It’s a little anticlimactic but there’s been no one moment of “VICTORY IS MINE!” Instead, there have been lots of little moments of accomplishment. When I bought an airplane ticket last November. When I booked my AirBNB in January 1 this year (an auspicious start if ever there was one). Of course, these moments are interspersed with times of “well, crap there’s a housing crisis in Dublin” and “I can only stay 90 days in Ireland, what do I do the rest of the time?”
The goal was 6-9 months abroad. I knew 9 would really be pushing it. I figured if I said 6-9 I’d be more likely to make it to 6 months. I wanted the full time to be in Ireland but as I looked for ways around the tourist stamp with a 90-day maximum, I found Scotland to be a fortuitous alternative.
(Not so) Little Victories
Landing in Dublin on a sunny day, having a pleasant cab ride to my AirBNB, and meeting my wonderful hosts felt more monumental than if this were a vacation. It was making a reality of a 3-year-old goal. And it meant discovering my home (for a little while).
But of course this victory was only temporary. I had three weeks in my AirBNB to find a place to stay for two months thereafter. So began the apartment (of flat) search.
Whee, I found one!
There is a well-publicized housing crisis in Dublin, with rents DOUBLING in the last 7 years. Tax incentives have brought Facebook, Microsoft, Dell, Google, and more to make Dublin their European headquarters or at least a major office location. So finding a room could have been a serious stumbling block.
Turns out I’m a perfect fit for a house full of med students, with a couple of them heading home for two months between their exams and starting internships. Their a friendly lot, with one American in the bunch.
So, what’s the point?
I can’t believe things have gone so well and I am so lucky. But I do believe that you create your own luck. I believe in smart bets.
I know not everything will go smoothly on this trip. But hopefully preparation will put me in a good place to deal with challenges as they come. I believe growth happens outside your comfort zone, which includes dealing with it when things go wrong.
But until they do, I’m sticking with this feeling- Holy crackers ya’ll. I did it!