After several days preparing my luggage – I repacked my luggage at least five times to fit with the weight that was accepted – my journey to Ireland started. I was so excited… I was looking forward to this so that I found it hard to realise that I was leaving my French life for some months.

My trip to Ireland started on Wednesday 8th September at 6.00 am. It was a special day with quite a few twists…

The beginning of my journey

The plan was that my sister would pick me up at 7.00 am at my house to be at the airport 2 hours before boarding the plane, but at 7.00 am, I received a call from my sister who had just waked up… Her alarm didn’t work. Was that Murphy’s law?! Haha! I don’t know, but she arrived 15 minutes later and we drove to the airport Roissy CDG. This road is awful. There are always traffic jams and we drove so slowly… During the whole journey, I was so nervous in case I did not catch my plane. I got it. Yes! The gate called me – the first time – but they waited for me.

I am not usually comfortable on a plane, but this flight went well and I was lucky to have a great view. The first difference between France and Ireland is the weather. See the photos! Not that the weather is nice every day in France, of course. It was like Like a little taste of my stay here: I am preparing for the winter haha!


Once landed in Ireland, I turned on my phone but I couldn’t remember my cell phone code! I don’t know if it was the fatigue, but I had a blackout. So, I decided to take a break with that and to find the bus stop. Here again, I was lucky: I thought I had a few hours of waiting but I got on the bus ten minutes after I found the bus stop. Around three hours ride… I had plenty of time to find my cell phone code. After 35 failed attempts, I unlocked my phone. At least, the trip went quick.

Tatsiana picked me up at Carrick-on-Shannon and drove me to the house. It’s a warm and lovely house in the countryside of Leitrim. I feel good here.

Welcome to Drumshambo!

Tatsiana and Simona, my roommates and colleagues, are very nice and welcoming. They showed me the place, my bedroom, and explained to me their flatshare’s rules.

The first thing I did was to settle into my bedroom and arrange all my possessions to feel at home and comfortable. I am quite happy with my bedroom because there is space – more than I have in France – and some sports equipment… No doubt, this bedroom is mine for the next seven months! In addition, I have a wonderful view from my windows… see this picture that I took the second day when I arrived. What view! It is a gift of nature to have this sunset and this landscape at the end of the day. I appreciate the living conditions here.


My quarantine was not so hard as it allowed me to get familiar with my new environment. The house is spacious and I could go out to get some fresh air and to enjoy nature. With Tatsiana, we went for walks several times. She showed me the surrounding area of the neighborhood. I like to hike, so I am in a good place to do it.

But, I have to admit that I was relieved to be free after receiving my negative PCR test… It was painful but worth it. I could finally go to shopping and bought some food… Not that I like to go to shopping, I hate that, but I have had enough carrots, zucchini, peppers, and eggs one week.

With the end of my quarantine, I was also delighted to go to work, and to join my colleagues and all directors’ GEAI at work. I am quite excited to be active and take part to raise awareness about the environment in the next months. I am sure I will learn a lot thanks to this experience in GEAI!

Author: Célia Melcus