Being in Galway for the past 5 ½ months has allowed me to experience a new way of living. Coming from the Philadelphia area, I’m used to living near a big city with millions of people. While this has its benefits, there are also certain aspects of life you don’t get to appreciate. For instance, at home, I have to drive if I want to go somewhere. In Galway, the farthest travel I could possibly have would be a 10-minute bike ride to the other side of town. At home, a night out means going into the city and picking one particular spot since everything is so spread out. In Galway, it’s a short walk to the center of town and all of the spots are within minutes of each other. At home, taking a break from the city means driving at least 45 minutes to the suburbs. In Galway, to get out of the “city” it’s only a short bike ride before you hit the countryside where you can enjoy the mountainous view. It’s been a nice change of pace.
Along with the small town feel comes the close-knit community. It seems like every time I walk around town, I run into someone I know and they’re always wanting to stop and chat. Comparing this to the rat-race lifestyle you find in the northeast part of the states, it’s been refreshing. Everything moves much slower here and you’re afforded the time to appreciate the little things. My hope is that when I head back to the states in May, I take the small town way of life from Galway and infuse it in my daily life at home.
There’s something to be said about promoting a close-knit community and giving people the time of day. Experiencing that is one of the many reasons I’ve treasured my time over here.