I had been in Europe a week before the homesickness struck. It was swift and sudden, like a jab to the gut or maybe like a punch to the heart. I was sitting on a bench in St. Stephen’s Green, a beautifully landscaped park in the middle of Dublin center. After a week of visiting friends in London and Amsterdam I had flown into Ireland, my final destination for the next five months.
The first few days had been fine as the exhilaration and novelty of being abroad held sway. I met up with our Education Abroad Program (EAP) orientation and together as a mass of Californians we descended on the pubs, museums and historical sites of Dublin. But orientation had ended four days ago and the flock had dispersed across the breadth of Ireland.
So there I sat in St. Stephen’s Green, homeless, cold and wet. To top it off, the remnants of Hurricane Katia were raging around me flinging early autumn leaves skyward and knocking unwary children to the ground.
“What had brought me all the way across the ocean,” I wondered as a small dog blew by. “Why had I come to this country where rain was always a blink away and whose staple food-stuff really was the potato?”
But that was the pessimism talking, I told myself sternly. I wouldn’t be homeless forever. Right? Some kind, sweet, beautiful landlord would be willing to rent to three Californian girls for four months, right? I wouldn’t end up in some dingy hostel living out of my suitcase like some kind of permanent transient. Of course I wouldn’t. And one day, there would be such a thing as clean jeans, dry socks and maybe, just maybe, the sun would come out tomorrow. … With a little luck.
Image Source: Meghna Dholakia, Daily Cal