I have a one-way airplane ticket to Dublin, Ireland on April 9th.
Don’t worry, I’ll come back to Denver. Just not until October….
I’m calling it a “workcation.” I don’t fit into the trendy term “digital nomad” as I still have a home in Denver. Also, this is not an excuse to lay around drinking Guinness for months. I will be working from home. But “home” is an apartment in Dublin.
You may have questions. Here are the ones I am most frequently asked.
So what happens when you get there?
I have an AirBNB staying with a nice couple for my first three weeks. I will spend that time looking for a shared apartment with other young(ish) professionals for a few months after that. This is quite common in Dublin.
This is the question I get most often. Sometimes it’s not even a question but a sticking point. Yes, Daniel are happily married. But we are still two separate, complete entities who love each other generously. We’ve known each other since we were 16. It’ll give us something new to talk about (over Skype).
When I cooked up this crazy scheme a few years ago I asked if he wanted to come. He said no. He didn’t want to be away for that long, doesn’t share my fascination with European history, and understood that doing this alone would be a different journey for me. So he is holding down the fort. For which I am eternally, enormously, colossal-gigantically grateful. And he will come visit.
Why so long?
I was a little obsessed with Ireland as a kid. A vacation there isn’t enough. I want to know the people, customs, sorrows and joys. And I want to live in a foreign place to find out how it will challenge and change me.
When I moved to Denver I could not have imagined all the ways I would grow as a result. If I had stayed in Oklahoma probably wouldn’t have taken up rock climbing, figure skating, or hiking. I would not have climbed 14ers and done all sorts of cool Colorado stuff.
I want to know- How will living in Ireland change me?
I’ve always regretted not doing a semester abroad when I was younger. I did a study abroad tour of continental Europe for 3 weeks and it was the best experience of my college career.
I grew up thinking all Americans wanted to visit Europe as desperately as I did. This is probably due to a Western-centric education and view of the world (I’d like to expand to more knowledge of the East eventually).
When I read Little Women I experienced Jo longing for “my Europe” and Amy’s delight in going with Aunt March. From King Arthur, Joan of Ard, Catherine de Medici, or Robin Hood, I was fascinated with that part of history and the world.
How did you pick Ireland?
More than anywhere else in Europe, I latched on to Ireland as a kid. I’m just old enough to remember some of the Troubles. I also have a long-standing attachment to the Underdog. Ireland fought their way to full independence after 800 years of oppression by the British. Of course then it took quite a long time to solve the Troubles with Northern Ireland. I admire that the Irish NEVER give up.
Unfortunately my tourist visa only lasts 90 days so a jaunt over to Scotland will do nicely. Maybe for a month, maybe for 3. Not sure yet.
Are you concerned about safety?
I am a woman traveling alone, which I quite enjoy. From a few days in Paris when I was 20 to a few days in Rome two years ago, I know I’ll enjoy setting my own pace.
There are many single women, younger than myself, who live and work in Dublin without incident. The crime index in Dublin is lower than Denver and the safety scale is higher (source). And not to get too political but gun control is a thing over there. About 1 in 100,000 die a gun-related death in Ireland each year. It’s 12 times higher in the US (source). I’ll likely be just fine.
What about the bunnies?
They would not enjoy the plane ride and Daniel needs company. He is an amazing bunny dad and when the chips are down his judgement is better than mine. I just get all panicked and weepy. This part is difficult for me but I can’t imagine a time in my life with no pets so it is what it is. They will be in the best of hands.
What other questions do you have? Ask away!