Office of International Programs

Taylor Kashmere

Taylor Kashmere
University College Galway, Ireland
Fall 2018

In the fall of 2018, I boarded a flight to Ireland that would mark the beginning of what was truly the journey of a lifetime. The experience of traveling to a foreign country alone and living there for four months was everything I hoped it would be and more. As soon as I returned home from Ireland, I made a playlist of all the songs that remind me of my time there. The best way to represent my study abroad experience is to share a few of those songs and the moments they remind me of.

“The Galway Girl” by Mundy – This is one of the first Irish songs I heard when I arrived in Galway. When most people think of the song “Galway Girl,” they think of Ed Sheeran’s version. Although that version is great, Mundy’s version is definitely my favorite. I got my first tattoo in Galway, and it says “cailín na Gaillimhe,” which means Galway girl in Irish. Although I am not originally from Galway, I will always think of myself as a Galway girl.

“Galway Shawl” by Tom Donovan – The story behind this song is truly incredible. On a beautiful Saturday in late September, one of my roommates and I decided to take a bus out to Clifden for the day. We did not plan anything out beforehand, aside from buying bus tickets. We wanted to explore the area without any expectations. When we arrived in the center of town, we saw signs pointing towards Clifden Castle and decided to check it out. It was a long walk, but it was more than worth it. As we approached the castle, the bright green landscape opened up to a vast ocean view. We heard the voice of a man behind us and turned to greet him. As it turns out, he was the man who owns the castle. He walked with us and told us all about the history of the area. Eventually, he showed us around a small cabin he was fixing up. He pulled an old accordion from out of the cobwebs. “Galway Shall” is one of the songs he played for us. I remember sitting there in that moment and thinking about how lucky I was to experience that.

Castle in Ireland

I read something once that said the price you pay for knowing and loving people in more than one place is that you will never be completely at home again because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. I can now speak to the truth of this statement firsthand. I will never forget the wonderful people I met and the amazing memories I made during my time in Ireland. A piece of my heart will always remain in Galway, and I would not have it any other way.