New Views

“I’m not a traveller, or more accurately I’m not someone who has had the chance to travel until recently. Before Ireland I backpacked, have lived in multiple Canadian provinces, camped alone in the wilderness, and have been to the top of multiple mountains (mostly in British Columbia). But I’d never left the country, so moving to Ireland I had no idea what to expect.

Thank god for USIT. Sure I could have gone about getting a visa through the normal embassy channels, but having started that route, this saved me a headache and so much more.

Having the constant support available to me is a load off of my shoulders. Though I haven’t used all of the resources available to me yet, just knowing that they’re there is huge.

Through the Work in Ireland Program I have access to a large group of people, some with so much experience to share, and available at any time to answer questions. The USIT team is constantly updating the group, letting us know about any meetups, job vacancies, or other relevant information, it’s an advantage I never would have had if I had done this on my own, it might cost more, but you really get what you pay for.

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Since coming to Ireland I’ve done a lot of the touristy things. Giant’s Causeway, Blarney castle, and the Rock of Dunamase were all amazing. However in the last few months after getting a bike, the real treasure for me has been cycling. Travelling primarily (so far) all over Cork County, and seeing not just the main sites, but the hidden gems. Ireland has so many of them, when I leave here if I regret anything, it’ll be not getting the chance to explore every nook I could find.

The perfect example in fact happened only a few weeks ago. It wasn’t a half bad day out, windy as usual, but otherwise great weather for a bike ride, so I headed out, wanting to check out Ringaskiddy and Carrigaline.

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After coming down Carrs hill,  I ended up passing through Shanbally, completely by accident. It’s tiny, as in only a handful of houses, that all together might not fill up a hockey rink, and definitely the first time the the word ‘quaint’ has ever organically popped into my head.

Soon after that, on the edge of Ringaskiddy I came across Barnahely Castle, totally overgrown and abandoned, blocked off by fences, but awesome to look at.

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It’s things like these I’m learning to appreciate about Ireland, yeah Canada has incredible sites, and beautiful views, however we lack any relatively old history. You can’t walk up to a building and say wow, humans have lived in this place for 500 years. Or go up to a castle and think to yourself about the thousand years of history that went into building, maintaining, and sometimes even trying to destroy that thing you’re looking at, or standing in.

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A love for this is something I might not have found if I hadn’t come here, and something I’ll get to keep with me for the rest of my life. Well worth every bit of work it took to get here.

So if you’re new to Ireland, or thinking about coming here, do it! For anyone already here? Put down the tourist books, turn off your GPS, and just wander, you might be missing all the best stuff.”

Blog Post and imagery by Work in Ireland Participant Brandon Mayovsky. Check out more of Brandon’s adventures here: bikenhikeblog.wordpress.com 

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5 Tips For Fighting Homesickness During Long-Term Travel

When you’re planning a long trip abroad, the excitement of your adventure far outweighs the idea that you might miss your home. However, once you start travelling you might find yourself missing home much more than you expected. Follow these five tips to fight homesickness during long-term travel.

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  1. Bring a small piece of home with you.

Whether it’s a photograph of your family tucked in your wallet or a special keepsake you carry in your backpack while travelling, having a small piece of home with you can help ease feelings of homesickness while you’re away. This will allow you to remember your friends and family back home while you’re out exploring, and it will feel like they’re coming along with you on your journey.

  1. Embrace the new culture and community you find while travelling.

While traveling, whatever city you visit becomes your new home. Make the best of this new home by embracing the culture and people around you. Enjoy the sights and sounds that are different from home without comparing one to the other. This will allow you to fully experience each city you visit and feel less homesick along the way.

The Work in Ireland crew on our recent trip to beautiful Glendalough!
The Work in Ireland crew on our recent trip to beautiful Glendalough!
  1. Keep in touch with family and friends back home.

Maintaining relationships with people from your home will help you feel more connected to them while you’re away. Send postcards of your favorite sights, call whenever possible, or send letters to friends and family while you travel. This will allow you to feel like you’re still a part of their lives at home, and it brings them into your journey with you.

  1. Keep a journal and express how you’re feeling.

Taking a few minutes each day to write about your feelings can help you manage your homesickness as you go. You can reflect on your good days, and look for patterns in your bad days. Seeing trends in your emotions can help you manage them more effectively. For example, if you see from your journals that you feel more homesick after spending time alone, you can make an effort to meet new people to avoid that feeling.

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  1. Embrace your homesickness and act like you’re not a traveller.

It might feel counter-intuitive, but one way to manage homesickness is to let it happen on occasion. It’s only natural that you should feel sad or lonely while travelling at some point. Even the most experienced travellers experience these times of homesickness. Allow yourself the time to feel sad about being away, but only for a little while. Then you can take some time to regroup by doing things you would normally do at home: see a movie, get your hair or nails done, or even just visit the grocery store. These glimpses of normal life will help you refresh yourself for more travel.

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While it’s normal to feel homesick while you travel, following these five tips will help you manage your homesickness and make the most out of your trip.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Documents International LLC, a leading apostille service for individuals and businesses.

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