I should have written this one as soon as the plane landed in Dublin to really document how we were feeling. The purpose of this blog is to update family and friends, but also to remember this time in life. I’m enjoying reflecting back to the beginning of June when we arrived. Big picture: we love it here in Ireland.
Of course, Neal and I spent the first week feeling awkward and uncomfortable in our new surroundings. It was an odd feeling to be in a new country, but not be tourists. Instead, we were setting up bank accounts, signing up for cell phone plans, and learning the public transport systems. It took a while to get used to cars driving on the left side of the road, but I was quick to learn that pedestrians do NOT have the right of way. We’ve adopted a new motto while learning how to live in this new country, “It’s good to be challenged”.
I realize how much I had taken for granted while living in Oregon, mostly the familiarity of knowing how to do things. Things that would have been easy to accomplish in the States are all day projects in Dublin. Mostly because we don’t have a car, an Irish Amazon Prime account, or a Costco.
During the first weeks, even communicating with Irish people felt like a challenge. Although English is spoken all around us, it’s amazing how thick accents and colloquial sayings have left me misunderstanding the context of many conversations. People are very friendly here and with time, their accents are getting easier for me to decipher. I am so thankful we landed in such a welcoming environment. I recognize this experience could be so much more of a challenge.
So, we are settling in nicely. Neal had joined a crossfit gym within days of arriving, and it only took a month before he decided to buy a bike. A sure sign that Neal is happy and comfortable here. He really enjoys his workplace, which includes shorter days and a quicker commute. I do miss my career and the fulfillment of being an oncology nurse. Sadly, I’m not pursuing nursing here because I won’t have my Irish nursing license prior to us moving to a different country. Stay tuned for more updates on that. Soon, I’ll be starting French language classes (to help prepare for the next country we are moving to), volunteering at a local hospital, and hopefully finding more to help me feel “fulfilled” between family members visiting.
We do love Ireland and it is striking the difference in our quality of living here. In Oregon, Neal and I barely saw each other because of our conflicting work schedules. Here in Dublin, most evenings include dinner followed by family walks along the beach! Every Thursday, I meet up with Neal to have lunch together. We did this in college when we were dating, and haven’t been able to do it since. It is so nice. We are truly savoring this while we have it.
Neal has been so patiently waiting for me to finish this long intro post. Now, he can finally post about the fun adventures we’ve been having. Thanks for your patience, Babe!