Today is February 1st, and according to the Celtic (pagan) calendar, this is the St Brigid’s Day*, also known as the First Day of Spring. So what better time to breathe new life into this labor of love that was so terribly neglected for so long? Where have I been? That is a long story. So many things have happened since the last time I posted, but one of my new year’s resolutions was to start writing again, because I love it so much and I don’t make enough time for the things I love.
*St Brigid’s Day, according to the Celtic calendar, is the 1st day of Spring. It symbolizes the return of warmer and longer days and the early signs of Spring. It’s still winter to me, but I love the idea of celebrating this day. Brigid is the 2nd biggest and most important Patron Saint of Ireland, just behind St Patrick. Personally, after reading more about her, I find her way more interesting than Paddy.
One of the things that prompted me to revive this little blog was that I suddenly began to be contacted by several people who are interested in moving to Ireland, or have general questions about living here. For the longest time I was under the impression that this blog was lost in the infinite universe of the internet, but somehow, people found me, and asked me to keep writing. So that’s encouraging. 🙂
I have made a plan, gotten a bit more organised, and feel more committed now. In future posts, I will be talking about:
- -Moving to Ireland
- -Interesting Faces and Spaces in Dublin (watch this space!)
- -Things I miss about back home, and how to make them or get them here
- -House hunting in Dublin
- -Planning a wedding in Ireland
- -Biggest culture shocks. Yes, 3 years on, I still experience it.
- -Lots more!
But before I do that, I’ll do a quick recap of what’s been happening in my absence from this blog.
First, I quit the HR job that I had. I’ll be honest – I was not happy there. It was just not for me. I didn’t feel I was doing anything truly important or impactful. It was, however, a means to an end. Our whole purpose for moving to Ireland was to start a business, which we did. However in the early days, I needed to work in order to make sure we could pay the rent and not drain our savings. It was tough, but I stuck it out. What I learned: I learned a lot… mainly that I am miserable sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day, and never want to do it again.
As I mentioned before – my husband and I started something together, and it has been awesome! I’ve never been happier, and it’s a lot of fun. Keith and I (mostly Keith) opened up the AdventureRooms franchise here in Dublin. If you’ve never heard of escape rooms before, I am sure it won’t be long until you start seeing them in every city. AdventureRooms is a Swiss franchise that was started by a high school science teacher in Bern, Switzerland. We have been having a blast – it has not been easy, but it was been the best thing we ever did. What I learned: Being self-employed (along with your spouse) is awesome. It’s also scary, stressful, and more work than I ever imagined, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I also learned that working with your other half is not for the faint of heart. We’re good though!
Speaking of my other half… We got hitched! September 29, 2016 was the most beautiful day in what could otherwise be filed under a pretty crappy year for the world. What I learned: Irish-American-Chilean weddings are the best kinds of weddings, and weddings don’t have to be nearly as stressful as people make them out to be. I also learned that the people that you hold dear, your loved ones and your truest friends, will do anything for you, even fly half way around the world – with toddlers in some cases- just to see you marry the love of you life and have an epic party until the early hours. That alone is worth all the planning, all the build-up and the stress of wedding planning. The love you feel from everyone is tangible. I’ll never forget that.
I somehow made a few appearances in newspapers in Ireland! I was once quoted in the Herald at my old HR job speaking about the terrible state of the nursing industry in Ireland. But then I was contacted by the Irish Times – they do a series called New To The Parish. In this series they want to talk to people who have been living in Ireland for less than 5 years, to get their perspective. I love this series, because Ireland has long been a country of emigration. Immigration to Ireland is a relatively “new-ish” thing in the grand scheme of things and it deserves its own story. In fact they contacted me again to ask me about the foods I loved and missed the most from home (street tacos, duh). What I learned: There are some trolls out there. They best stay away from this page, anyway.
My parents came to visit last year. It was the first time since 2001 that my parents came to Europe. What I learned: Traveling with family is hard. But I would like them to come visit me every year, if possible.
A missed opportunity to do plenty of blogging, but Ireland celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. There were lots of celebrations, parades, new tours, and live-action role playing demonstrations all over town. It was great to see. What I learned: This whole time, I thought that this was when Ireland gained their independance. I was wrong – it was a failed attempt to get their independance, but they started some serious rebellions.
We had a doozy of a year: Celebrity deaths (RIP Prince) and a crazy election that ended up with someone that I didn’t vote for as President of my country (I’m trying to be nice on this blog). But at least I’ll have plenty to write about. Being an American immigrant in Ireland, my perspective on things might be different or at least nuanced. What I learned: There are a lot of other Americans that live here, most of us are unhappy with the result of the election, and that anything is possible, even the unthinkable. Orwell may have been on to something.
Blogging takes up time I didn’t realize that I don’t have. But we’re back, by popular demand 🙂