There will always be a place for you back home no matter how long you’ve been away.

As you all may or not know I have been in college nine weeks now, I'm settled in amazingly and everything is good to be honest! I just was thinking about how my home here in Kilkenny is a place I rarely can be found anymore.

While you end up missing college, being at home for a while even if only for a day has its perks. The bus journey home seems infinitely long. You look out the window, see endless lights, houses and unfamiliar roads for what seems like forever. Then slowly but surely you start recognizing places, even if it’s a roundabout, or the giant Tesco in Clonmel. Pointless yet significant at the same time, I start to perk up a little bit at the sight of them.

I always get a surge of happiness when we drive past the sign at the edge of Carrick on Suir which says “Welcome to Kilkenny”. I’m back where I belong, the county of black and amber, home of hurling contrary to what my Tipperary mother thinks. I’m still not used to seeing the Limerick flag everywhere. Home is constant even though I’m not constantly there anymore.

It’s usually dark by the time I arrive home on the bus, tired even though I’ve just been sitting on a bus for two and a half hours. I’ve lost count of how many buses I’ve taken since the start of the semester, all the trips have blurred into one. My dad always says he feels lonely the moment my twin and I leave the car to get on to the bus and I understand where he’s coming from. I’m making memories they’ll never be part of when I’m in Limerick and they are creating their own back home.

When I walk into the kitchen mother is waiting with a nice warm dinner ready for me. It feels like I’ve never left, my bedroom is still the same, everything is familiar yet it’s alien at the same time. My youngest sister will slouch up the corridor and try to slag me off but it’s lighthearted and it’s what we do to greet each other. I’ve found that since I moved away that my relationship with her has gotten better, we’ve stopped fighting about the silly, trivial things that siblings usually fight about, we sit around listening to music, she pretends that she isn’t interested in the stories I have about college but she’ll ask me anyway.

I’m sitting down writing this right now and I know that this time tomorrow I will be packed and ready to go back to Limerick. I love going back to college but it’s still strange to me that I spend more time away from home than at home in one week. I love going back, but I also hate the bus journey back up during the night, when all the street lights blur together in your vision and your legs are stiff from sitting in one position. Music is my companion for those two and a half hours.

This is my life now and I’ve come to appreciate the little things about home a whole lot more.

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