I know it’s a day late but, happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Let’s all take a moment from our epic turkey-stuffing-mashed potato meals and be grateful for what we have today. I have been blessed with so much, but the best things are the small things; the little intricacies of life that many take for granted, are forgotten, or easily overlooked. They are usually hidden within the larger, more obvious blessings. Ever since I’ve left for Ireland, these blessings appear more and more important. Here are the Top 5 little things that make me thankful while I’m here in Cork:
Of all the people in the world, I literally wouldn’t be alive today without my family. My mom has been so supportive ever since I’ve decided to go study abroad. The only thing she said prior to my study abroad application was, “As long as you graduate on time and your grades are good!” She sends these small, but very much appreciated care-packages that just always hit the spot. For the last couple of weeks, the hat that I brought with me to Ireland had shrunk in the laundry, so I’ve been meaning to get a new one. I didn’t say one word to my mom about it, though. Next thing I knew, the next care-package she sent me included a new hat, pumpkin tea, Advil, Christmas stockings with my initials, and a Michael Buble CD. I swear I think she can read my mind sometimes. My sister and I don’t Skype too many times (I’m not much of a Skype-fan actually), but when we do it’s always about something deep or important. These small talks we have are very uplifting for me, because I go months at a time without seeing her (same goes for my mom). Of course once we all go home, we get annoyed of each other fairly quickly. Doing my studies far from home though, whether it be in Boston or in Cork, has given me more of an appreciation for my family.
I have all 10 seasons! And also… I love my friends! I’ve been fortunate to have met so many amazing people all over the world! It really is awesome when I think about the people I’ve met, their stories, and from where they all are! From my close group of friends back home in LA whom I miss to death, to my amazing friends in Boston whom I can’t wait to see for my final semester at Umass, and now to my new friends here in Ireland (some study abroad students from all over the states, others from all around the world!), I cherish each and every one of them. I love every story each person has, and they all have a story (especially the Irish). But the best little thing I love about my friends is all the laughter. For me, laughing with somebody, I mean actual laughing not that fake laugh you do because you feel sorry for the guy (I get this a lot because of my corny jokes, which I don’t mind at all. It’s better than no laughing), epitomizes a good time and a special bond, even if it’s just for that moment. True laughter makes you smile, and smiling makes you feel better. I read somewhere that if you ever feel down, put on a smile. Even though it’s not real, it tricks your mind and you’ll feel better. I think the same thing goes with laughter. I love it when my friends and I have a good laugh together. :)
3. Good Food
Let’s be real here. A good burger every now and again just makes me happy. It’s especially comforting far from home. I’ve been pleasantly surprised of the food here in Cork, Ireland. The first thing that I’d suggest a visiter from the States to try would HAVE to be Chipsy Kings. I absolutely am addicted to their Taco Beef Fries. They serve these perfect chips (fries) in a paper cone that acts like a cup to hold the goodness in. They then add cheese, beef, onions, and either garlic mayo or taco mayo on top. It all melts deliciously together for what I call heaven in a cone. Another great place is Jackie Lennox. They have the best fish and chips in town. Apparently, there are a lot of other restaurants copying Jackie Lennox, but the one I go to is the original, and of course the people working there are super nice, too. There’s also Rockin’ Joe’s (formerly Eddie Rockets). It’s basically Cork’s version of Johnny Rockets. They serve your typical American food. I try not to go there a lot since I’ll be coming home to burgers, fries, and shakes anyway, but I can’t resist. Lastly, there’s SuperMacs next to the cinema in North Main street. They sell Papa John’s pizza along with fried chicken, some burgers, and chips. I know it’s not the best food, but I crave some fried chicken sometimes. On the down side, the Asian food in Cork isn’t the best. Their Chinese take-away and sushi isn’t as good as in the States. Nonetheless, I’m grateful for what they do have. Writing about the food here makes me appreciate it further, actually… and hungrier too.
4. Good Health
I’ve been blessed with good health, which is very helpful when traveling far from home. You never want to be going great distances feeling ill. There’s something my body does which I still don’t really understand how. It never really gets sick. Maybe I get the cold once a year, for about three days tops. But other than that, nothing too drastic. With this good health, I’ve been able to attentively travel. I’ve been able to be polite and positive since I don’t feel like crap. If I have any advice for those looking to travel, try your best to be healthy right before and during traveling. Sleeping well, doing some sort of exercise or outdoor activity, eating healthfully (contrary to what I’ve been talking about on #3), and keeping in touch with your family and friends back home are all keys to being healthy and enjoying yourself away from home for an extended period of time. These would be good tips by which to live anyway!
5. Sports, TV Shows, Movies, and Good Music
These are the things that fill in the time between adventures. In my cozy little man cave I call my apartment, I like to have music playing in the background (Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Killers, Airborne Toxic Event… you know, the good stuff). I try to keep up with my shows back in the States when I can. Project-Free-TV and NETFLIX are the bomb-diggity. I can watch my favorite shows, such as How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family, Parks and Rec, American Horror Story, Walking Dead, just to name a few. I also stream football online. The games are usually very late here in Ireland, with the 8 hour time difference to LA and all. I usually fall asleep to a game… or 4. Same goes with basketball games. I love basketball. I NEED to watch/ play it to keep sane. It’s just how I function. So I actually bought the NBA Euro League Pass so I can watch games. I only bought 3 month’s worth of course. To me it’s worth it :)
I hope everyone had a safe and delicious Thanksgiving! Don’t ever forget about the small blessings that life’s given us!
Until next time,
Peace, Love, Respect!