Travel

Erasmus Diaries part 5: 10 things I miss about Ireland

After flying home for a quick visit to Ireland this week I couldn’t help reminiscing about the simple things I missed about being home.

Barry’s Tea

My family, like many Irish families, have an over indulged-in tea obsession. Starting from a young age, a cup of tea could be found at the centre of any good conversation. Whether it’s because a relative came over or the terrifying realisation that the kettle hasn’t been boiled in twenty minutes, any excuse is made for a cup of tea. However, only the brew of Barry’s tea would pass the test in my house. Living in Spain forced me to begrudgingly accept the taste of PG Tips instead. Truly tragic.

Dairy Milk chocolate

Most common an Irish chocolate bar as any other, Dairy Milk’s range had become a staple item in my diet since university. Shamelessly I live for gigantic bars of plain Dairy Milk chocolate that can make any lousy day so much better. Unfortunately, they are scarce in Oviedo. I had to search Spanish stores for cheap knockoff, “is it even worth buying” replacements. Once again, my food standards took a hit.

Galway City

Before my Erasmus, Galway had been my home away from home for a little under two years and I miss it dearly. It being the beautiful, vibrant city that it is, means it’s not the easiest place to forget. On a happier note, I do not and most likely never will miss the Galway weather.

Grand”

This simple five letter word symbolises so much more than just a throwaway phrase to end every sentence. It reflects so many great things about Ireland. Our relaxed presence, our friendly nature and our general optimism in everyday situations.

Loved ones

As obvious as this may be, the people I left back home are what I long for the most. This is quite frankly the most significant part of what I miss about home. My friends, family, and significant other being away from them still seems so strange and unfamiliar. Thankfully technology like SkypeMessenger calls and even Whatsapp have been such lifesavers in keeping up with all of the shenanigans back in Ireland.

My silly comforts

I am a woman devoted to simple comforts. Cosy duvets, hot water bottles and fluffy pyjamas are my calling. This along with a strong cup of tea and some Dairy Milk is my own personal form of heaven. My comforts are very important to me and moving to Spain required me to leave some of these commodities behind and are something I miss incredibly.

My entire wardrobe

I’ve always had a huge interest in my own fashion and creating unique looks. So much of fashion is putting yourself in clothes that make you happier. Unfortunately, because the expense of baggage is appalling, to begin with, my attempt at hauling over my entire wardrobe seemed impossible. So, this resulted in the horrific splitting and reducing of my fashion collection.

The English language

Until you’ve left the English language behind, you’ll never truly grasp how wonderful it is to hear it again. Speaking English is still common in my life in Spain as I befriended English speaking people and talk to my family on Skype, but in general day to day use it is unheard of. As Oviedo isn’t a popular tourist destination, locals found no need to learn the language and in turn, it made me appreciate understanding and hearing English again during my time back home.

The family kitchen’s stove.

For any of those who don’t understand the sheer delight and comfort of having a fiery stove warm up your kitchen it is something of pure bliss. A focus point for family conversations and tea, its heat and presence in the centre of a room is something like no other. Simple in its way, this possibly insignificant item shares a piece of my heart reminding me of the little comforts of being at home.

The friendliness of Irish people.

We live up to our reputation of being some of the friendliest people in Europe and it is something to take pride in. Travelling home from Oviedo to Dublin it was clear who the winners of friendliness were. Although the Spanish aren’t necessarily unfriendly they are just nothing compared to the Irish. We strike up random conversations at bus stops and bathrooms, we ask “do you need a hand with your bags?” when getting off the bus and we’re always willing to talk nonsense. One of the most admirable qualities of our little country.

Enthusiastically I enjoy my time in Spain and long for more adventures here but Ireland will always have a strong place in my heart. It may not be perfect, but it’s home.