One compelling reason for spending time abroad is the deepening of one’s understanding of their native country. Case in point: during the nine months I lived in Northern Ireland, I read Beloved by Toni Morrison and understood things about America that my upbringing in a western American suburb (of Denver, no less–“Denver” is the name of Beloved’s protagonist) had been unable to teach me; I needed to be somewhere else to see it clearly.

Thus a lasting impact of my time in Ireland is the writing of American Toni Morrison.

Rest in peace.

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