When I picture surfing,I automatically think of warm sunny California beaches, but despite living in California for six years I never got a chance to try surfing–that is until I moved to Ireland.
When I was first invited to go on a surf trip to Lahinch in County Clare over the bank holiday weekend along with 34 other students I had never met from different universities across Ireland, I was pretty hesitant. I certainly had not imagined surfing could be an option in Ireland and even the thought of jumping into the icy Atlantic Ocean made me shiver,but despite my doubts I signed up and set off to Lahinch for three days.
We drove across the entire country,from Dublin to Lahinch,in only three hours on the Friday afternoon. Coming from America it’s hard to imagine a cross country trip that short ever being possible,but that’s one of the things I love most about Ireland –that you can see so much of the country in barely any time. In that one drive I saw some of the biggest attractions Ireland has to offer like the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher, Limerick City, and even Obama’s ancestral home plus, my personal favourite –countless idyllic rural villages and castles.
Saturday morning was the first day of surfing and we woke to some of the worst weather I’ve ever seen in my life. The lashing rain and gale force winds really made me rethink trying to surf in Ireland. But, when we reached the beach, all clad in wetsuits, the sun suddenly came out and I jumped in. After lots of work, I slowly but surely was able to get over the cold and even stand up on my board.
Looking back, this weekend was very similar to my move to Ireland so far. There was definitely a lot to be afraid of and a million things I didn’t know,but all the new things;my new friends, experiences,and passions,have made me a stronger and more confident person. Given the chance I would absolutely do it all over again because it was definitely worth the risk.
Ellie Brennan is a first-year undergrad from the US studying PPES (Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Sociology). She is an ambassador for Education in Ireland. To see the original post, see here: http://blog.educationinireland.com/surfs-up-in-ireland/