By Sarah Staelgraeve

Starting new things can be nerve racking, some may even say terrifying. If you would have told me two years ago, before I attended Michigan State, that I would be going to a foreign country over the Atlantic Ocean with complete strangers, I would have thought you were out of your mind.

Coming from Ohio I knew absolutely no one going to MSU. It was a bold move for myself considering I had the same close knit friends since middle school. After successfully completing my freshman year as well as half of my sophomore year, I considered studying aboard. I was inspired by older friend’s stories, pictures and how much they all cherished their experiences.

Time flashed and before I knew it sitting on my couch searching through the different programs turned into sitting on an airplane preparing for my journey. I had never flown alone before or been overseas so at this point the nerves out weighed the excitement.

a nearly empty passport waiting to be filled

Surrounded by new faces, buildings, landscapes and accents the nerves that were so strongly within me started to turn into anticipation for an amazing trip.

George’s Market was the first place we went to and even something as simple as a market left me in awe. It was so unique to anything I have ever seen in America. A giant Old Ireland building filled with all different shapes and sizes of stands with Belfast citizens making food, drinks and selling merchandize. Frozen fish, fresh fruit/veggies, strange looking burgers, crepes, cheese, bread, rice dishes, burritos… the choices overwhelmed me. I decided to go with the Belfast Bap Burger, a new food to try out symbolizing everything else new that was happening around me.

outside of George’s Market
bacon, egg, sausage and ketchup (the Belfast Bap)

Monday marked the day of the black cab tour and it made me realize the city of Belfast has gone through difficult times. Before this tour I had little knowledge of the constant disagreements between the Catholics and Protestants in this city. The disagreements caused extreme problems in the past and there is a fear more issues could arise in the future.

To me these new facts I learned today gives the city so much character and heart. So far I have already witnessed beautiful and eye opening things. I have learned once you can defeat the nerves that come along with beginnings, it can lead to wonderful things.


the black cab tour 4/16/16

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