Moving to a foreign country sounds like an amazing experience. You can explore a place completely different from your own home town. Growing up I loved to travel. I loved to experience new cultures, hike all the amazing trails, and add some stamps to my passport. Ireland was going to be my next destination post Maui. This is obviously a completely different vibe from my favorite tropical island. There is a hustle and bustle of the city very similar to New York and Boston and the minor detail of the rainy weather.
I’ve lived in Ireland before as a student. I fell in love with the lush green mountains, the forever gloomy fireplace weather, and the kindness of the people. I knew immediately I wanted to move back. I wanted to spend as much time as possible in this fairytale place. Work and travel… See parts of the world that most people don’t all while setting down roots with some of my best friends in my favorite country. I was going to come here immediately, find a job and a place to live asap, and live happily ever after… for the next 9 months. This was obviously not the reality.
Moving to a foreign is hard and scary. It takes more than just buying a plane ticket and arriving to the place. It takes months of preparation. From working out the visa issues (which takes ages) to finding a house and a job once you arrive. The amount work that goes into this big of a move is huge. Though I am not moving here permanently the prep for moving just a few months has proved to be stressful. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Taurus through and through. I love to be stable. I love to have all of my ducks in a row before I go somewhere. With Ireland on the other hand I assumed everything would just fall into place. Maui was so easy since I had a set place to live before going there. I knew what I would be doing. I went to Ireland blindly. I wanted to live near my best friend and work for a couple of months in hope of avoiding becoming a “real person.”
Here are the things I wish I would’ve known before coming out to Ireland. For starters give yourself plenty of time to deal with the Irish Embassy. It took me about three months from sending in my application to actually receiving the visa. Those three months I spent stressing and emailing with the embassy to ensure everything was in order. This step, however, was probably the least stressful, besides of course buying the plane ticket.
On arriving to Dublin, I spent my first day fighting the jet lag. Day two I decided to adult. I got a working Irish phone and attempted to open a bank account. This is where we hit the first roadblock. In order to open a bank account you need a proof of address. Who knew? I have been crashing on the floor of my friend’s house. This was clearly not the proof of address that was acceptable. So as of now I’m still ballin on my US bank account.
Accommodation has been another roadblock set up by the international moving fairies. Though I searched long and hard for a place to live while I was still in the US I was unsuccessful and figured I would find better luck upon arrival. This has also proven to be a very difficult even since I’ve arrived. I know I have only been in town for a week or so but it is disheartening to have to rely on a friend. Most places don’t get back to you in a solid time. Others expect you to share a room with upwards of 4 people and still pay an astronomical price.
Finally registering with the Gardai. This is an entire day of annoyance. When moving to Ireland you have three months to register with the garda (they are like the police of Ireland.) You get an i.d. card and state why you’re living in the country. When I came here before I had an appointment to register. It literally took around 2 hours… no big deal. However, this time I thought I would never leave that station. After arriving at around 7:30AM I received my number of 110. I waited and waited all day. It seemed that I was never going to leave. The people working the desks seem to be taking their jobs at a glacial pace. I didn’t leave the office until 4pm. No joke. 8 and a half hours. This has probably been the most inconvenient days. It was not a stressful day, but one that takes too much time and needs to get over with ASAP.
In time these things are going to seem petty. Once I get a house and a job these things are going to seem so silly to stress about. It is all about settling into life. Starting over in a new place.They are the true realities of moving to a foreign country. It will never be easy. It is an adjustment like any other part of life. It won’t happen over night. You can’t expect it to happen right away. Little by little things fall into place. Usually by the time that happens it is time to move on to the next place. All you have to do is enjoy the ride.