As much as I am loving my time in Ireland, I can’t help to miss my hometown, family, and friends, especially since I wasn’t around to see them during the holidays. I never thought there would come a time during this year where I experienced “FOMO” (fear of missing out), since most of the time it was everyone else having “FOMO” through my experiences.
I went to undergrad at Saint Joseph’s University, which is a short drive from my house, so I don’t think I truly understood the meaning of being homesick. I definitely made the most of my four years at Saint Joe’s, and tried to make home seem as far as possible; but, if there was ever a time when I wanted to go home, I certainly could. For the first time, I was far enough where I couldn’t just hop in a car to come home, and it started to hit me around the holidays.
Thankfully, I was lucky enough to receive a plane ticket to go home, in West Chester, PA., for a short, yet perfect three days. My great aunt just turned 80 and my grandpa recently turned 90, two very important people in my life that I wanted to see, and were 2 of my main reasons for visiting home. The other main reason was my Mom, who was nearly crying to me on the phone about how she won’t be able to see me until April, when she plans to visit again with my brother and sister. I also wanted to see my brother and sister, and my hometown friends, considering this is the longest I’ve gone without seeing any of them too. The best part, it was mostly a surprise visit for everyone.
My amazing aunt basically set everything up to surprise my mom, and it was a complete success. She even arranged for a driver to pick me up from the airport, who was wearing a green sweatshirt that said “Ireland” in huge letters, along with holding a sign that had my name on it. As he pulled into the driveway of my home, my mom had a confused look on her face, especially when he mentioned that he was “making a special delivery”. Then, as I got out of the car, my mom nearly had a heart attack and started balling her eyes out. It was a moment I will never forget.
I then made all the necessary stops and visits I wanted to make within the 72 hour period I was home. I saw my sister, brother, great aunt, both grandfathers, two of my uncles, aunt and cousins, hometown friends, SJU basketball team, and one of my SJU roommates. On top of that, I got a delicious meal at Chipotle (one of the food places I missed the most), and went on a hardcore shopping spree at Trader Joe’s to bring some of my favorite foods back to Ireland with me.
Sure, I wish I could’ve been home a little longer, but three days was the right amount to get a little taste of home before I start another busy, yet exciting semester in Dublin.