On May 21st 2013 I landed in Ireland. With two 32kg bags, 3 pairs of flip-flops that were never worn, no unicorns and no idea what to expect. I mean, no idea AT ALL. Don’t get me wrong but at the time the only things I knew about Ireland were that Ireland was gray like U2’s video clips and the things I remembered from Marian Keyes’ books (but they’re actually so much better once you get to know the “Irish way”). But then, why Ireland?

I don’t know. I believe is just one of those things that are meant to be. I had never been here before and I didn’t really look for any information about it. I wanted to be surprised and I truly believed that life would open all the doors I’d need. I left my family, my friends and students (I was a teacher), my country and completely left my comfort zone to move to another continent.

I got lost a bit, but found myself much more in the end. Not that it’s easy to lose, but I’ve learnt from other large losses that nothing is forever. So, even leaving that plane alone in a sunny but cold spring morning , I knew that the greatest adventure of my life had just begun.

I met new people, made great friends. I was presented with stunning landscapes, unique experiences and unforgettable moments. I started a new home, found true Irish love and gained a new family. Actually two,  three.. When you’re away from home you know that we end up with as many families as our heart allows.

I know this is very cliche but I’ve “changed and I became a much better person”. Learnt to better accept the mistakes of others (and mine aswell), learnt to be more human, more patient, more tolerant, more mature, bolder, happier.

Today, my love for Ireland is as big as my love for Brazil. It’s the country that welcomed my dreams and my reality. Today, I ‘m two Julianas, because even “my countries” representing different parts of me, even feeling at home in any of them, I will always be divided in two. And I learnt to live like this.

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