only something to do, you get a great view of the city and sometimes you need to just sit back take in the view.

 

I found there are a lot of places in Cork that no one really knows of, or only locals know of. I found them while walking the streets, I could try to tell you them all but then it’ll get confusing especially if you haven’t been there before. I say if you are traveling, visiting a city, or going on a road trip stop and pull over to the side and adventure off. Spot the off beat path that only a few people have been willing to take and take it, it might lead you to the most amazing hidden places of the world.

 

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Happy St Patrick’s day: A list of what you should know about Ireland from my Irish friends

I am not Irish at all, I would tell people.

IMG_8530In recent research of my dad looking into my grandpa’s family background, we apparently have roots. I have like a grain size of Irish in me–yeah I’m still not Irish. Before moving I didn’t know much about Ireland except there were no snakes. I wasn’t even sure if they would have my shampoo. I soon realize how silly I was.

As I lived over there I found myself learning more about Ireland and the culture by being able to live with an Irish family, making friends with Irish and hanging and participating in what I referred to as “do what the Irish do”. So I could tell you exactly what you should know about Ireland but I thought it would be a better than my perspective and ask my Irish friends what people specifically America’s should know about Ireland. And today being St. Patrick’s day- where according to my dad everyone is Irish here’s a list of things to learn and know about Ireland.

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Leprechauns are NOT real
Don’t just go to Dublin- there is more outside of Dublin
Need to go to the countryside
The idea in people’s head isn’t real
Social Drinkers
St Paddy’s day NOT Patty–St. Patricks or Paddies day
more graves than births
we are great craic
very friendly
GAA is a big thing here-Gaelic athletic association of Ireland
Hurling is number one sport they have county teams that don’t get paid but are like professional players.
Some schools play Field Hockey
Gaelic is Irish there is no Irish and Gaelic.Because you have Scottish and Welsh Gaelic too!
They have to learn Gaelic in school
Primary school is elementary school
We say “like” a lot, especially at the end.
Breeding Horses

Laid Back

MMA  grew in popularity cause of Conor McGregor
We love just having a good time.
Everything is in Gaelic and in English for example road signs, signs for the bathroom etc. So when coming to Ireland expect to see Gaelic.
Name’s–how many times names are miss pronounce. Here are some examples of names and how to say them: Caoimhe (“Qwee-va”) Sinéad(shin + aid”), Aisling (ASH-ling)–my firends name and I just call her Ash cause I get it wrong, Aoife(EE – f ah), Seán(sh-aw-n ), Eoin/Eoghan(Oh-un), Saoirse (seer-sha)

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I did write once a St. Patrick post but that is now deleted. My experience with Paddies day has always been filled with memories and drink. And I hope you all have a wonderful St. Patrick’s day. If you are in Ireland for the day, go to a local pub and sit in there for hours (best experience I ever had). It’s my first year in a long time not in Ireland for today and I know its going to be very different. I hope you liked today’s blog post I really wanted to write this especially from my friends perspective.

Like and Comment letting me know or if you have any questions. Or if Irish and like to add something:)

Be kind and don’t forget to follow A City Girl Story on Instagram, Facebook, and Boglovin.

 

sláinte,

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Disclaimer: for the possibility of someone seeing the negative in this. I want to write this because for the first times I was living there I was told “you think this don’t you” and I could feel the frustration in my friends about the stereotypes or what people think is Irish or Ireland, thus I wrote this to clearr up the stereotypes and what people might not realize.

A City Girl Story: Behind Blogging

Why some things don’t work out.
When I decided to put more effort into blogging I decided to join and invest into groups that I thought would give me a leg up in blogging. I thought joining them would tell me what I didn’t already know or give me opportunities. What I learned was I really didn’t need any of it.
Sure, joining enabled me to network and connect with more people, which I liked but I have done that a lot on my own. And sometimes adding the hashtags just didn’t work, or the people in the network just weren’t people I could relate to which was disappointing. They were also telling me what I already knew, and I’d heard over and over again, like SEO, domains, content, and hashtags. I soon began to realize that just like in life, single holiday’s, becoming a writer, I could do it all on my own.
For example, getting ads or working with other people. I’ve gotten e-mails, and even the group I joined had opportunities where I could get paid, which I know ads on blogs seem so wrong. But, I want to make a living, and also it doesn’t seem to bother people to have ads, especially if they are still following, watching and reading the content. So, I never get why people complain when people have sponsorships. I understand if it sounds fake. For me what the organization or what was being e-mailed to me was all too over priced, nothing I would ever wear, or seemed like they were just trying to get my money. Plus, they would take over my Instagram, or I would pay them for 24 hours of posts which would give me a set number of followers. All I could think was that this was my instgram and how could they ensure I would get that many REAL followers.

