the 4 year plan

This is not the first time abroad for me. I've been blessed to spend time with my family in Chile on four separate occasions (tickets are more expensive than you can imagine). I spent my honeymoon riding trains across Germany and the Czech Republic. I spent four days in Paris with friends, two weeks in Rome with my mom, and 24 hours in London with my brother--mostly at the airport.
Plaza del Sol-Madrid, Spain

 With so many beautiful people and places, why then are my fondest travel memories from the semester I studied abroad in Madrid, Spain? Looking back, I know it's because "I lived there". For five months, I was an actual resident of Madrid. I had my apartment, my neighborhood, my metro line, and my favorite places to eat. I had spots to meet the girls for drinks (ok so anywhere) and I had my favorite clubs to go out at night (Big Bambu). I had enough time to figure out the Spanish culture, make Spanish friends, and learn about a completely different lifestyle--pretty much the whole point of travel.
Complutense University- Madrid, Spain

 When I returned to the U.S. I made myself a promise--that I would live in Europe again. Well, life happens so of course I met a boy, finished college, and moved to Minnesota to get married. When I left sunny California for Minnesota winters, I told my husband-to-be that I was on a four year plan: No matter what happened to us, in four years I planned on moving to Europe. Of course he agreed to go with me. 
Burg Eltz-Mozelle River Valley, Germany
As the years have crept by, we discussed little questions here and there...What would we do in Europe? Where would we work? Should we look at universities to further our educations? What country should we choose? After much deliberation and although neither of us has set foot there before, we settled on Ireland and being city-lovers we chose to live in Dublin. Our flight leaves on September 02, 2010--four years exactly from when I moved to Minnesota. This blog is the story of how the 4 year plan becomes a reality.