you are so lucky

Most people are shocked when I tell them I am moving to Ireland. The comment I often hear immediately is, "Wow, I wish I could do that.You are so lucky." To which my reply is always the same...I am not 'lucky' and you can do anything you want.
 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.


  1. That "you are so lucky" comment got on my nerves too. While I like to acknowledge the good fortune that has come my way to allow me to move abroad, when people told me i was lucky it didn't seem to acknowledge all the years of work, the money and the emotional energy I'd put into moving to Ireland. It's like telling someone they're "lucky" to earn a college degree. It didn't come out of nowhere, you know!

  2. Exactly. It's either careful planning or it's plunging head-first unprepared. There is no luck involved. People are not aware of the control they have over their own life. Understandable though...I didn't know either until I did some pretty life-changing things on my own.


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