Study Abroad: Dublin

Dublin Writers Museum

This was a recent prompt from WordPress, Study Abroad:

If you were asked to spend a year living in a different location, where would you choose and why?

Since I haven’t done much international traveling, the first thought that came to mind when I read this prompt was Dublin. A year ago we took only our second trip out of the Unites States, to Ireland, and simply loved it. It was one of those whirlwind tours that took us to a different place every day or two. The purpose of such trips is to allow you to get your money’s worth by squeezing as many places as possible into a short time. But you don’t get to spend much time in any one place.

pints of Guinness
pints of Guinness

And so I’d like to go back to Dublin and soak in the local ambiance. The Dublin Writers Museum reminded me of just how rich Irish literary history is. But the real draw for me is that I still have as one item on my bucket list to read through James Joyce’s Ulysses, a copy of which I bought on last year’s trip. What better place to do that than in Dublin? And then I’d be able to participate in Bloomsday activities, following the path Leopold Bloom took while wandering around the city and thinking his thoughts. What could possibly be better than that (besides a few pints of Guinness and plates of Irish stew in a few local pubs)?

Irish stew
Irish stew

It might take me most of the year to get through Ulysses, but I hope I’d also have time to take a few side trips. I’d like to hop over to London for a while and check out the Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey and attend a play in the reconstructed Globe Theatre. And one other item high on my bucket list is to see Stonehenge. And of course there are all kinds of other literary places to visit, both in London (Baker Street, anyone?) and throughout England (Agatha Raisin’s Cotswolds, Thomas Hardy country, Jane Austen’s milieu, and those Wuthering Heights).

Now I’m sad that this is a purely hypothetical exercise. Dublin would be a great place to study abroad, both in its own right and as a jumping-off point for other adventures.

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