Global Experiences intern Brian has returned from his internship in Ireland. Safe to say he's missing it...
"I've been back in America now for two weeks and I miss Ireland. I miss Ireland a lot. I miss the food, I miss not having to tip, and I
kind of miss the funny ways they tell time. I think what I do miss most though is the overall friendly culture. People in Ireland don’t care where you’re from, what you do, your social status, all they care about is if you can share a pint with them and carry on with some craic (an Irish term for new, gossip, and enjoyable conversation). My biggest surprise over there, and what I wish Americans could emulate, is they don’t get fired up about politics during conversation (banking conversations excluded). They approach it with an attitude along the lines of, “Your opinion is different than mine? Cool, lets have a Guinness!” Even if their politics differ from those in power, they don’t get worked up to the point where lives start to be threatened. President Higgins will casually stroll around Dublin and the leaders in parliament will be seen with everyone else in the local pubs; there is no threat of danger to these leaders. I was able to casually walk up to the president, shake is hand, give my phone to his one guard, and pose for a photo – try doing that with Obama.
I believe the difference is how the Irish prioritize. Over in Ireland they feel that is more important to enjoy your company, have a good time, and live the short life you are given. I feel that we, as Americans, often lose sight of this. Here, it is expected to be a full-time student, hold down a job, be an active member in 2-3 clubs, volunteer, and maintain an active social life. It’s a lot to handle. Across the pond, things move at a slower pace. I will still say, when it comes to business, I prefer the American way, but there is great validity in the way the Irish do it. When I spoke to people in Ireland about their jobs, they described what they did with a level of pride and described how they enjoyed their job. When I ask Americans the first thing people describe about their jobs are the negatives. I will admit, my sample size is not near large enough to validate any statistical findings, it is simply my experience with the conversations I have had.
The Irish love their holidays, and I can say I experienced first hand what is like to have a crisis on a bank holiday weekend (it sucks), but at the same time it makes you sit back and reflect on what true priorities are. My coworkers would go kayaking, hiking, and golfing with their friends. They would go to the beach when it was in the mid 60s Fahrenheit, because they learned to appreciate warm sunny weather; when it rained (trust me, it rained) they didn’t complain about it, but saw it as an opportunity to grab a pint with a few friends and meet go out. They believed in developing their lives not just their professional careers. They would travel all throughout the world, many of the people I spoke to has seen Asia, Africa, Austrailia, and the Americas. They maintain in regular contact with the people there and will continue to travel there to visit.
I do not want to confuse you here, I do still love America, but I, at the same time, feel that there is room for improvement. We spend so much time running around town doing errands, worrying about cramming for that exam, or finishing that proposal for work that we often lose sight of what is important: the relationships we build along the way. I loved my time over in Ireland and look forward for the opportunity to go back."
To follow Brian's adventure you can visit his blog .