My journey to Ireland became a reality on Saturday 22 January, but mentally I was already there. Ever since I received the confirmation to work with GEAI, I have not stopped imagining what it would be like to be with the team or planning all the places I would love to visit during the year. The Cliffs of Moher, the Atlantic Way, historic monuments, and all the national parks… but it didn’t become a reality until I got on the plane.

The beginning

My journey to Ireland started at 7am. After saying goodbye to my loved ones, all that remained was to overcome the various obstacles involved in getting from a remote island in the Atlantic to a remote village in the north of Ireland. Due to the genetic traits of organisation and punctuality that runs in my family, the journey presented itself without setbacks. Doing things with tranquillity and calmness helps smooth the nerves of leaving your country and discovering a new world. After successfully passing through the airport security control and sitting on the plane, I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until 40 minutes before the plane touched Irish land. Just in time to eat (two things’ we Spaniards love the most, eating and sleeping, and who doesn’t?)

After that, the journey got heavier, I had to wait two hours before getting the bus in the pichiest dark I’ve ever seen. I didn’t expect to be affected by the sight of nightfall at 5pm, yet things never are how one imagine them. Spoiler alert, I have adapted to that. Going on, I can’t say that the bus ride was fascinating as you couldn’t see anything, but what I did enjoy was the convoluted accent and humour of the driver when he complained about the radio programme all of the time. It made the journey more entertaining.

The first night and morning

The first night in a new house is always complicated, you don’t know what to expect, what it will be like to live with your new roomies and above all, your bed will always be your bed and there will be nothing that could replace it. It is true, however, that the warmth and closeness with which I was received has helped me to feel at home. And what a view! After living for so many years in such an arid climate (yet astonishing and out of this world; As shown in the images below), what is taken for granted for Irish people is not normal for me. To wake up and see the lake, the green trees, the grass! And I’m sorry to repeat myself, but green is everywhere! So, the first thing I did when I woke up (after unpacking of course), was to take a walk to get acquainted and breath the breath in the fresh, cool morning air.

I was also able to discover a bit of the town’s centre and I must say that, although it is just as I anticipated, I am still amazed by the way these picturesque facades are still preserved, hiding stories that I hope to discover by the voices of local people.

Now I am really looking forward to discovering all those places, and the hidden ones, more than I wanted before.

The office

Another key point was the office. I said key because it is where I will spend most of my time this year and from where I hope to absorb all the knowledge I can, technical, formal, informal…. It’s a small place compared to the others I’ve been lucky enough to work in, but as we say in Spain “pequeñita pero matona” (translation: “small but feisty”).

Oh, I forgot, I don’t know all the directors yet, but if the people I’ve had contact with now are a foretaste of the personalities that await me, I can’t wait to meet them!

Last thoughts

At this point it only remains for me to say that I am deeply grateful for the opportunity, and I am going to make the most of it. I am delighted to be able to be an active part of the climate fight and a just transition for all.

Think globally, act locally.

Here we go Ireland!

Written by: Silvia Garcés.