Family is and always will be everything to all of us, living away from them has become normal these past five years which brings challanges. In recent years, I have become an uncle, twice. Being an 18 year old freshman with very little responsibility made me not miss home too often, but years pass and life changes to where I now have two extremely cute nephews. Perspective on family changes when new arrivals come, especially ones who sing you happy birthday over facetime and hug the phone as they miss their favourite uncle.
Belfast though has been great, much closer to home than in America, I managed to get a few days off where my sister and family came to visit me in Jordanstown. Being closer to home is a great feeling especially when the wee ones can take one of their first holidays of their lives to come and see me and board and airplane.
Northern Ireland was great for the kids as we traveled up to the beaches on the north coast and watched the boats, played in the parks and had lunch in the famous Ramore restaurant (an absolute must!).
I truly feel very lucky to be studying in a place where I can make an impact all across Belfast and be close enough to see the people most close to me. Visits like this one keep me grounded, relaxed, and more focused on how fortunate we are and how important it is to keep working hard.