I do not like to conform or if making this into a career means giving up myself, being told what to do, then what the hell was I doing here?
I began to hate it. I wanted to take away my e-mail. I wanted to diconnect myself. Because I knew I personally did not like that, I don’t like the idea of putting or working with others that just weren’t me. I didn’t want to go into these dressing rooms to try on clothes just to get paid. But, what was a girl suppose to do get her blog noticed? To get herself notice? A question I began to ask myself a lot lately.
Postive side. The group I joined had an interview with bloggers/business women in media who said that small groups are better; they connect better with their followers. I 100% agree. When I follow someone who has 1.5 K followers I don’t feel as “close” to them as I would with someone who has 300. It’s all about the little people.
I don’t see my blog as the typical blog.  I think a lot of the time it’s hard to be original and have it get noticed. It’s even harder to like a trend and stand out. It’s hard to be real in social media all together. I’m not doing this to be liked, I’m doing it because I love it. I love taking pictures, I love creating content, I love writing, I love sharing stories.

 
I do struggle in creating content for each post. I do find it difficult to go further with my blogging because I know I’m not typical, nor do I want to be. I don’t know if what I have to say will bring others in or want to work with me, but it doesn’t matter because I blog because I enjoy this type of writing. Plus, when I did get more than 100 likes on a post it doesn’t bring me satisfaction, it gives me anxiety when my phone constantly blows up with notifications.

This post is saying how I will always keep it real, that when I do work with someone or a businesses you will know I am still being 100% me, and to remember I am doing this because of my passsion for writing and all on my own.

We are keeping it real.

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My Story: I left my heart in the place I am not from.

 

Travel wasn’t something new to me but living abroad, doing it all on my own was new. I had no connection to Ireland. I choose it because it was the only place close enough to travel to where they spoke English. But, once there I was able to find myself.

905733_10153569957578463_1303521142866637654_oTwo years ago I took the biggest risk of my life and moved myself to Ireland. I’d been there before studying abroad, seeing all the top tourist spots which included the Cliffs of Moher, Guinness factory, and the Ring of Kerry. Scared shitless with no clue what I was going to experience I took a chance on the place I did not know.

I wanted not to just live in Ireland but experience Ireland fully. And I did. The two years I lived there I got more out of it than I would have gotten out of living back home for the rest of my life. I lived in Cork, the second largest city in Ireland and what a lot of people from Cork would call the real capital of Ireland. Cork is a small city with a festival happening, what seemed to be, every weekend. I especially enjoyed Jazz Festival at the end of October. Each street is unique with its own look  and you really get a neighborhood feeling to each area of Cork. 

13244237_10154011599858463_610501070930410632_oI’ve taken many road trips by car or by bus around Ireland. One day when I was living outside Kinsale I decided to take a trip up to Galway. It was going to take me three buses and a lot of waiting around but I would be there by dinner time. Sitting in the bus station waiting for my bus I felt at home, I was doing something I knew what to do. I watched as a variety of people, locals and tourists, came on and off the buses. There were several homeless people hanging out at the bus; I’d seen them before. Sitting there I realized that this city had character just like any metropolitan city. You wouldn’t expect this when you think of Ireland. My first expectation for Ireland back in 2013 was from the movie PS I Love You; I expected a lot of green, and no snakes. But as I traveled around, took my courses, and spent time in Ireland I realized there was so much more to this place than the view.

But the view wasn’t bad either. If you are ever in Ireland you would know what I am talking about; the rolling green hills, seeing such a distance with clouds hanging above. It wasn’t in the middle of now where it was in the middle of somewhere. And even in the middle of a city you would notice it too. Climbing to the top of Patrick hill you not only see the city but in the distance the horizen with a view of pink sky as the sun set.

13458707_10154096826648463_3534706272630644938_o…Finding myself…

One night, after an evening out with friends, all dressed up, our make-up still in tack, our hair ruined by the rain, our six inch heels now in our hands, we were bare foot heading down the street.  Never had I put on heels or thought I would get this dressed up but here I was enjoying every minute of it.  There was something inside of me growing. I was becoming someone different, someone I was always supposed to become. As we sat on the curb waiting for the taxi to come I realized this was what it meant to feel like one’s self.

I began to find myself, as I walked around Cork, and sitting where the sea meets the shore. On a boat ride to an island with no cell service, making friends with dogs, walking dirt roads. Laughing with strangers who weren’t even strangers.  I had been a girl who was never known by her name, yet in the local Centra and in the pubs they knew my name. I now had my places to go, the city was my castle.

13522698_10154117420373463_5671095346358497523_oI was finally living for the first time in my life. You could find me in a garden on a swing set with my feet flying in the air. Going for spins around the parish. Running for village queen. On a bus driving across the country with One Republic playing in my ear while I watched sheep graze in the fields. None of it was getting old. I was falling for those eyes that looked at me. Finding self love. In a pub making out or out for the bants. Making memories and chasing sunsets with long time friends. Sitting on my own in a park. Climbing the highest point.  If I never came we would have never met, but my life without them seemed impossible now. I found myself in every inch of Ireland.

But…. I also left my heart back in Ireland. Leaving behind all those memories and people, the places, everything I had seen. It was like my whole self was taken away from me when I left them behind.  I lost myself in the place I was found.

And now after 5 months later I am going back.
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