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The Art of Being Alone: A Solo Date to Malahide Beach

The Art of Being Alone: A Solo Date to Malahide Beach

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They say studying abroad changes you, makes you more independent, teaches you about yourself, and broadens your perspective on the world. All of these things are true, yes, but they are also abstract. Nothing prepares you for what you will see, what you will do, what you will take away. 

If I’m being honest, I thought I would have it easy. I’d already moved away from home for college and, really, how different could a ten-hour car ride and an eight-hour plane ride be? I was used to being alone, used to making friends out of strangers however long that process may take. In this respect, nothing really changed. 

Still, I am a different girl than I was when I moved to Dublin. I’ve learned to shop for my food and cook my own meals. On my morning walk to class, I pass now familiar sights and watch as flowers grow and bloom in radiant colors. 

I’ve settled into a routine quickly and, to be honest, that’s a dangerous thing. If I do the same thing every day, what’s the point of moving halfway across the world? 

So. 

Today I decided to step outside my comfort zone. I took the train to Malahide alone, reading my book as my body swayed to the gentle rocking motion. Making my way to the beach, I dipped my fingers into the Irish Sea, hunted for rainbows, and searched for extravagant shells. I sat alone and watched the world go by, people walking past and waves washing everything new. I even took myself out for fish and chips. 

Even now, writing this blog post a month later, the few hours I spent in Malahide are still some of my favorites. Towards the end of the day, before I walked back to the train station, I remember an older couple walking along the sand below me as I sat, swinging my feet, on a wall above the shore.

“She’s probably laughing at us slipping in the mud,” the woman below me said.

Sitting up on the wall, I thought, “No, I’m not. Don’t you see how beautiful it is out here with the sun sparkling on the shore?”

Her husband laughed, holding the dog’s leash. They continued on across the sand, moving out of my periphery. I stayed still, feet swinging, knocking against the stone. My Converse were damp and dirty, my leggings splattered with muddy sand, splashed as I jumped from rock to rock. My shirt’s discolored too from the puppy that ran to me, bouncing with the joy of being alive. I didn’t speak to his owner, but I am grateful for the interaction–the soft fur beneath my fingertips, the simple giving of love that asked for nothing in return.

If someone had told me a year ago that I’d be studying abroad in Dublin, I wouldn’t have believed them. But here I am, making my childhood self proud, living out my dreams. 

I’ve always been scared to go on a solo date, thinking people would judge me or I would judge myself and ruin the experience. But, that didn’t happen. Don’t let anyone else–or your own fears–get in the way of living life. Looking back, I’d tell myself I made it. At the beginning of 2023, I decided I was in my “saying yes” era and here I am. Consider this your sign to take the chance, to say yes. After all, what’s the worst that could happen?

P.S.: If you want to see a bit more of this day, click on the link below and you’ll be able to see my solo date in video form.

The post The Art of Being Alone: A Solo Date to Malahide Beach appeared first on Off-Campus Study.

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