From California to Galway – ‘Dual Citizenship’ with a Twist

Leah and Kirsten Curran
“She could have been yours” – a statement often put to me by my sister-in-law when talking about my 13-year old niece, Leah Curran – a committed fashionista with a big passion for writing! Leah and I were catching up on a Zoom call recently (will we ever go back to the ‘phone’?) and chatting about our love of Galway and how we both consider ourselves ‘Galway girls with a twist’. The ‘twist’ is that, like many others here, we get to enjoy a kind of ‘dual-citizenship’. That feeling of having two ‘homes’ – each being just as comfortable, easy and familiar as the other. If you’ve read what I love about Galway in GALWAYnow magazine, here is what Galway looks and feels like through the eyes of my favourite visitor and California-based Galway Girl, Leah.
What’s your favourite thing about coming to Galway?
When I visit Galway, I love walking down the streets and admiring all the lights, shops, restaurants,
and scenery. Here in Sonoma County, you don’t see people busking, so I love to spend some time watching the singers, dancers and performers on Shop Street – they really add to the color and
atmosphere of Galway. Coming from sunny California, I love to see the many different clothes, eat different food (the pastries in the coffee shops are the best) and hang out in different weather
(although I admit that I do prefer the California sun).
So, you and I have a shared love of fashion! How do you find Galway style in comparison to Cali?
The style in Galway is quite different from what we have in California. Girls my age typically wear the same kind of clothes, but I notice that fashion seems to be more modern and there are more kinds of style in Galway. The trend in California right now is ripped jean shorts, plain tank tops, mom jeans, anklets, Bandana headbands and tie-dye clothes from shops like Brandy Melville, Vans, and American Eagle. In the US, we like to shop at big chain stores, but I love the smaller unusual shops in Galway, where there are lots of different choices. When I wear my ‘Galway clothes’ back home, my friends can tell that they are not from the US and they really like them. It’s cool to be different.
Apart from shopping with me, how else do you spend your time in Galway?
The most important thing is to see all my family and spend time with them. I love sleepovers with cousins and discovering lots of new hiking trails. I usually visit, every second year or so, so when I see everyone, they’ve all changed – my once little cousins are no longer small. Even some of the boring things seem fun and different, like going to the grocery store, chilling on the couch and running errands. Even though Galway is completely different from California, I always feel right at home when I visit. I fit straight in with the people and culture. I plan on returning to Galway for a semester when I am at university.
Ok, BIG question, if you could sum up Galway in 3 words, what would they be?
Welcoming, energetic and cheerful! Although the plane ride is super long, it is always worth it once I arrive in Galway.

Words by Kirsten Curran and Leah Curran.