Moving to Dublin: Staying

November 11, 2011

This week, I’m celebrating my third anniversary of moving to Dublin by sharing lots of stories with you! From how I ended up here, to what were the hardest adjustments and biggest surprises – check back here all week for the inside scoop!

Read about how I decided to move to Dublin here, what the first year was like for me, and see inside my home here. And if you think moving across the ocean might make you homesick, here’s my take!

I mentioned on Monday that when we decided to move to Dublin, we planned on staying for only one year. And I promised I’d explain why we’re still here three years later!

We came to Dublin thinking we’d only stay the year. We knew we wanted to live in Europe, and we thought it would be perfect to do it for a year and then settle back in America for good. Once we got here, Michael decided he wanted to go back to school to become a guidance counselor. Since Michael is an Irish citizen, it’s way cheaper here for him (think 5,000 euro/year), so we figured staying an extra two years for him to get his master’s would be well worth it.

Michael finished his master’s in June of this year (yippee!), but we’re still here. Once Michael started his master’s, we realized it would make the most sense for him to finish his master’s, then get experience working here in Dublin as a guidance counselor in a high school before moving back to America. His degree is transferable, but we thought it would be better to have a degree plus experience when applying for jobs back home.

Is your math catching up? That’s one year while he applied to school, two years while he completed school, and a year or two to get some experience to take back to America. Four or five years total. Just a little longer than that one year we planned.

Re-reading that whole account of how we’re still here makes it seem like we’re only staying because of Michael and his career. On the surface, it would appear that way. But the real reason we stay is because we love it here. It’s the place we started our life together, the only home we’ve known as a married couple. It took so long for this place to feel like home that I’m not ready to give it up and start over so quickly.

We both have jobs here, and in this economic climate, uprooting ourselves is an exhausting thought. We’ve worked hard to make friends, and are so lucky to have Michael’s parents and brother (and his wife!) within walking distance.

When people ask how long we’ll stay, my answer is usually that we’ll stay until this isn’t the right place for both of us anymore. I can’t picture that on the horizon, but if we feel we should be somewhere else, that’s where we’ll go. For now, we’re at home in Dublin.

The hardest part? Breaking the news to family and friends in Maine. Every time the plan has changed and we’ve decided to stay longer, it’s broken my heart to explain to my parents, siblings and friends that we’re not coming back as planned. Thankfully, they know this is where our home is for now. They’ll wait for us, visit as much as they can, and welcome us with open arms when we arrive back in China Village.

{So there’s the end of this little Moving to Dublin series. Thanks for letting me babble on all week! And thank you for your lovely comments. I love hearing from you all! Have a happy weekend and see you on Monday!}


  • Reply Bill November 11, 2011 at 11:50 am

    We four should get together for lunch or dinner sometime, Emily. Our stories are similar. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply emily November 11, 2011 at 1:25 pm

      We’d love that! Off to America for two weeks, let’s plan for some time in December!

  • Reply Kristin November 11, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    When I moved over, I thought it would be as an adventure for a year, two tops. Twelve years later, I’m still here! At this point I can’t imagine moving back (my husband is actually American too). We’ve been here so long that moving home would feel equally foreign. Sometimes it makes me feel a little sad to think I’ll never be 100% at home anywhere anymore – I’ll always be a foreigner here, but even if we moved back to the States tomorrow, that doesn’t feel like home anymore either.

    • Reply emily November 11, 2011 at 1:56 pm

      Oh, Kristin, I know exactly how you feel! Most days I try to remember that I’m always home, no matter where I am. But it does get hard always being the foreigner. Some days are much harder than others!

  • Reply Torry November 11, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    I loved this series, Emily, and could relate to just about all of it – from the random bouts of homesickness, to answering the ‘so, how long are you staying?’ question, to finding your ‘own’ friends, and to surviving that inevitably tough first year. Thanks for sharing this with your readers! And have a wonderful time in Maine – we spent a week there this spring and you are so lucky to call that beautiful state home!

    • Reply emily November 14, 2011 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks, Torry! It was a hard week to write, but I think so important! And so many people could relate – which makes me feel like I’m even more part of a community over here. And I love that you’re a part of it!

  • Reply Joanna November 11, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    We’re so glad you and Mike are still here Emily, love getting to know you guys and having you meet with us in Re:C every week ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply emily November 14, 2011 at 1:12 pm

      Thanks, Joanna! That’s so sweet of you!

  • Reply Mariah Buckley November 17, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    I love your blog, Emily! I moved far from my little home in Maine, too… living in Arizona right now so my boyfriend can start his career at a hospital out here. And like you said, many people think that’s the ONLY reason we moved when actually, I got into a school out here for a nursing program and loved the area, mountains and warm weather when we visited. You have to do what’s best for YOU and your relationship – so kudos to you guys for having a wild adventure in Europe… so exciting! You will have incredible memories and stories from all of this. Keep on blogging and living the dream ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Rachael January 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Awww Emily, what a sweet and honest series, I’m glad that you’re starting to think of Ireland as a real home now rather than a temporary blip. I think your story also really represents what commitment means in a relationship, moving as a unit rather than an individual – even if that entails doing things that are hard – for the sake of the common goal. It’s a grown up and selfless attitude which will help you guys stand the test of time when others don’t make it. I’m just glad we have you for a wee bit longer! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply emily January 27, 2012 at 10:00 am

      You’re too sweet, Rachael. And the good news is that we’ll probably be staying a lot longer than a wee bit! ๐Ÿ™‚ Good thing you just renovated a house or I’d worry you’d up and leave before me!

      • Reply Rachael January 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm

        That is good news! Oh the house wouldn’t stop me one bit Emily, it’s in a good rental area – like you though it has to be a joint decision to move, and I’m not sure I’ve managed to persuade him just yet. So I guess we’ll both stay in the trenches battling on for a while longer! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Celebrating 5 Years in Dublin | From China Village November 11, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    […] a week of posts about an Irish institution – tea, and the year before I wrote a lot about adjusting to living in Dublin. This year, I just want to stop and take a minute to express my gratitude for this space. If […]

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