Andes Mountain Range-Santiago, Chile
Isn't that amazing? We have an entire life to live and we can do anything we want with it. Anything--I promise! Tomorrow you can skip work and take a nap at the park. You can leave your job and start an empanada restaurant in Berkeley. You can learn to play the banjo and become a bluegrass recording artist. Or you can go to work like you always do. I am not a superhuman with magical moving-abroad-type powers. Nobody bestowed this opportunity on me; I chose it. It's that simple.
That said, there is no clear-cut way to plan any kind of move, much less one overseas. If you start looking online for all-encompassing checklists, you will drive yourself crazy with paranoia and fear. Besides, you might not want to plan in the way that others have. It's kind of like when I got married. Was I the kind of person to begin by planning my wedding and preparing all the details so it would work out perfectly when I finally got engaged? No. I began by getting engaged and telling everybody about the upcoming wedding--and then figured out the details as they became important.
Wedding Day-St. Paul, MN
I'll share my best tips on attending school, getting a job, living situations in Ireland, and more in upcoming posts. For now, the best way I knew how to relocate myself overseas was to announce my plans. I told my family, I told my friends, new acquaintances, and even strangers in the street. I didn't tell people at work right away (!)...but I became comfortable with the fact that I was going.
I was surprised how many people offered their own helpful hints. Friends in the U.S. told us to look into dual U.S./Irish citizenship. Hubby doesn't qualify because you need a grandparent of pure Irish citizenship, but we found that as U.S. citizens we don't need visas. My dad sends me articles about the economy (mostly unemployment statistics...eek!) in Ireland. Through a link I found out that Google, Yahoo, and Facebook have all established their international headquarters in Dublin within the last year so there is a job search opportunity. Friends in Ireland emailed us the Irish version of Craigslist for finding housing. Hubby finds apartments and small houses weekly in a neighborhood and location we like and we know we can afford. If YOU have any juicy tips--feel free to leave them as comments!
I guess I just started telling the world and the information started pouring in. The best part is I didn't have to spend hours looking for it.