Alone in a Beautiful World This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Everyoneseems to be connected, electronically and otherwise. Cities hold millions ofpeople, and a best friend may be a few feet away or a relative down the street.If not geographically close, we are close through technology, and can email,page, fax or instant message whomever we want. Some people become so accustomedto this that they can't imagine a world without it, and think they wouldn't beable to function without the Internet, cell phone or most of their friendsnearby. But there are worlds that function without the Internet in every home,where the nearest neighbor is three miles away, and if you aren't ready to gothere, you might feel like you're completely alone. One such place is thecountryside of Ireland.

Ireland is a part of me; my whole family grew upthere and my parents moved from middle-of-nowhere Connemara, Galway to Americawhen they were teenagers. Ever since I can remember, we've gone back every yearto stay for a month in a small house on the edge of a lake miles from any sign ofcivilization. It is a beautiful place, almost untouched by man save for the roadand low stonewalls. But soon after you arrive, you realize how alone you are,even with your family - you are practically cut off from the rest of the world asyou know it. The phone doesn't work half the time, the television shows are inGaelic so if you only speak English you're out of luck, and there's no Internet.It's just you, your family and the cows.

It's ironic how you can feel soalone in such a beautiful place. If you aren't ready for it, it can be a cultureshock. Every time I go, I find good things in this isolation, like seeing familyand being close to nature, but the feeling of separation is ever-present. I'vegotten used to it, and try to enjoy my time there and not think about what I leftbehind in America, or even just the city, by coming to the country.

You have to forget the phone, the Internet, computers and television and letyourself enjoy the beauty not normally seen in parts of the world. There arethings to do that aren't available at home to keep your mind off being isolated.You could always go and talk to the cows, but I don't recommend it; they burp.Long story.

But just from my point of view, if you want to go abroad,namely the countryside of Ireland, be prepared for a technological culture shock.You might feel cut off from the world, being so far from anything familiar, butthere will be something in that strange place you might not know anywhere else.Even if you don't, there will always be cows.






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Copyright 2006 by Teen Ink, The 21st Century and The Young Authors Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.
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This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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