Home Stay/ Language School, Homestay - Ireland, Language School Programs

The First 24 Hours in Ireland; Traveling Abroad for the First Time

by Jessica Barney, Greenheart Travel Independent Homestay Participant


I left my own small town in New York, to travel to Montreal, where I caught a plane to travel back to the States and land in JFK. In the Montreal airport the Marriott is located so conveniently next to the airport, and they had a beautiful restaurant that had modern French decor. And the food was good too! Once I arrived at JFK (which at the time was the biggest airport I had seen) I had a nice wait until my plane left for Dublin, Ireland for my week-long homestay adventure. I am an uneasy flier, so I took some Dramamine, which helped, and I listened to soothing music. It helped.

I arrived! I had made the long, 6 hour flight, and landed alive. I had bought an international cell phone through Telestial, so first thing was first, I called home (even though it was 4:00 am). Since this was my first trip alone overseas, my parents were uneasy about me riding a train two hours to Waterford, Ireland (where my host family lived). So, they hired a driver. His name was Marvin.

He was supposed to take me on a tour of Dublin, and then bring me to Waterford, but because of a miscommunication and time, I was driven past all the sites, which resulted in many blurry pictures. So out of the gate, I saw Marvin (he even had a sign) and he carried my bags for me to the car, and it was a surprise to me that he went to the right side of the car. I do, and did realize, that the steering wheel was on the other side than American cars, it just threw me off.

photo by Jessica Barney

I arrived in Waterford at 2:30 pm and met my host family, Catharina and Ollie (the parents) and Emma and Kate. Also, I met Kavya who is my host sister Kate’s friend from college. Kavya is originally from the U.K. and moved to Ireland to go to school. That night, I had my first cup of tea (in my whole life) and had a true Irish meal – pork and potatoes. After being up for over 24 hours, I finally had to sleep.

Read more of Jessica’s blog


About Greenheart Travel

CCI Greenheart Travel is personally invested in providing cultural immersion programs that change lives, advance careers and create leaders. We achieve this by partnering with organizations and governments overseas that empower their local communities through experiential learning and practical development. We provide others with the same positive travel experiences in which we ourselves engage. Through travel and cultural exchange, we help individuals reach their full potential, leading to a more tolerant, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world.


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